Identifying and Correcting Data Entry Errors in SPSS

Mistakes are common when data is entered into SPSS.  Before entering data, if the questionnaires are in print format, each  questionnaire should be numbered.  This  is important so that one can refer to the particular questionnaire when making corrections in the data.

After the questionnaire is entered in  SPSS, the researcher should check its minimum and maximum value and  assess if the data is entered correctly for each of the variables.

The data screening process involves a number of steps: Step 1: Checking for errors.  Step 2: Finding and correcting the error in the data file. 

Checking categorical variables for data entry mistakes.  From the main menu at the top of the screen, click on Analyze, and then click on Descriptive Statistics, then Frequencies

– Choose the variables that you wish to check for errors (e.g. Gender, Job Rank, and Occupation). – Click on the arrow button to move these into the Variable – Click on the Statistics  Check Minimum and Maximum in the Dispersion section.

– Click on Continue and then on OK

There are two parts to the output.  The first table (Statistics)  provides a summary of each of the variables you requested. The remaining  tables give you a breakdown, for each variable, of the range of  responses. Checking for Errors – In order to check for the errors, start by looking at the first table of Statistics, look at all the Minimum and Maximum value. – Check the number of Valid and Missing  If there are a lot of missing cases, you need to ask why.