Version 20.05

May 13, 2020

Survey Solutions v20.05 adds the following useful features:

  • Partial synchronization of interviews.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA).
  • Filtering of interviews by identifying fields.
  • Split of the HQ list of interviews into processed and in-progress
  • Other changes.

Partial synchronization of interviews.

Earlier versions of Survey Solutions were sending only completed interviews from the tablet to the server. A number of our users have described partial synchronization of the interviews as extremely important for their surveys. Partial synchronization allows sending the information from the tablet to the server, while keeping the interview data on the tablet. This has numerous advantages, among which:

  • Increased reliability: if the tablet is lost or damaged, the server will contain the last state of the interview when it was synchronized, and the interviewer will be able to resume from that state on a different device;
  • Better interaction with the supervisor, who can now start reviewing (and commenting) the beginning of the interview even before it is fully realized.

But partial synchronization comes at a cost of higher traffic, which may or may not be desirable. Hence the partial synchronization is an opt-in. Whether to enable partial synchronization is up to the administrator of the server, who can enable it in the server’s settings.

Two-factor authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication enhances security of the system by requiring an additional method of confirming the identity of the user. Compared to simple password-based systems, this method relies on confirmation on two channels:

  1. Something the user knows (password);
  2. Something the user has (security token).

The security token is typically implemented as a software running on the user’s phone with a wide range of implementations for various platforms (Android, iOS, Windows, Windows Mobile, etc).

Any user of Survey Solutions server can now enable the two-factor authentication for his (her) account in the account profile.

Read more about how to set up and use the two factor authentication in this article.

Filtering interviews by identifying questions

The list of interviews can contain many thousands of interviews in the large surveys. Locating specific interviews may be overwhelming. That’s why we have introduced the filter for interviews based on the identifying questions (defined by the Designer).

To use the filters, first select the questionnaire and version (since the questions may differ in different questionnaires), then click Questions selector button and select the questions you want to be part of the filter and confirm your selection with OK button. Then specify the values you want to be used to filter the interviews, for example, only interviews from a particular enumeration area, state, or phone number.

Split of the HQ list of interviews into processed and in-progress

Large surveys may run for years and involve conducting millions of interviews. Usually, once they are approved by the Headquarters users, that’s the terminal state and no further actions are needed. The new feature allows to de-clutter the HQ-users’ workspace. By default now the HQ-user sees the list of the interviews that are not approved by the HQ yet (in all other statuses). This will allow them to focus on the tasks that are still in the progress. If necessary, all interviews may be seen at the same time by switching the corresponding filter setting.

Other changes:

  • The list of the interviews is now reformatted to use the space within the columns more efficiently, variable labels of identifying questions are used instead of question texts where provided, and the column width is automatically adjusted to accommodate more content when multiple identifying questions are defined in the questionnaire.

  • Interviews that are approved by the Headquarters users are no longer displayed in the list of the interviews with default settings as they need no further processing.

  • Tablets running earlier versions of the interviewer app may send an interview to the updated server (to 20.5) without an update, but will require an update when receiving rejected interviews. This is normal.

  • Sections in disabled state were previously always hidden. Now they will obey their individual hide-if-disabled flag. Check your earlier designed questionnaires to verify their behavior.

  • Assignments are sorted on the tablets in the natural order of their identifying fields: first by the first identifying fields, then (if there are ties) by the second identifying field, and so on. This should simplify locating assignments in the dashboard that are targeting respondents in the same or near-by areas.

  • When assignments being preloaded contain a GPS question that has values for latitude and longitude specified will also preload the GPS acquisition date with a default value.

  • Rejection notifications to the respondents were previously not delivered through the mass mail service for web interviews (