I think it all depends on what you are trying to do with the data. SPSS has some statistical offerings that may, at first, seem quicker/easier to complete than in Tableau. However, it all depends on what you want as an end result. I have former experience working with Higher Education Institutional survey data (your dataset sounds like course evaluations). But needing a unique ID for the student or the course all depends on what you are trying to accomplish in either database.
Are you just trying to run descriptive statistics or something more like a t-test? That would be a determinant for me when I completed that type of work.
I also just landed on this resource from a different post and perhaps it can help you to make that choice as well. Reshaping the Tableau data often helped me to transform survey responses so that I could emulate some of the tasks I saw that SPSS could accomplish. I hope this is useful too.
Because you need to pivot the data to create all sorts of visualisations in Tableau, you will require a respondent ID to keep the responses per person unique when aggregating these:
number of responses = countd(respondent ID)
As for taking the responses out of SPSS, I personally use Alteryx to obtain the metadata of these files and do the data preparation. This saves me a lot of time in processing those files as they are always the same structure and require the same prepping, so I can just run a workflow. Ultimately you need three elements prior to visualising: question text to create a question helper file which you can then join onto transposed answers both in text and numeric formats. Getting Survey Data “Just So” – Data Revelations
Hope this helps!
Hi Dawnita Gilmore,
We use SPSS right now for standard summary tables (N, Mean, SD for each likert question) and multiple response sets for the "check all that apply" questions. We have to maintain those databases regardless of how we ultimately get the data into Tableau, for accreditation reporting. I was hoping to get a similar look in Tableau for VP dashboards but with a little more flare - something they could filter by month and then dive deeper for program-level insight.
My understanding of the need for a unique ID is if I want to join any other datasets to my course evaluations (another year's database, or another survey for comparison of the mean or whatnot). With our surveys being anonymous that's nearly impossible. I don't need to aggregate anything by student, so that's why I'm looking for a workaround to the unique ID issue.