Server Audit Log

Survey Solutions server administrator may inspect the server audit log. The audit log lists important events that were initiated by the users on the server, identifying who made that action, and when. For actions of interviewers, see the detailed actions log. To view the server audit log, the admin user should proceed to Menu → Administration → Audit log. The log data can be exported in a form of a downloadable file in any of the following formats:

December 17, 2020

Import the Questionnaire

A questionnaire document prepared in the Designer site needs to be imported to the Survey Solutions data server before the data collection may start in that survey. This article outlines how to import a questionnaire from the Designer to the HQ. 🛈 The questionnaire import operation is available to users in HQ or administrator roles. In the main menu select Survey setup, then Questionnaires. Click the Import questionnaire button.

August 22, 2020

Questionnaire Details Page

Questionnaire details page reflects information about the questionnaire that has been earlier imported to the Headquarters. You access it by clicking a questionnaire in the list of imported questionnaires (Survey Setup/Questionnaires) Notably, the information properties reflect the structure of the questionnaire as designed (number of sections, rosters, questions, etc) and the information about how the questionnaire is configured at the Headquarters (whether the web mode is on, whether the audio recording is turned on for new assignments, etc).

November 19, 2019

Assign Maps to Interviewers

This article describes the format of the file for map assignments to interviewers. The map assignments file is a file, which is uploaded to the Survey Solutions Headquarters to regulate which interviewer has access to which offline maps. The offline maps are used by the interviewers to record answers to the geography type questions. If your survey doesn’t use any geography type question you can skip this article. The map assignment file is formatted as a tab delimited file with two columns:

April 4, 2019

Audio audit

Description Audio auditing enables Headquarters to listen in on interviews secretly. Audio auditing automatically records the full interview for selected assignments, stores the recording in encrypted audio files, and synchronizes these audio files along with the linked interview files. How to enable/disable audio auditing Before creating an assignment Navigate to Survey Setup > Questionnaires Click on a questionnaire Click in the box next to Record audio to enable (disable) audio auditing After this point, all created assignments will have audio audit enabled (disabled).

February 4, 2019

Components of the Headquarters Software

The headquarters software is a suite of connected tools for the administrator and headquarters users: to track the overall progress of the survey (Reports) to review completed interviews (Interviews) to manage the human resources (Teams and Roles) to specify survey instruments, create survey assignments with those instruments(Survey Setup) to export the data collected from these assignments (Data Export) to find a check the status of particular case assignments (Troubleshooting) The difference between the headquarters and administrator users is that the administrator can create headquarters/observer user accounts, archive user accounts, and delete questionnaire templates from the headquarters server.

June 29, 2016

Distributing Assignments to Interviewers

Step 1 Log in to your server using a supervisor account. If you are testing Survey Solutions, log in at demo.mysurvey.solutions using a supervisor account.  Step 2 Once the supervisor’s dashboard has loaded, select the Assignments tab. The list of assignments can be filtered by questionnaire template, person responsible, and/or archived status. From the list of assignments, the supervisor the supervisor should select the assignments that they would like to assign to one of their enumerators.

June 28, 2016

Device Logs

Survey Solutions contains a built-in mechanism for logging the problems and transmitting the log data from tablets to the HQ server. This helps to investigate the issues where the interviewers can not supply any detailed problem report and commonly describe the problem with “it doesn’t work” or “it crashes” and it is difficult or not possible to access the device directly. The information contained in the device logs is rather technical and should be interpreted by IT personnel or software developers.

February 9, 2021

Server Installation

Installation has following steps: Installing PostgreSQL Installing SurveySolutions Post installation configuration Installing PostgreSQL Make sure that you have an installed and running instance of PostgreSQL before running SurveySolutions.exe You can download PostgreSQL from here and run the setup. Pick the latest stable version (note: Survey Solutions will not work with PostgreSQL prior to version 10.0). During the process you’ll set the password for the database superuser: 📷 PostgreSQL password and the port, on which the PostgreSQL server will be running:

January 11, 2021

Data Server Errors

The following errors may be encountered when working with a data server: 1. “Unable to import new questionnaire: Could not connect to Designer. Please check if Designer is available and try again." Your Headquaters installation is trying to contact the Survey Solutions Designer server to import the questionnaire, but can’t reach it. It is very unlikely that the Designer is not responding or is not working read how to check here so the problem is most likely with your network configuration.

