Intellectus Statistics: An SPSS Alternative


Educational Technology

Intellectus Statistics is a powerful, cloud-based, less expensive, teaching and learning tool as an alternative to IBM-SPSS.

IBM-SPSS is a data analysis tool used by statisticians for predictive modeling, data mining, big data analytics, and some reporting.  SPSS has a data tab, a syntax tab, and an output tab. To conduct a regression and assess assumptions, a user may use these four windows. As a data scientist, there are numerous decisions to be made. However, observing students for 25 years, students do often struggle with these options.

After conducting the analyses, users will be provided output. Some of the information is important to the data scientist, but not for students. For example, students reporting regressions do not use the sum of squares or mean square in reporting the regression.

The user then needs to accurately interpret the output and format the results in a Word document. Again, most data scientists would have no trouble in the interpretation, but students struggle enormously figuring out what the impact of a beta coefficient is on the dependent variable.

Comparatively, Intellectus Statistics has a much easier user interface that differs from IBM-SPSS, making it an easy to use SPSS alternative. Below is Intellectus’ regression interface: simply select the DV and the IV.

But wait, how about the assumptions, request of the estimates, and plots? Intellectus Statistics automatically preloads those requests and executes those preloads when the regression is conducted. Intellectus is more than an alternative because it does so much more. Intellectus interprets the analysis and presents that interpretation in plain English prose and formats APA tables.

Intellectus Statistics is similar to SPSS in the ability to enter or upload data, and in the analyses it conducts. Below is a list of the analyses that Intellectus Statistics conducts.

  • (Multiple) Linear Regression
  • Binary Logistic Regression
  • Multinomial Logistic Regression
  • Ordinal Logistic Regression
  • Hierarchical Linear Regression
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Cronbach’s Alpha
  • Pearson correlations
  • Kendall Correlation
  • Spearman correlations
  • Partial correlation
  • Repeated-measures ANOVA
  • 1-between, 1-within ANOVA
  • One Sample t Test
  • Paired Samples t Test
  • Independent Samples t Test
  • Chi-square test of Independence
  • Chi-Square Goodness of Fit Test
  • McNemar’s Test
  • Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test
  • Friedman Test
  • Mann-Whitney U Test
  • Kruskal-Wallis Test
  • Mediation
  • Moderation
  • Hierarchical Linear Model
  • Survival Analysis

Intellectus Statistics also has a lot of built-in features that differ from IBM-SPSS.

  • Interpreted output.  In both the output viewer and in the downloaded document, Intellectus Statistics™ interprets the statistical assumptions and analysis findings, and generates tables and figures that correspond to the assumptions and output.  This innovation was crucial in reducing statistics anxiety and presenting the student with all the information needed to go from data upload to statistical understanding.
  • Projects tab.  The Projects tabs allows the ability to create and save projects.  Projects save any data, managed data, and analyses previously conducted so you log back in and pick up where you left off.  It also means that collaboration can occur by colleagues.
  • Logical user interface. Intellectus Statistics™ walks students through a logical step-by-step process that is sequential and easy. Data upload, to manage data, visualize data, conduct analyses, and review the interpreted output.
  • Level of measurement reminders. Level of measurement is crucial to the conducting of analyses.  The tool reminds students how to define levels of measurement and gives examples on the levels validation page.
  • Pre-selects variables’ level of measurement for analyses. The tool lets you select only the variable appropriate for a particular statistical test.  For example, when selecting an ordinal regression, only ordinal variables for the criterion will be available for selection.
  • Preloads assumptions. Statistical techniques often have several assumptions to consider prior to interpreting analyses, so we’ve programmed to have assumptions such as normality and homoscedasticity pre-loaded without any intervention of the student.
  • Preloads post-hoc tests. The tool preloads post-hoc tests and even corrects the alpha level in the interpretation.  For example, if an ANOVA is statistically significant, Tukey post-hoc tests will be conducted, and a Bonferroni correction applied to the alpha level and interpretation.
  • Non-parametric equivalent test is automatically conducted. When the parametric assumptions of a test are violated, the non-parametric equivalent test is automatically conducted and presented.
  • Automated dummy code. When conducting some analyses, ordinal and nominal level variables need to be dummy coded and a reference variable selected.  For example, when a regression analysis is selected, the nominal and ordinal variables are automatically dummy coded.
  • Centered interaction terms. For moderation analyses, the tool mitigates multicollinearity by automatically centering terms before creating the interaction term.
  • Interesting data visualization. The plots included in the tool are much more interesting and interactive than most plotting platforms.  From including different groupings, to changing the look of the plot, to easy-to-print and save features, our visualization platform motivates students to engage with their data.
  • Editable APA tables and scalable figures. Intellectus Statistics™ is programmed to know what tables and figures to generate for each statistical test.  Its dynamic in that it generates more or less tables and figures based on the statistics and their significance levels.  For example, if an ANOVA is statistically significant, post-hoc statistics tables will be generated.  And these tables are editable, and figures are scalable, making it easy to change titles or labels.
  • Glossary. For every test used, a glossary defining the terms and symbols is provided in the beginning of the document.
  • APA references. All scholarly documents need to cite the intellectual contribution of others’ thoughts. All cited work is referenced in a reference section in APA format at the end of the document.
  • Excel files accepted. While most everyone is familiar with Excel, the tool accepts Excel files with .xlsx, .xls, .sav, and .csv extensions.
  • Web-based. As a web-based tool, students no longer have to struggle with downloading and installing software. Intellectus Statistics works with any operating system and the only requirement is internet access. This mode of delivery makes the tool accessible anywhere and the student has instantaneous access to the newest statistical techniques and functionality. Sometimes software that is built for a PC is clunky on a Mac. Users will enjoy the smoothness of our web-based application on any operating system.

Intellectus Statistics is a superior alternative to IBM-SPSS based on the features listed below.

At the end of the day, IBM-SPSS is designed for statisticians and businesses, and also is used for educational purposes.  Unfortunately, until Intellectus Statistics came along, there was no adequate statistical package alternative for students (there is Minitab and SAS, but really provided more of the same). For business and researchers, while Intellectus has many similarities to IBM-SPSS, many data scientists would want to stick with SPSS and its flexibility. Conversely, for educational purposes, there is no question that Intellectus Statistics is a better alternative, not only from a data analysis perspective, but from a teaching and learning perspective. Students historically struggle with interpretation and package-specific learning—Intellectus Statistics overcomes those barriers.