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For students from Arnhem Business School
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Graphs Visualization of a crosstabulation

There are many different graphs available in SPSS.
On this page we explore one of those options, namely how to show graphically the data in a crosstabulation by means of a panel of pie charts.
Furthermore, this page invites you to experiment with the possibilities SPSS has to offer you.

The graph that we build uses the same dataset as the page about the chi-square test. There we made a stacked bar chart to visualize the crosstabulation (see Post-hoc analysis answer 2).


In several districts in both Arnhem and Nijmegen research has been carried out to investigate the internet use of people in those districts (survey data from Spring 2004).
One of the research questions was whether there are differences in internet use among the districts.
A first look at the data resulted in the crosstabulation below.

The table itself is clear enough. Nevertheless sometimes you want a visual display of it.
We will show you one possible way of doing this.


Using Chart Builder

Our first step is to open the Chart Builder window.

We choose a pie chart.
And since we are dealing with a crosstabulation there are two variables involved. One variable defines the slices of the pie (that will be V01: "Do you use Internet?").
The other variable specifies the subgroups (that will be district). Chart Builder calls this a panel variable.
You can choose to panel by row or by column. You make this choice on the "Groups/Point ID" tab.
In the screens below you can see how we implemented all of this.


The first result


Editing the lay-out

If you double-click on the graph in the output it will open in its own Chart Editor Window.

If you now click on a part of the graph the corresponding Properties Window appears. It might have several tabs. As an example you see the Properties Window that pops up when you click on the space between the pies.
On the active tab you can determine how the four pies are ordered in the display, but as you can see there are more tabs where you can make adjustments.

It isn't useful to show you all of these dialog boxes. There are too many of them and they all work in a similar way. You choose the options that you want and click on "Apply". The changes will show in the chart.
If you like it then keep it. Otherwise go back to the dialog and change it again.

If the Properties Window doesn't show you can activate it via the button
 properties button

Explore the other buttons of the tool bars as well:

tool buttons
wrap panels property

In our example we have added a title, added percentages to the slices of the pie and we have experimented with colors and fonts.


The edited graph

We are not saying that this is the only way to visualize the crosstabulation (nor the best way), but it shows you some of the possibilites offered by SPSS. The one thing that stands out now is the difference between Altrade and the other three district. Altrade clearly has the highest internet usage rate.

Try to make this graph yourself using the sample data set. Because the best way to learn about these kinds of techniques is by experimenting with them.


Last modified 30-10-2012

Jos Seegers, 2009; English version by Gé Groenewegen.