January 5, 2021

AWS setup

Installation of Survey Solutions on Amazon AWS The installation consists of the following steps: Create security group for web server and RDS to be able to communicate Create PostgreSQL instance Create EC2 instance for running Survey Solutions Install Survey Solutions Create security group In order to have connection between Survey Solutions and PostgreSQL you can create new security group as described in here. From the AWS Management Console:

December 18, 2020


Survey Solutions server administrator has access to the special healthcheck page using the following: menu → Administration → Diagnostics. This page may appear like the following: This page shows two kinds of information: left side shows diagnostics related to server configuration, whether the settings are set up correctly and the different components are able to talk to each other; right side shows various metrics of the server performance, such as the CPU load, memory usage, number of concurrent queries, or the database footprint.

December 11, 2020

Admin Settings

Survey Solutions server administrator may adjust the server settings. These settings affect simultaneously all surveys and all users on the server and have the effect immediately when applied. These settings are visible only to the user logged in in an administrative role and can be accessed from: Menu → Administration → Settings. Export Encryption This group of settings contains settings that control the encryption of the data archive produced when exporting the data from Survey Solutions.

November 25, 2020

Survey Solutions Server

This article describes the main steps to setup your own Survey Solutions server. Study the requirements for a server. These requirements are minimal and may be periodically revised. Your survey may require a different hardware configuration. You may need to calibrate for a few months before the survey to determine the optimal configuration. Follow the installation instructions to install the prerequisites and the Survey Solutions itself.

November 20, 2020

Deployment with Docker

You can install and run Survey Solutions Headquarters using our official Docker image. Prerequisite Survey Solutions container can be executed on any hosting system that is capable of running linux/amd64 containers. Please refer to docker documentation page on how to install Docker for Your operating system - https://docs.docker.com/get-docker Survey Solutions has linux based container image and cannot be run in Windows Containers. To run Survey Solutions in Docker on Windows you will need WSL2

November 9, 2020

Azure setup

Installation of Survey Solutions on Microsoft Azure In order to install - register on azure portal and login. Installation steps are going to use azure shell. After loggedin into azure shell execute command with variables that are going to be needed later. Feel free to change them as you need: RG=surveysolutions \ LOC=westeurope \ STOREACC=surveysolutions \ SHARE_NAME=surveysolutions \ PGSERVER=suso-postgres \ PGPASS=password \ WEBAPPNAME=surveysolutions-webapp \ SRVPLAN=AppSvc-SurveySolutions-plan RG - resource group where all survey solutions related resources are going to be grouped LOC - location where you will run survey solutions software.

November 5, 2020

Personal Demo Server

Survey Solutions users may familiarize themselves with the Headquarters/Admin functionality using a personal demo server (PDS). Personal demo servers are managed through the self-service portal. You start by submitting a corresponding request. Before you proceed, make sure you understand the purpose and limitations of the PDS: Every Survey Solutions user may request one PDS. There are no forms to fill and the server becomes available shortly after the request is submitted.

November 4, 2020

Report: Survey Statistics

Survey Statistics report is accessible to supervisors and headquarter users, observers, and administrators. The report presents basic statistics calculated on survey data currently on the server and eliminates (in some cases) the need to export the data for calculation of these statistics. The report is always built within a single survey and is built for one of the questions in that survey. The report may be presented in one of the two modes: tabulation or summary statistics.

January 15, 2020

Detailed action log

The detailed action log allows the headquarters users view important actions undertaken by the interviewers on the tablets, such as application start and login activities, starting or discarding an interview, synchronization attempts, and other actions undertaken in the last 7 days. The actions log is updated with any synchronization of the tablet. (But if the tablet does not synchronize, there is no way for the HQ personnel to know what actions were undertaken, since this information won’t be sent).

