July 20, 2017 2:39 pm

What is IBM SPSS Statistics Server?

IBM SPSS Statistics Server is an advanced analytical server software that seamlessly scales from handling the analytical needs of a single department to hundreds of users across the enterprise when working with datasets greater than 100 MB.  

What can IBM SPSS Statistics Server do?

IBM SPSS Statistics server has same functions as SPSS Statistics, plus capabilities that deliver faster performance, more efficient processing of large datasets, and enhanced security in enterprise deployments whether data resides in a central data centre or across distributed offices.

IBM SPSS Statistics Server allows to work in ‘Distributed Mode’

All of the analytical processing and data access takes place on SPSS Statistics Server; only the results of the analysis are transferred over the network to the SPSS Statistics client. SPSS Statistics Server, when configured with the SPSS Statistics client in distributed mode, supports client/server architecture. In this configuration, SPSS Statistics Server is installed in the central data centre in close proximity to the data. Users across the enterprise (in central and distributed offices) use the SPSS Statistics client to connect to the SPSS Statistics Server. This makes SPSS Statistics Server an ideal solution for users in remote offices or users who travel frequently and require access to analytical capabilities on the go.

Support for advanced analytical procedures tuned to work with large datasets with a lot of predictors

SPSS Statistics Server supports advanced procedures like Naïve Bayes and the Predictor Selector algorithm that are specially designed for wide datasets with a large number of predictors. These analytical procedures are not available in the SPSS Statistics client when configured in local mode.

SQL Pushback SPSS

SPSS Statistics Server supports the pushback of data transformations, sorting, aggregation, selection, and sampling to a SQL database. When large datasets are sourced from a SQL database, SQL pushback ensures that operations that can be performed more efficiently in the database are performed there.

Support for 64-bit computing

The total amount of RAM supported depends on the processor. Theoretically, 32-bit processors are limited to accessing 4 GB of RAM. Typically, the RAM available to an application on a 32-bit machine is much lower for several reasons:

  • Most machines with 32-bit processors are not configured with 4 GB of RAM because RAM is expensive
  • The operating system requires some RAM as well

Hence, on machines with 32-bit processors configured with the maximum amount of RAM, the RAM available to the application is approximately 2 to 3 GB. On machines with 64-bit processors, the amount of RAM supported is several multiples higher. Analytical procedures that run on large datasets will run much more slowly on a 32-bit machine than on a 64-bit machine because of the disk activity required to swap parts of the dataset into and out of RAM. Thus SPSS Statistic Server allows to run job faster.

Table 1 Comparing performance between the SPSS Statistics Server and SPSS Statistics client

Groups of related  procedures

Time saved with Statistics Server

Average speedup with Statistics Server

Data transformations






Commonly used multi-threaded procedures  (N=10M cases)



Building models



Data mining



Statistical calculations






In addition, because SPSS Statistics Server is a foundational technology, organizations that invest in it can leverage it in many ways. For example, when integrated with Collaboration and Deployment Services, SPSS Statistics Server enables them to:

  • Automate scheduling of SPSS Statistics jobs
  • Store the output of a SPSS Statistics job in a portal where it can be accessed by business users
  • Deploy simplified analytical capabilities targeted to business users via a web interface for jobs executed on SPSS Statistics Server

When integrated with SPSS Modeler, SPSS Statistics Server enables organizations to:

  • Take advantage of advanced data mining algorithms and a complementary, process-driven approach for building and scoring models
  • Integrate advanced model management and deployment capabilities seamlessly with existing business processes
  • Excel in today’s fast-paced business environment by building and deploying many highly accurate models without requiring deep statistical expertise

Who typically uses IBM SPSS Statistics Server?

SPSS is a widely used program for statistical analysis in social science.  It is also used by market researchers, health researchers, survey companies, governments, education researchers, marketing organizations, data miners, and others.

SPSS Statistic Server is used by organizations with same nature but particular company structure and requirements:

  • Companies with distributed offices looking to centralize their data and IT infrastructure in one or more data centers
  • Companies with distributed offices that need to analyse and share files greater than 25 MB across offices
  • Companies looking to virtualize applications and desktops using enabling technologies like Citrix® Terminal Server. These servers are especially tuned to presenting applications and user interfaces and are not designed to handle the high CPU and I/O intensive work load of analytic jobs. SPSS Statistics Server ensures that the heavy processing is offloaded from the Citrix/Terminal server box, and ensures better performance and availability.
  • Companies that need to perform analysis on large datasets (greater than 100 MB) sourced from a SQL server or a data warehouse