SPSS Export


SPSS Statistics is a software package used for logical batched and non-batched statistical analysis. You can use official SPSS package or use Export and filter data GNU PSPP replacement for the proprietary program SPSS.

To export your response data to SPSS go to Responses & Statistics section, select Export, and then Export results to SPSS

Export and filter data

When exporting data to SPSS there are two filter options. You can select which data should be selected (all records/completed records only/incompleted records only) and for which SPSS version the export files will be used (prior version 16/16 or up).

SPSS export includes two files:

  1. a syntax file (survey_xxxx_SPSS_syntax_file.sps)
  2. and a data file (survey_xxxx_SPSS_data_file.dat).

After having downloaded these files you can open them using a raw text editor like notepad to take a look how the exported data looks like. The syntax file holds the commands that should be run to import the data. It is like a programming language inside SPSS. The data file contains a comma separated file with all data. If you just import this data as csv via a wizard you loose information about questions, labelsets etc. so we don't do that.

Import data in SPSS

Place the two files in the same folder on your drive (example: c:\data\survey_xxxx_SPSS_syntax_file.sps and c:\data\survey_xxxx_SPSS_data_file.dat)

We have two options now:

1. When using Windows use the explorer to browse to the folder used above. If SPSS is connected to the .sps file extension you can just open the file by double clicking it:

Now you can just choose Run->All from the opened window and after some time have your output dataset that you can save as a normal .sav file.

2. Sometimes the easy solution above does not work. Then you can proceed as follows:

  • Open SPSS
  • Choose File->Open->Syntax
  • Choose the appropriate file: c:\data\survey_xxxx_SPSS_syntax_file.sps
  • Now the syntax opens.
  • Change the line that reads /FILE='survey_xxxx_SPSS_data_file.dat' to include the path where the files are: /FILE='c:\data\survey_xxxx_SPSS_data_file.dat' , for mac user : /FILE='HD/Users/username/survey_xxxx_SPSS_data_file.dat'
  • Now mark the whole command text and choose Run->All from the menu and after a while (please be patient) you have the dataset with all info like questions, labels etc.


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