June 8, 2018

Downloadable Report on Interviewers

This report is accessible in CSV, TSV, or Excel formats from the list of the interviewers screen and contains important information about the equipment being used by the interviewer and various statistics about the interviewer accounts, equipment status, etc. Thematically the indicators reported here are placed in the following groups: Indicator naming Group i_* indicators related to the interviewer account these indicators represent static or accumulated information about the interviewer account t_* indicators related to the tablet device;

December 6, 2017

Reports Tab: Track the Overall Progress of the Survey

Reports provide headquarters with a summary of the status of fieldwork—of progress by questionnaire, by team, by status duration, by devices/interviewers, by geography, by quantity, by speed, or on detailed survey statistics. All the reports under this tab can be exported in XLSX, TAB, and CSV formats. To export, navigate to the bottom right of the report, and click on the desired download format. By questionnaire template The Surveys and Statuses report summarizes the progress of each survey that headquarters is overseeing (i.

June 29, 2016

Survey Solutions Server Administrator

Every Survey Solutions server has an administrator. This is the first user account created after Survey Solutions is installed, typically by the same person who performed the installation. Administrator is a privileged account and can do important actions which may result in damage to data. Assign a responsible and informed person as an administrator! We recommend that the administrator has attended a comprehensive Survey Solutions training. An administrator can do (almost) everything an HQ user can do plus some exclusive actions:

January 20, 2021

Batch User Upload

Up to 10,000 user accounts can be created from a single tab-delimited file, which must include the login, password, and role of the user, and may include additional attributes, like email or phone. Batch creation of user accounts comes handy when: the same accounts need to be replicated on a different server; migrating from a different CAPI system with established accounts; the survey is so huge that manual creation of accounts via a web interface would take a significant amount of time.

November 27, 2020

Creating User Accounts

The Teams and Roles menu provides tools for managing the human resources responsible for data collection: The following accounts may be created by the users in the role Headquarters or Administrator: interviewer and supervisor accounts. The following accounts may be created by the users in the role Administrator only: headquarters, observers, and API accounts. Note: The Teams and Roles menu also provides access to the batch user upload feature, where up to 10,000 user accounts can be created from a single tab-delimited file.

July 28, 2020

Deleting accounts

Deleting accounts An account that is created in Survey Solutions can not be deleted. Ever. This is because the account is mentioned in the history of the events that were originated by that user (such as created or completed an interview). Yet an account can be archived, which is the closest thing to deleting it. This action is available to an administrator only, which can (1) select the interviewer account to be archived and (2) click the Archive button to perform the action:

July 28, 2020

Two factor authentication (2FA) for user accounts

Setting up two factor authentication login to the server using your login and password; navigate to your account settings (for interviewers: Interviewer profile –> Edit personal info); click the Two factor authentication tab; click the Setup authenticator button; 5. You will be presented with the **Configure authenticator app** form showing a QR-code. 6. Now take your Android, IOS or Windows phone or tablet and set up any of the following applications: Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, or another authenticator as designated by the survey coordinator.

May 13, 2020

Survey Solutions Server Observer

Observer is an optional account, kind of an HQ user with a limited functionality, to passively monitor a survey. Observer accesses information through impersonation, looking through the eyes of a different user. An observer can do: Read individual interviews including any comments left; See reports; See lists of users and their profiles. An observer can not do: approve/reject interviews; create/delete assignments. any other change-state operations; download data. An observer account is created for a server, not for a survey!

October 6, 2017

Create User Accounts for Your Team

Step 1 Log in to your server using the headquarters username and password **Note that each institution using Survey Solutions will utilize their own server. Consequently, your username can differ from the one shown above.**  Step 2 Create accounts for supervisors To add a supervisor, click on the Teams and Roles tab at the top bar of the headquarters dashboard. On the new screen, click the button Add supervisor.

June 23, 2016

Headquarters user: Browsing the Completed Interview

Step 1 Log in to your server using a headquarters account. If you are testing Survey Solutions, log in to the demo server  Step 2 Go to the Interviews tab  Step 3 From the filter on the left side of the screen, select Approved By Supervisor  Step 4 Click on the interview key for the survey case that you would like to browse. Now you can see all the answers given by the respondents—the answers marked in red are invalid according to the validation rules.

July 19, 2016

Interview Tab: How to Find, Review, and Delete Survey Cases

The Interview tab is designed for taking action. Under the Interview tab, headquarters may search for survey cases, reallocate them to different teams, review them for quality assurance, and delete them to fix problems. The interview tab consists of the following tools: Database of survey cases. The rows are survey case entries. The columns capture details about survey cases, such as the respondent’s address, interview status, and an indicator that the interviewer has or has not received the survey case.

