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Date:         Wed, 28 Sep 2005 12:02:42 -0700
Reply-To:     Jean Campbell <>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Jean Campbell <>
Subject:      Re: Recoding
Comments: To: "Kraan, Egon" <>
In-Reply-To:  <14CC168906C71545B71C41A209D67ECE6330D9@beech-ex.beechacres.local>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"


Thanks for your offer of assistance, I hope I can be clearer.

My goal is to recode all of my profession data into one of the following categories:

1. Healthcare-medical 2. Healthcare-behavioral 3. Other human services

These are mutually exclusive categories, both conceptually and by virtue of how the data was collected. The first two, above, are from a forced-choice list presented to the person filling it in, the third category comes from a combination of other forced choices ("police officer," "manager/hr, "coach/fitness") AND a write in "other" option on the same forced choice list where the person identified a specific profession that is "human services, as so....

1 healthcare-medical 2 healthcare-behav 3 social worker 4 manager/hr 5 student 6 retired Etc... 12 13 Other (specify _________)

In SPSS, this means there are two variables: one that represents any of the 12 possible professions (numeric) and one that represents a write-in response (string). In the interest of clarity, these are variables A and B.

So I want to have everyone who choose "healthcare-medical" and everyone who wrote in something I adjudicate as "healthcare-medical" to be recoded to "1." And so forth with "behavioral" as "2" and "human services" (which I am choosing from various other forced choice and write-in categories) as "3". Thus, I want to recode variables A and B need to be combined in one recoded variable as 1, 2, or 3.

Does this help?


Jean Campbell, MPA 520/626-1085

-----Original Message----- From: Kraan, Egon [] Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 11:45 AM To: Jean Campbell Subject: RE: Recoding

Depends on what your two variables are. There would be many different possibilities to what the data contained in the two variables are, which would lead to handling the data in different ways. Please be more specific about the data in your cells. For example, is the string variable the job category, and the numeric variable the level of experience, i.e. programmer 1, programmer 2, programmer 3, etc... or does the numeric variable reflect the same information as the string variable, where lawyer = 1, programmer = 2, driver = 3, etc....

Please be more specific about your data and the result you want to see.

Thanks Egon

====================================== Egon Kraan Beech Acres Evaluation & Research

-----Original Message----- From: SPSSX(r) Discussion [mailto:SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Jean Campbell Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 2:11 PM To: SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Subject: Recoding

Hello listers,

I am a fairly new user without too much statistical training, and am trying to do some recoding. Would appreciate any help on solving this seemingly simple problem, have found no reference in my manual.

I have two separate variables that list a person's profession, one is a string variable and the other is numeric. I want to recode both variables into one new variable "profession." But so far I can only recode one variable at a time into a new variable...

Any help?


Jean Campbell, MPA 520/626-1085

-----Original Message----- From: SPSSX(r) Discussion [mailto:SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Art Kendall Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 10:44 AM To: SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Subject: Re: SPSS vs. Excel?

If you are really only doing basic descriptive statistics and no ANOVA, Regression, random number generation, etc. Then you may be able to get by with a spreadsheet. Various statistical discussion lists have covered using Excel for statistics. There are numerical analysis and other problems here are a few of the views.

Several items on software that includes Excel or Excel itself. <> <>

I advise my clients to use a statistical package for statistics. Spread sheets (QuattroPro, Lotus, Excel) are all great for use as spreadsheets. As statistical packages think of "please pass the hammer, I want to drive in this nail with the funny spiral ridge around it". If they are doing work with real life consequences (public policy oversight, etc.) I recommend SPSS as the primary package for several reasons. The packages are very solid mathematically. SPSS stands out because of the human factors aspects. However, there are occasionally procedures that are not in SPSS, so other packages might be necessary after the data has been cleaned and prepped. It is easy to pass data from SPSS to other packages and to limited-purpose programs at the frontiers of stat. Cleaning, prepping, and exploring the data is usually 80 to 95% of the analyst's time, and SPSS really stands out in these things. If analysts' time costs money this becomes very important.

The GUI shortens the time to write syntax (process commands and documentation). The syntax facilitates the developmental process of revising the analysis until it does what is needed. The syntax facilitates redoing portions of the work as the analyst, supervisors, and quality assurance reviewers develop their views and understanding of the data. The syntax helps with getting help by showing what was done It facilitates sharing the data and metadata as is required by the ethical standards of several disciplines and regulations for grants in the US.

Hope this helps.

Art Social Research Consultants University Park, MD USA Inside the Washington, DC beltway. (301) 864-5570

Michael Reed wrote:

> I'm a consultant who works mostly with basic descriptive statistics. I've > used MS-Excel for the past few years. Questions: (1) is purchasing > SPSS 14.0 > worthy my while? (2) is there any way to legally obtain SPSS for less > than > the $1,500 going price? Thanks, Michael > >

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