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Merging files

From: SPSS Statistics Essential Training (2011)

Video: Merging files

When you are getting ready to analyze your data, you may have the situation where your data lives in more than one file. Now, SPSS lets you have more than one file opened, but in a number of procedures the data needs to be in the exact same file. Fortunately, SPSS has a command that lets you combine data, either by adding new cases that have the same variables or by adding more variables for the existing cases, and in this movie I am going to show you how to do both of these.

Merging files

When you are getting ready to analyze your data, you may have the situation where your data lives in more than one file. Now, SPSS lets you have more than one file opened, but in a number of procedures the data needs to be in the exact same file. Fortunately, SPSS has a command that lets you combine data, either by adding new cases that have the same variables or by adding more variables for the existing cases, and in this movie I am going to show you how to do both of these.

I am beginning with a data set that's called Search1.sav. This is simply the top-left quadrant of the data file that we used in the last two movies. I have information of a number of states about Google search patterns. What I am going to do though, is if you scroll down, you can see that I only have data through Montana. I have 27 cases here. I want to add the remaining states using the same variables, and what I have is another data file that has all the same variables in the same order but has the remaining states.

To do that, I come up to Data and I come down about halfway to Merge Files and this is where it asks me if I want to add cases--that's more observations with the same variables--or whether I want to add variables for the same cases. I am going to do both, but on this one I am going to add cases. Now, you can do this with either a data file that's currently opened--that's the top one, an open data set, but that's grayed out because I don't have another data set opened right now--or you can use an external SPSS data file.

I have that other data file. It's saved in the folder, and I am just going to open it up by clicking Browse. This one is just called Search2. I am going to double-click on that and then the full path shows up right here, and I am just going to click Continue, and so what it does now is it brings up a dialog box. It attempts to pair the variables by whether they come from the active data set or from the one that I am opening, but since I have the exact same variables in both of them, everything is paired up in the two of them. I can scroll down the list and you see that all the same variables occur.

If I wanted to, I can select Indicate case source as a variable. That's at the bottom of the list. What this would do is it would add a new variable to the data set, and it would indicate whether the cases came from the first data set or the cases came from the second data set, and it's a way I am keeping things straight. I don't need it in this case because there is no overlap and there will be no confusion between the two of them. I am just going to press OK, and I get the syntax and the results that say it is adding cases.

I go back to the data set. Previously, I only went through Montana, and now you can see that I have added Nebraska all the way down to Wyoming. Now, I have the same variables in the same order. Now I just have more cases. On the other hand, maybe I have the cases I want but I want to add more variables, more information about them. What I have right now is just Google's search history. I can scroll through, and all of these end with _GS to indicate these are Google Search patterns. But I have other information about each state that would be useful in analyzing these patterns.

So what I am going to do now is I am going to add new variables to the data set. I go back to where I was before, I go up to Data, come down again to Merge Files, except this time I select the second option, Add Variables. Again, I have the option of using an open data set, but the one I have isn't open, or an external data set. Mine are saved in an external data set, so I am going to click on Browse and I am going to use Search3. I will just double-click on that.

There it is and I click Continue. Now, it's bringing up the data set. There is one variable that is excluded and it's state. Now, that's the key variable that I used in both of them as a way of lining things up. You can see for instance that it has state and then it has a plus in parenthesis. That tells me that it's from the new data set that I am adding. So it would be redundant; we don't need it again. All I am going to do now is click OK and it tells me that it's adding a bunch of new variables.

I go back to the data set, and previously we stopped with the Google Searches, the _GS, but now you can see I have added several new variables-- I am going to scroll through them-- from has_NFL, whether a state has an NFL team, through Division. And so what I have done is in the first example I added new cases to the data set, I added new states, and in the second example I added new variables. And what this does is it takes three separate data files and combines them into one, which lets me do more analyses-- compare the relationships between the variables--than I would be able to do otherwise.

Now, the data may have been spread out across several sources, in typically many different locally stored spreadsheets in an organization, and by merging the cases or the variables, you're able to get in a much more productive situation of having all of your data in one place. When you have that then it's much easier to break things down to compare the groups and to examine trends and outcomes. All of these can give you a much more powerful insight into your data.

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This video is part of

Image for SPSS Statistics Essential Training (2011)
SPSS Statistics Essential Training (2011)

52 video lessons · 19172 viewers

Barton Poulson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 5s
    2. Using the exercise files
      40s
    3. Using a different version of the software
      1m 13s
  2. 19m 0s
    1. Taking a first look at the interface
      11m 49s
    2. Reading data from a spreadsheet
      7m 11s
  3. 21m 54s
    1. Creating bar charts for categorical variables
      7m 18s
    2. Creating pie charts for categorical variables
      2m 54s
    3. Creating histograms for quantitative variables
      5m 45s
    4. Creating box plots for quantitative variables
      5m 57s
  4. 33m 10s
    1. Recoding variables
      5m 33s
    2. Recoding with visual binning
      5m 33s
    3. Recoding by ranking cases
      5m 26s
    4. Computing new variables
      5m 37s
    5. Combining or excluding outliers
      5m 21s
    6. Transforming outliers
      5m 40s
  5. 28m 12s
    1. Selecting cases
      6m 44s
    2. Using the Split File command
      5m 12s
    3. Merging files
      5m 33s
    4. Using the Multiple Response command
      10m 43s
  6. 22m 14s
    1. Calculating frequencies
      8m 43s
    2. Calculating descriptives
      5m 31s
    3. Using the Explore command
      8m 0s
  7. 16m 3s
    1. Calculating inferential statistics for a single proportion
      6m 6s
    2. Calculating inferential statistics for a single mean
      5m 39s
    3. Calculating inferential statistics for a single categorical variable
      4m 18s
  8. 30m 43s
    1. Creating clustered bar charts
      7m 10s
    2. Creating scatterplots
      5m 8s
    3. Creating time series
      3m 24s
    4. Creating simple bar charts of group means
      4m 17s
    5. Creating population pyramids
      3m 0s
    6. Creating simple boxplots for groups
      3m 3s
    7. Creating side-by-side boxplots
      4m 41s
  9. 45m 28s
    1. Calculating correlations
      8m 17s
    2. Computing a bivariate regression
      6m 27s
    3. Creating crosstabs for categorical variables
      6m 34s
    4. Comparing means with the Means procedure
      6m 33s
    5. Comparing means with the t-test
      6m 4s
    6. Comparing means with a one-way ANOVA
      6m 30s
    7. Comparing paired means
      5m 3s
  10. 24m 30s
    1. Creating clustered bar charts for frequencies
      6m 34s
    2. Creating clustered bar charts for means
      3m 45s
    3. Creating scatterplots by group
      4m 13s
    4. Creating 3-D scatterplots
      4m 25s
    5. Creating scatterplot matrices
      5m 33s
  11. 30m 57s
    1. Using Automatic Linear Models
      11m 52s
    2. Calculating multiple regression
      9m 3s
    3. Comparing means with a two-factor ANOVA
      10m 2s
  12. 29m 29s
    1. Formatting descriptive statistics
      6m 1s
    2. Formatting correlations
      7m 49s
    3. Formatting regression
      10m 19s
    4. Exporting charts and tables
      5m 20s
  13. 51s
    1. What's next
      51s

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