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TECHNICAL SUPPORT PAGE

The following information is provided for SurveyMaster users to support their design and use of questionnaires using SurveyMaster software.

SUBJECT AREAS

GENERAL ISSUES EMAIL US
QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN DATA ENTRY
Latest SurveyMaster Manual (Acrobat format) New Features for Version 7
DATA ANALYSIS UTILITIES

GENERAL ISSUES

The current SurveyMaster version is 7.1 issued Dec 1, 2004

The current version of Omnis is 7.3.8.1  (this version is the only one that works with Windows 2000 and WindowsXP older versions will have calcualtion errors and other problems if used on these two platforms)

Data files must carry the .df1 suffix or SurveyMaster will reject your naming.

Start a new data file for each questionnaire. Only put more than 1 questionnaire in a data file if they can be directly compared. This keeps files smaller and searches running more quickly.

Create new folders for each data file and don't bury them too deeply (Try and keep them only 1 or 2 levels below the root directory) e.g. C:/Omnis/SurveyMaster/Questionnaire 1.df1 is getting to the limits of your systems ability to track the file and it's bundle. If you design a survey that has quite a few pre-coded tables similar to those you could use again, keep the data file as a master and copy and rename it when you need a data file that is similar in structure.

Short cut keys are provided for most functions.

QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN & PRINTING

PRE-CODED TABLES

Pre-coded tables belong to ALL questionnaires within a data file. You need to keep this in mind as you design.

Group A (20 chars) means that those tables have a limit of 20 characters for the descriptor e.g. Chicago (7 chars). If any descriptor within your group is longer you will need to use a larger Group e.g. Group B (35 chars). There is no harm if needed in using the 50 character Group for descriptors of only 1 or 2 characters.

In Multiple Insert mode you need to cancel after your final entry to let SurveyMaster know there are no more descriptors to insert. When you have entered you Table names and descriptors you HAVE NOT designed your question. This must still be done through the Questionnaire and Question screen. In this way you can decide where in your design your tables are to be placed.

QUESTIONS

If you want extra 'white space' between questions, use the Question Instruction box and enter a carriage return or two. This will place space above the question connected to the Question Instruction. Don't put carriage returns in the Question Wording box. It will cause your reports to overwrite their presentation.

Page breaks occur at the start of the question they are connected to. This also applies to sub-question when applying a page break to them. Use the copy question function to speed design. It can save you re-entering column heading etc. Remember that if you copy a question with sub-questions already written, those sub-questions are copied too!

Remember that SurveyMaster is a database package and although quite good things can be done with page layout it does have limitations and constraints.

Page size can be controlled through the File Menu and Page Set-up function. A4 or A5 can be accommodated. This area is controlled by the print driver from your system not through SurveyMaster. What ever can be done is limited by your printer and its drivers.

Remember good design rules, don't mix too many different scales, keep to the subject, don't clutter the design and keep as brief as possible.

SUB-QUESTIONS

There are two strengths to using sub-questions. Firstly they allow you to calculate scores for the category as well as for each sub-question. Secondly they can save space in your questionnaire. Sub-questions can be given page breaks to force column headings and numbering when pages break in inappropriate places.

A category cannot be deleted until it's sub-questions are deleted.

DATA ENTRY

KEY PUNCH

The External Reference field will only appear when External References are turned on in the Utilities menu.

If a survey has not been fully completed you can use the scroll bar to move to the next completed question. You can also click on OK to save the data entered rather than reaching the end of the questions. SurveyMaster automatically updates the Totals area after each survey is key punched so that at any time you can run an analysis report.

Data checking and editing is done through this Key Punch area for all data entry types.

Telephone Interview

Only inserting and viewing can be done through this area. All editing or deleting is done through the Key Punch screen.

The screen is designed so that Instructions and scale examples are shown. This means that this screen can be used for respondent self entry as well.

 

Scanning

Scanning is done by a OMR scanner. SurveyMaster has the ability to interact with a scanner. In general SurveyMaster uses the final file output by the scanner to read data into it's own file structure.

