How to use SPSS/Entering data
To create a variable to enter into the data, just click on the column that starts with var001 when SPSS is initially opened. You can also start a new data set or open an existing one depend on what you need. To enter in data into SPSS, you must realize what the survey or your actual data is trying to tell you. This sounds simple, but can be frustrating to first timers. If you are wanting to compare the bench press weight vs fixed weight bench press you must consider several factors.
What level of measurement is the variable:
Nominal- No ranking what so ever. Such as, all variables are equal and unranked. An example would be: Did you use a bench press? Yes or no? The answers cannot be ranked.
Ordinal- All variables and values and can be ranked. However, the data itself is in groups. An example would be: How much can you bench press? 0-120 121-150 151-200 201+. The answers are grouped, but they have the advantage that they can be ranked.
Interval- The data itself can be written down as a number and can be any value except zero. For example: Please write down how old you are. Obviously, it is impossible for a person to write down 0. The person will more than likely write a number higher than 0 or else it shouldn't be in the data.
Ratio- is a variable in which a number of any value can be written down including zero. For example, Please write how many pounds you can bench press. The respondent can answer with any value they choose including zero.
Now that you know the level of measurement for the variable, you can decide how many columns you would like to break a question up into. Sometimes its beneficial to have a question that is check all that apply on a survey, but when you code it you might consider breaking into a bunch of dichotomous variables like yes or no responses that are coded as 1 or 2. Also, it's helpful if you write on the survey what you expect to code each response as from a value that is 0 to 1000000000 or higher if needed. Generally, just keep must variables that are ordinal or nominal down to 10 categories/values.
To create a variable to enter into the data, just click on the column that starts with var001 when SPSS is initially opened. You can also start a new data set or open an existing one depend on what you need. Keep clicking on the columns and entering in all the variables and changing their names as needed. Next, you'll notice a bunch of rows with numbers on the left side. These numbers are each individual case or survey response. Just enter in the values for each question the respondent filled out on a survey and put it into the corresponding column and case number. As a hint, it helps to number each individual survey before entering in your data. On the variable view page, you can edit many things about each variable such as what level of measurement it is, assign a label, enter in which value is, and even change the name.