What's new in SPSS 25?

Lyn LaveryHere at Academic Consulting, we’re always excited when a new version of one of our favourite research tools is released, but we’re aware that not everyone shares this excitement. For many, there can be a sinking feeling as they worry about how much time will need to be spent in upskilling.

The good news is that with the release of SPSS 25, very little has changed for the average user. The interface remains largely the same, and dialog boxes for commonly used procedures have the same look and feel to them. So, what’s new?

As with almost any new release of SPSS, the vendor always emphasises the fact that the graphs are more attractive and modern looking, and easier to edit. Did they manage it with this release? I’m personally still not convinced that SPSS is the right choice of application for graphing. There are some new additions to the Chart Builder that look useful (like the ability to filter by categorical variables), but the overall presentation just isn’t up to the standard that I’d want for my own reports and publications.

While the charts themselves didn’t overly impress us, there is a new ‘Copy As’ option you can use when transferring graphs from SPSS to Word – this will copy and paste the graph as a Microsoft Office Graphics Object, which means that you can edit it once it’s in your document. There’s also a new option to copy data with variable names or labels, which may be useful in certain contexts (such as creating a classification sheet for NVivo).

Those of you who are more expert statisticians may be pleased to see enhancements to some of the advanced statistics (this includes the Mixed Linear Models, Generalized Linear Models, GLM and UNIANOVA procedures), as well as a new option for calculating Bayesian statistics. For the SPSS geeks amongst us, there are also some enhancements when writing syntax. Syntax enhancements include some new shortcut keys, which we’re looking forward to trying out on our next SPSS analysis.

If you haven’t used SPSS for a while or need a crash course, don’t miss our upcoming virtual event Research Accelerator 2021.