Version 20.01

January 13, 2020

Survey Solutions v20.01 adds the following useful features:

  • Matrix presentation of categorical questions in CAWI surveys;
  • Reusable categories in multiple categorical questions.

Matrix presentation of categorical questions (CAWI)

Single-select and multi-select categorical questions may now be presented in a more compact form suitable for ranking/matrix questions in CAWI mode.

To create this structure the designer should place one (and only one) question into a roster. The categories of this question will determine the columns of the matrix (‘Poor’…‘Very good’ in the above illustration), while the roster items will determine the rows. Finally the roster mode should be set to Matrix. We’ve added this mode to existing Sub-Section, Flat, and Table modes for the presentation of the roster.

Despite the shown matrix appearance on the screen, the structure remains a roster with a categorical question in it for the purposes of the syntax writing (e.g. EXPERIENCE[3].Satisfaction) and data export (data collected in this way will end up in a separate file).

Number of rows may be fixed (use fixed roster) or be triggered by another question in the questionnaire, for example numeric, multiselect or a text-list. The question in the roster may also be a multiselect:

The matrix presentation of the roster is available only in the CAWI mode. In the CAPI mode such a roster will be presented as a roster with sub-sections.

Reusable categories

This release has brought a long awaited feature of reusable categories: a questionnaire designer may now define a set of categories and use them multiple times across the questionnaire in different single-select and multi-select questions. For example, the same list of all countries in the world could be reused for questions “Which countries have you visited?”, “Which country did you visit last?”, “Which country do you plan to go next?”.

There are numerous advantages of this approach:

  • Categories are defined once, subsequent reuse is faster for the designer;
  • Any changes in the list immediately affect all questions where these categories are used;
  • The questionnaire becomes more compact (in terms of its size);
  • There is less work for the translator as the translation needs to be supplied only once;
  • etc.

To define reusable categories:

  1. click the corresponding icon on the toolbar,
  2. upload the file with categories (Excel and tab-delimited file formats are supported),
  3. assign a name to the set of the categories.

After this you can select this named set in the single-select and multi-select questions of the questionnaire.