June 30, 2016

Survey Workflow

Workflow Demonstration Check out the video below (starting from 0:30) to learn about the survey workflow in Survey Solutions.  Workflow Description Headquarters, designated by the PC at the top of the figure, determines the subjects that need to be interviewed (households, firms, geographic area, etc.) and their assignments across team supervisors. Assignments can include one or more interview cases. Team supervisors, denoted by the laptops in the middle, first receive these assignments and then allocate them to the members of their team.

June 29, 2016

How does Survey Solutions identify records and establish connections between data?

Survey Solutions works with various surveys done in different conditions, so trying to come up with one naming scheme that would be equally suitable for all applications is a challenging task. A particular survey may come up with a numbering like 2 digits of the province code, followed by 3 digits of the district code, followed by the household id of 4 digits. Yet it is not a good identifier in the case where several surveys are conducted on the same server, or there may be repetitive visits, and other twists.

October 5, 2020

Organization of meta-data storage in the exported data

Survey Solutions export file is a zip-archive with multiple data files corresponding to various levels of data and system-generated accompanying data reflecting the comments, errors, statuses and other technical information about interviews and assignments. When the corresponding setting is activated in the export interface, the data is accompanied with the meta-data reflecting the structure of the questionnaire. The meta-data is saved to the subfolder Questionnaire of the export archive. The questionnaire subfolder contains the following information:

September 17, 2020

Interview diagnostics file

interview__diagnostics file is a special service file, automatically produced with every data export, that contains useful information for assessing the quality of interviews: number of invalid entities (invalid answers and errors in static texts), number of questions with comments, duration of the interview etc. For a description of available fields and their types, refer to this article. This is especially useful for user-written monitoring systems that work alongside Survey Solutions and continually monitor the quality of incoming data by periodically exporting the data and building customized reports.

October 1, 2019

System generated files

Every archive of data exported from the Survey Solutions Headquarters contains among the user data the following system-generated data files: assignment__actions; interview__actions; interview__comments; interview__diagnostics; interview__errors. The above data files are saved in the same data format as the main survey data, for example, if the main data is requested in Stata format, the system-generated data files will also be exported in Stata format. The data files are also accompanied by an automatically generated text file named export__readme.

October 1, 2019

Paradata file format

Every survey collected in Survey Solutions is supplemented with a paradata file. No actions are needed from the questionnaire designers or headquarters team to collect it, it is produced automatically by the Survey Solutions software. The paradata files describe the process of data collection. They explain how the data was entered, detailing all edits, who and when undertaken them. These files may be large and most conveniently processed using specialized statistical packages, rather than general purpose tools.

June 5, 2019

Export to cloud storage

Binary data files, such as pictures and audio recordings are often large and can be time-consuming to download. One can now opt for pushing the data to own cloud storage, rather than downloading directly. The following cloud storage repositories are supported: DropBox; Google Drive; OneDrive. The direct download of binary data in the form of a single large zip-archive remains available. To push the data to the cloud storage, select the corresponding option in the download dialog, then authenticate yourself with the corresponding cloud storage provider:

June 5, 2019

Merging files of different data levels

Survey Solutions produces export data files separately for each data level. This can be for example households, persons, plots, crops, etc. The process is completely automatic and not configurable by the user. If you need to combine information from different data levels (for example bring household characteristics to the personal level) you can utilize a statistical package to post-process your data. This is a basic operation supported by most packages, such as SAS, SPSS, Stata, R and others, though the exact terms may differ by package.

January 7, 2019

Export of calculated variables

Calculated variables are commonly used in CAPI questionnaires to implement complex checks or indicate to the interviewer some derived information. For example, one may create a variable that calculates the number of children in the household, numChildren = Persons.Count(person => person.age < 18) and use this variable in subsequent questions to check if the number of children in a household exceeds a specific threshold. Starting with version 5.24 of Survey Solutions these variables will be automatically included in the export data.