A Scan Table needs to be built in the Utilities menu telling SurveyMaster where data for each question sits in the Scanner's file.

Scannable forms need to be professionally printed. SurveyMaster can not generate these survey forms.

DATA ANALYSIS

TOTALS REPORTS

Totals Reports provide composite data for every answer in a particular questionnaire.

Remember to turn on or off your Report Selection in the Main menu to ensure you are only getting the reports that you need.

Questions where no one has completed an entry will still produce a report ( showing 0 balances)

If you select certain questions only to be reported, SurveyMaster works faster if the corresponding scales on the left side of the screen are also selected.

Sub-questions cannot be selected individually. All sub-questions in a category will print when the category questions is selected.

Data file names are structured. A list of how the names will print can be found in the searches screen (Print list of Searches)

SEARCHES

At least one question with selection criteria must be entered for a search to run.

Always include a search title. Otherwise when you are looking at 100's of pages of reports you won't know which is for what. If you include zero in a selection criteria the data found will include no response values. This can be useful if for some reason you want to search for all respondent answers for a Questionnaire.

Searches can be copied as a short cut. Set up your first search, save and copy it. Amend search titles and criteria. The ability to search for an AND comparison or an OR comparison in your search criteria gives a lot of versatility. All criteria for any one question is an OR comparison. e.g. Age 29;30;31; 32;33; will find any and all of these values and group the answers together.

An AND search between questions will only find data that matches both search criteria e.g. Male, aged 24 to 30 will only find Males in that age range. If we change that to an OR search between questions the data collated will be for Males OR people aged between 24 and 30.

Remember to move the questions that have selection criteria to the top of the question list to enhance SurveyMaster's performance. Scheduled searches can not run to Screen.

Data files will be saved to the directory/folder where your data file is located.

COMPARISONS

Comparisons must have a Comparison Table built before it can produce reports.

The Comparison Table can only be built from locked questionnaires.

The reason for the Comparison Table is to allow for question being moved of changed between survey periods. A table is needed so that have changed or moved can be linked to other questionnaires.

UTILITIES

EXTERNAL REFERENCES

Up to 20 data fields plus an index column can be included in an External Reference file.

The External Reference file must be TAB delimited.

External References in Use must be selected in the Utilities menu before question design or data entry.

Pre-coded Tables and questions still need to exist with all the descriptors included e.g. if gender is a question then Female.....1 and Male.....2 still need to be in the Gender Table.

External Reference fields can only hold numeric contents. If you have M for males then use Excel or similar to change all M's to 2; etc.

When designing your survey (questionnaire) be sure to include the External Reference field number in the Question Screen. When saved the External Reference fields will be sorted to the bottom of your questions list.

External Reference questions are not seen during data entry.

An External Reference not in your list will cause an error during data entry. Be sure to include a 0 (zero) index in the External Reference file so that respondents without an external reference can be included in your results.

SCANNING

A scanning table needs to be set up so that SurveyMaster knows where the data for each question is located.

Your Scanner's Operator should provide you with a list of where each question's data is located. Be sure to check the table you produce carefully before importing the scanner's data file.

Once the scanner's file has been imported data totals must be processed. This could take some time if the file is large (which is normally the case.) Your machine can not be interrupted once this processing has commenced.

UNLOCKING

This is a useful but dangerous utility!

It should only be used to edit spelling mistakes and typographical errors.

NEW FEATURES FOR VERSION 7

Version 7 was released 1 December 2004. This version change was made to allow SurveyMaster to work on Windows2000 and WindowsXP

  • Publishing of HTML questionnaires for Web use
  • Data retrieval from Web submitted surveys
  • Comments fields copied between survey periods

 

Manual

The latest SurveyMaster manual is available for download. It is in PDF format (Acrobat 3). Acrobat reader was supplied on CD to purchases of version 5.5 or higher.

Down load latest Survey Master Manual (manual.pdf)

SUPPORT CONSULTING SERVICES

Consulting services to support SurveyMaster are available. These include:

    • Questionnaire design (in SurveyMaster format)
    • Data entry
    • Scannable form services
    • Data analysis & report writing