Statistical Software

They say you never really learn statistics until the time comes to analyze your own data.  Once you are faced with this situation, your first question will probably be What statistical test is appropriate for my data?  The second will most likely be, Now, how do I run this test?

To help address the second question, Dr. Guogen Shan, biostatistician and associate professor in the UNLV School of Public Health, visited Roseman University College of Pharmacy in April to provide a crash course on using IBM SPSS Statistics software.  SPSS stands for “Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.” It is one of the most popular pieces of statistical software generally and, despite the name, is used in a variety of applications.  Roseman University owns a site license for SPSS and faculty can have it installed by Technology Services if it is not already downloaded on their work computer.

In his presentation, Dr. Shan addressed many common tasks pertinent to new users of the software, including how to import, enter, and label data; how to perform descriptive statistics, including mean, standard deviation, median, range, and frequencies; how to create scatterplots, histograms, and box plots; and, how to compare means and run a linear regression.

Though Dr. Shan’s presentation was not recorded (and it would be difficult to try and reproduce the content here), those who were not in attendance or who would like a refresher are encouraged to check out the YouTube video series “SPSS for Beginners,” created by Dr. Todd Daniel of Missouri State University.  Faculty should also be aware that there are free, web-based, user-friendly statistical analysis tools like GraphPad QuickCalcs that can be used to rapidly perform many straightforward analyses like chi-square and t-tests.

For faculty who require assistance with complex problems in research design and statistics, Dr. Shan is available for fee-based consultation.

If you would like to contribute to The Faculty Development Blog, please contact Tyler Rose at

Tyler Rose, PhD
Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy