Version 18.06

June 5, 2018

Today, on June 05, 2018 we are happy to release version 18.06 with lots of new and useful features.

Announcement: Survey Solutions VI Virtual User Group Meeting:

Thursday, June 14, 2018
9:00 am  | Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)  | 1 hr
Meeting number (access code): 737 365 639
Meeting password: 9SabPdMH

Join the meeting

Important notification for self-hosted users: the changes in the Designer are compatibility-breaking so all users of Survey Solutions on the local servers MUST upgrade to the latest version of the Survey Solutions Headquarters application in order to import new questionnaires. For the users of the Survey Solutions servers hosted in the World Bank Cloud the update will be performed by our support staff.

Offline GIS Functionality Expansion

  1. Question type earlier called area is now renamed to geography and supports capture of various geographic information:
  • area (polygons),
  • paths (polylines),
  • single (point) and
  • multiple (multipoint)

on offline maps. Each selection is exported as vectors of points. This question type is now accessible from the syntax to be used in conditional and validation expressions. The following properties can be used in the syntax:

  • double geography.Area
  • double geography.Length
  • int geography.PointsCount

In addition, the IsAnswered() function also supports this question type now. For example, we can ask to show the secondary parcel if the primary parcel has been already indicated:


Or we can indicate an error if the area of the parcel is too small to be a parcel with a dwelling situated on it:


Or for large parcels we could ask if they are also being used for agricultural purposes:


Similarly for the paths we can measure the length and show warnings, for example, when they are unexpectedly large:

  1. Offline maps formats have been extended with the raster files, specifically GeoTIFF files that can be produced with a wide range of commercially available and free to use tools.
  2. BETA: A single shapefile map can be added to the maps storage on the tablet, and if added in this way will be automatically overlayed on top of the baseline map in offline map.

New Headquarters Features

  1. Online tabulation report based on the survey data allows creation of tabulation reports (frequency tabulation of categorical variables) with conditioning on values of other variables. For example, one can now tabulate the interview result code by team members to check whether a particular interviewer has abnormally large number of households not found.
  1. Upgrade of assignments: Survey Solutions will now assist the Headquarters users in migrating assignments in case of a questionnaire update. When a new version of an existing questionnaire is imported to the server, any unfulfilled assignments in the old version may be migrated to the new version. If the HQ user decides to migrate the assignments, the system will examine them one by one and decide whether the migration is possible and if so, archive the original assignment and recreate a new assignment in the new version of the questionnaire (for the remaining number of interviews still not delivered). We recommend testing the questionnaires extensively to minimize any revisions to the questionnaires during fieldwork.
  2. We have simplified the process of preloading to reduce the need for data processing. Specifically,
  • for rosters triggered by text lists, the roster file may include items with any codes (not necessarily in continuous or incremental sequence);
  • for numeric rosters, the numeration of subordinate items in rosters should start with 1 and proceed sequentially until N, N will be saved into the value of the trigger question;

In both cases the items will appear in rosters in the order of increasing IDs specified in preloading. These changes help Survey Solutions preload the very same files that it exports and reduces the burden of preparation of data for preloading in panel surveys.

  1. Protection of answers to preloaded questions is available in advanced preloading only for questions of type multi-select, numeric and text list. This feature may be most useful for panel surveys where data obtained in the initial visit must be protected, while at the same time it must be extended by new values. A typical scenario is that the list of household members may need to be extended with new household members, while original household members need to be protected from deletion from the list.
  2. The Interview report in Headquarters/Supervisor is now more specific about errors in the questionnaire. Previously a flag was raised if the questionnaire contained any errors. This has been indicated to the supervisors in the list of interviews. Now this column reflects the number of questions with errors (n.b. this may be different from the total number of errors) (as per request of Lena Nguyen, World Bank).
  3. New API request can be sent to the Survey Solutions data server that returns the interview data for a particular interview in JSON format. Images and other binary resources and comments are not included in this response.
  4. Log of actions undertaken on the tablet accessible from the Headquarters. In it the headquarters users can monitor all the actions by the interviewer on a tablet, including actions on interviews that are still not completed. For example:

This log is useful in resolving the debates where the interviewer claims that the data was collected, but subsequently “disappeared”.

  1. New online map report for interviewer movement shows historical positions (trajectory) of the interviewer on the map. This report is interviewer-specific and is available on the interviewer profile page. It shows the location of all of the interviewer’s interviews in chronological order, along with colors highlighting the current status of each interview: started (blue), completed (green) or rejected (red).
  1. Interviewer profile also contains a new warning (red message: “Relinked”) if the interviewer has relinked his/her device.

New Interviewer Features

  1. Multiple selection questions will disable remaining choices when the maximum number of choices has been selected to indicate to interviewers that no more selections can be made in this question (as requested by Sergiy Radyakin, World Bank).
  2. Behavior of the linked question has changed. Earlier, any changes to the source question caused all dependent linked questions throughout the questionnaire to be “unanswered”. Now, only those items removed from the source are removed from the linked questions, with other items selection not affected. For example, if Peter was the only household member, and selected as the household head in a linked question, then adding Mary to the list of the household members does not change the indicated status ‘head of the household’ for Peter, even though Mary will be available for selection there.
  3. On the tablet the interviewers can now replay the recording of the audio question by pressing the play button and can zoom to see the photo taken in the image question. Both allow to perform quality control immediately on the tablet and decide whether the audio recordings (photos) are of suitable quality or need to be taken again (requested by Eugene Ehlers, AHRI; Phil Bright, SPC).
  4. We have added several new functions to extend our syntax and expanded existing to support more types of data where earlier typecasts were required.
  5. We have extended the translations in Chinese and Arabic, and added Romanian language interface for the Interviewer App.