Variable properties

Data entered in the Data Editor in Data View or read from an external file format (such as an Excel spreadsheet or a text data file) lack certain variable properties that you may find very useful, including:

  • Definition of descriptive value labels for numeric codes (for example, 0 = Male and 1 = Female).
  • Identification of missing values codes (for example, 99 = Not applicable).
  • Assignment of measurement level (nominal, ordinal, or scale).

All of these variable properties (and others) can be assigned in Variable View in the Data Editor. There are also several utilities that can assist you in this process:

  • Define Variable Properties can help you define descriptive value labels and missing values. This is particularly useful for categorical data with numeric codes used for category values. See the topic Defining Variable Properties for more information.
  • Set Measurement Level for Unknown identifies variables (fields) that do not have a defined measurement level and provides the ability to set the measurement level for those variables. This is important for procedures in which measurement level can affect the results or determines which features are available. See the topic Setting measurement level for variables with unknown measurement level for more information.
  • Copy Data Properties provides the ability to use an existing IBM® SPSS® Statistics data file as a template for file and variable properties in the current data file. This is particularly useful if you frequently use external-format data files that contain similar content (such as monthly reports in Excel format). See the topic Copying Data Properties for more information.

See the topic Variable View for more information.