# Descriptives

This feature requires the Statistics Base option.

The Descriptives procedure displays univariate summary statistics
for several variables in a single table and calculates standardized
values (*z* scores). Variables can be ordered by the size of
their means (in ascending or descending order), alphabetically, or
by the order in which you select the variables (the default).

When *z* scores are saved, they are added to the data in the
Data Editor and are available for charts, data listings, and analyses.
When variables are recorded in different units (for example, gross
domestic product per capita and percentage literate), a *z*-score
transformation places variables on a common scale for easier visual
comparison.

**Example.** If each case in your data contains the daily sales
totals for each member of the sales staff (for example, one entry
for Bob, one entry for Kim, and one entry for Brian) collected each
day for several months, the Descriptives procedure can compute the
average daily sales for each staff member and can order the results
from highest average sales to lowest average sales.

**Statistics.** Sample size, mean, minimum, maximum, standard
deviation, variance, range, sum, standard error of the mean, and kurtosis
and skewness with their standard errors.

Descriptives Data Considerations

**Data.** Use numeric variables after you have screened them
graphically for recording errors, outliers, and distributional anomalies.
The Descriptives procedure is very efficient for large files (thousands
of cases).

**Assumptions.** Most of the available statistics (including *z* scores)
are based on normal theory and are appropriate for quantitative variables
(interval- or ratio-level measurements) with symmetric distributions.
Avoid variables with unordered categories or skewed distributions.
The distribution of *z* scores has the same shape as that of
the original data; therefore, calculating *z* scores is not a
remedy for problem data.

To Obtain Descriptive Statistics

- From the menus choose:
This feature requires the Statistics Base option.

- Select one or more variables.

Optionally, you can:

- Select Save standardized values as variables to
save
*z*scores as new variables. - Click Options for optional statistics and display order.

This procedure pastes DESCRIPTIVES command syntax.