September 28, 2018

Missing values

Survey Solutions recognizes two situations of missingness: the value is missing because the logic of the questionnaire is disabling (skipping) this question. There is nothing that the interviewer can do to enter a value in such a field and in some cases even to see the question and its options. the value is missing despite the question is enabled (not skipped). This could be because of any of the following: interviewer hasn’t reached this point in the interview; interviewer missed the question, didn’t ask it and hence no answer was recorded; none of the options was suitable to accommodate the respondent’s answer and hence the interviewer didn’t record the answer; other similar situations.

June 13, 2017

Stata export file format

When Survey Solutions v5.18 is writing an exported data file in Stata format it is producing it according to Stata 14 data file specification, available from StataCorp LLC. Stata versions prior to version 14.0 (e.g. 12.0, 13.1, etc) cannot open these files because these older versions of the software are not aware of the newer file format. The message that the user will see on the screen varies, and may look, for example like the following:

April 11, 2017

Upgrading assignments

Survey Solutions assignments play a critical role in the survey process because they regulate who is supposed to deliver the incoming data (interviews). Each assignment is referring to a particular questionnaire. It is best to not modify the questionnaire during the survey. Some of the undesirable effects of this are: the survey becomes split between several databases, each has to be downloaded separately from Survey Slutions and appended later using external tools; the data may no longer be comparable (e.

December 12, 2018

Protecting pre-loaded answers

Starting with v18.06 Survey Solutions allows protecting values of trigger questions that have been preloaded from being subsequently modified by the interviewer. The protection applies to reduction, but permits extension. This is commonly needed in the panel surveys, where, for example, the names in the list of household members that are preloaded should not be eliminated by the interviewer, but new household members may be added if needed. The protection applies to questions that may perform the role of triggers:  numeric,  text list, and  multiple-select categorical (in regular or Y/N-mode).

June 6, 2018

Errors in user-supplied files for preloading

Survey Solutions allows preloading assignments with data, including answers to questions inside rosters and nested rosters. It is the user’s responsibility to supply valid input files for this process. The user-supplied files will be validated to match the questionnaire template that is being preloaded. Survey Solutions can detect a number of inconsistencies and common problems and will indicate them during preloading. Each detected error is having a code listed in the table below.

March 9, 2018

Survey Setup Tab: Import, Copy, and Delete Questionnaire Templates, and Create Assignments

The survey setup tab lets you do several things: Questionnaires Import template. Import questionnaires from the Designer site to the headquarters software. Create assignments: Headquarters provides two ways of creating assignments for a given questionnaire: one at a time, or in a many at a time (batch). Clone questionnaire template: Copy the questionnaire templates previously imported to the server. This feature is only available to the administrator. Delete questionnaire.

June 29, 2017

Creating Assignments One at Time

Step 1 Log in to your server using the headquarters username and password Note that each institution using Survey Solutions will utilize their own server. Consequently, your username can differ from the one depicted above.  Step 2 Select the Survey Setup tab, and click on Questionnaires. Step 3 Create the new assignment for your questionnaire. Click on the questionnaire template you want to create a new assignment for, and then click on New Assignments from the pop-up menu.

June 29, 2017

Numbering in subordinate rosters during preloading

It is important to make sure that during preloading of multiple files the subordinate records are correctly identified. The numbering depends on the kind of trigger used for determining the size of the roster: fixed: the Id variable in the subordinate file should contain the code of the item specified in the Designer. multiple choice: the subordinate file should contain the codes of items as specified during setting up the multiple choice question in the Designer.

February 23, 2017

Uploading Many Assignments at a time

For many surveys, creating assignments one by one will be a tedious and time intensive task. To help speed up your work, Survey Solutions allows you to batch upload many assignments at once using a tab delimited. Follow the steps below to perform a batch upload of assignments: Step 1 Create a tab-delimited file with the identifying information for your assignments Before performing an interview, data collection teams must know the name (e.

June 27, 2016

Webpage Templates

Survey Solutions presents several web pages to the respondents to the web surveys (CAWI). These pages may need to be customized at the web interview setup page: Menu → Survey Setup → Questionnaires → YourQuestionnaire → Web interview setup. Changes made to these templates take immediate effect: any new page of the corresponding type will be shown using the most recently saved template. Web page Description Welcome page This page is shown to the respondent opening the link to a web interview.

