Features in Beta

Survey Solutions is an actively developed software. New features are added in monthly updates. Some of the features are released with status “beta”, meaning they are still being finalized and must be carefully evaluated for reliability and suitability by our clients. At the moment the following features are in the status “beta”: satellite map viewing, positioning, and area measurement on the tablets in the Interviewer App. This feature is known to be incompatible with Android 64-bit OS in versions of Survey Solutions prior to 18.

July 26, 2017

Notes on Compatibility with version 5.21

With version 5.21, we are making a big change by replacing census and sample mode with assignments. Previously when importing a questionnaire, users had to decide between sample mode (with a quantity of 1 interview per case) and census mode (with an unlimited quantity of interviews). With version 5.21, users will simply import the questionnaire and then proceed to making assignments with the imported template. Assignments will give headquarters users more flexibility because they can now specify the quantity of interviews they want when they generate each assignment.

July 5, 2017

How secure is the World Bank Cloud?

The World Bank Cloud is doubly secure. First, by relying on Amazon AWS, it provides best-in-class protections for even the most security-sensitive organizations and their data. External certifying bodies and independent security auditors have awarded Amazon AWS the long list of security accreditations listed below. Please visit AWS compliance resource page for more information. Second, on top of Amazon AWS' security protocols, the World Bank provides an additional layer of protection through its own additional security measures.

June 7, 2017

Comparing floating point numbers and precision problems

Our development team often receives reports on suspected bugs in Survey Solutions on the grounds of a situation similar to the one described below. These reports stem from misunderstanding of some fundamental concepts of how computations are done by a computer, and not due to an actual defect of the software. Problem description Suppose you have a questionnaire containing two numeric questions X and Y, and a third question Z with an enabling condition (X*Y) == 21.

February 6, 2017

What to do in case a tablet gets broken, damaged, or destroyed.

The tablets used for data collection may get damaged or broken during the field work. If this happens: interviewer should immediately report this to his/her supervisor; supervisor should inspect the tablet and confirm the damage (often interviewers report tablets as broken when the tablets completely discharge and require long-press for power button to power up); supervisor should record the loss of a tablet and issue a replacement (possibly taking notes on the specifics of the devices lost and issued: model, serial number, date, interviewer name and login, circumstances of the loss, etc).

January 23, 2017

Should and could I modify my questionnaire when the survey is in the field?

You could modify your questionnaire when the survey is already in the field. Survey Solutions treats any modifications of a questionnaire as a new survey. Even if the changes are minor, the modified questionnaire will be shown as a new survey both on tablets and in the HQ/Supervisor application. In general, we strongly advise against making changes in the questionnaire after the survey goes to the field. We do advise to plan extensive pre-testing and piloting survey prior to the field.

October 21, 2016

Should I buy cheap tablets?

Our users often ask us about the minimal specification for the tablets to be used with Survey Solutions. While we understand the desire to cut costs of conducting surveys, we recommend purchasing the most powerful tablets you can afford. With a very few exceptions, the total survey budget is much larger compared to the budget you spend even on the most powerful tablets. Modern tablets provide much better interviewer experience: they are more responsive and have longer battery life.

September 20, 2016

Why does the time recorded through date/time question is different from the time reported in GPS question?

An Android tablet has its internal clock. That clock is set based on specifications of the tablet manufacturer and on the user settings. For example, the tablet clock can be synchronized to the network time, or can be set by tablet users manually. The time reported in GPS question comes from the GPS signal provider. We recommend acquiring the GPS signal through satellites disabling the wifi coordinate services. However, geographic coordinates might be acquired through wifi.

September 9, 2016

My Survey Solutions server is not the latest version. Can I still use it with new surveys?

It is recommended that you upgrade your server to the latest version, but as long as you use only features that were available on your version of the server the new survey should work on the older server. Please note that you will not be able to import to the server questionnaires with features introduced in versions that are later than the version of your server.

September 7, 2016

Does Survey Solutions require constant internet connection to collect data?

No, Survey Solutions does not require constant internet connection. The data collection on tablet can be conducted offline. The internet connectivity, either 3G/4G or WiFi, is required to synchronize tablet with the server to send completed assignments and to receive new assignments. In some cases, i.e., remote Pacific islands, interviewers go without connection for several weeks. While it is possible not to synchronize for an extended period of time, we recommend to synchronise tablets as often as possible, preferably after each interview, if the connectivity allows.

September 7, 2016