November 26, 2020

Email Templates

Survey Solutions can send email notifications to the respondents to the web surveys (CAWI). These notifications can be configured at the web interview setup page: Menu → Survey Setup → Questionnaires → YourQuestionnaire → Web interview setup. Survey Solutions server automatically determines, which notifications need to be sent out to the respondents. Every hour the notifications of the type marked with ^ in the table below are sent out, if a bulk email service provider has been set up.

November 26, 2020

Web Interviewing

In addition to CAPI surveys on Android tablets, Survey Solutions provides two distinct possibilities: Interviewing: Interviewers conduct interviews using the web interface (without a tablet); Self-enumeration: Respondents fill out interviews in the browser. The difference is essential: In the first case the person filling out the interview is a known member of the team, has an account created in the system, assigned to a team of a certain supervisor and so on.

October 30, 2020

Configuring Sendgrid as an email service provider

SendGrid is a bulk email service provider that can be used in Survey Solutions for delivering invitations for CAWI surveys as an alternative to Amazon SES: https://sendgrid.com/ Usage of this service may cost you money. Make sure you understand all charges, limits and policies before utilizing this service. SendGrid reqires you to have a domain and confirm yourself as a domain owner. The sending address must belong to this domain. For example, if you want to send emails from name@site.

March 31, 2019

Configuring Amazon SES as an email service provider

Amazon provides a number of services (free and paid) that may be of interest to the application developer. Here we are specifically interested in utilizing the Simple Email Service from within Survey Solutions for mass email sending. Usage of this service may cost you money. Make sure you understand all charges, limits and policies before utilizing this service. Amazon Simple Email Service is available at the following address: https://aws.amazon.com/ses If you are already an Amazon AWS user, you can login to your Management Console right away.

March 31, 2019

Bulk email service providers

Bulk email service providers solve the task of sending out a massive ammount of emails. Survey Solutions may utilize such a service provider to deliver email invitations for CAWI surveys to the respondents. At the moment the following providers are supported: Amazon SES; SendGrid. You don’t have to use the above services to conduct a CAWI survey, but in that case (just as it was in versions prior to 19.

March 31, 2019

Customize web interview messages

Web interviews conducted with Survey Solutions contain reasonable default messages suitable for many surveys. But if the default messages are not suitable for a certain purpose, they can be customized in the web survey setup dialog at the Survey Solutions Headquarters: For every parameter select if you wish to display a built-in default message, or a custom one, and if so, provide your custom (formatted) text of such a message. You can use the formatting toolbar provided in the editor to adjust the font color and font attributes, include numbered and bullet lists, and include hyperlinks.

April 2, 2018

API: R-package

Introduction to the Survey Solutions API R-package Why this package The World Bank’s Computer Assisted Survey System (CASS) Survey Solutions is a powerful tool for high quality data collection and used in many statistical offices around the world. Besides the standard GUI, it also comes with a powerful API. To further facilitate its integration in a fully automated workflow we have developed this R package, which covers almost all of the available API calls.

February 9, 2021

API interactive description

The following page contains an interactive description of the Survey Solutions API for the current release: https://demo.mysurvey.solutions/apidocs If your server’s version is different, check its API at: https://SERVERNAME.mysurvey.solutions/apidocs

January 23, 2021

API: Powershell Module

SSAW PowerShell module contains cmdlets wrapping Survey Solutions API to abstract away from some of the HTTP details. As PowerShell command-line shell is already present and all Windows machines, users can start automating their interaction with Survey Solutions application without any additional software development. PowerShell can be installed on Mac and Linux computers as well, but you may prefer to use the Python client insted. The module is still work-in-progress so not all API methods are implemented or documented yet.

January 22, 2021

Survey Solutions API

Survey Solutions includes a powerful and flexible API which allows automating some tasks and allows our users to build larger systems, which may compliment Survey Solutions to achieve larger goals. Some examples of use could be: schedule periodic export of collected data an external dashboard or monitoring and reporting system, which updates some indicators every night and publishes them to a website, or an external checking and validation system which verifies collected data against some external sources of information and rejects automatically the incorrect interviews, or an integrated system, which utilizes Survey Solutions for data collections tasks and a statistical package for continuous analysis, facility management, inventory and price monitoring systems, etc, etc.

July 19, 2017