There are two common ways to program your questionnaire in SurveyCTO. Either by using the form builder or by write your code in an Excel Sheet. The form builder is useful for the absolute beginner and when you need to make a quick edit in a form already uploaded to the server. However, the complexity of a typical DIME survey, makes all projects sooner or later switching to coding in Excel.
As the questionnaire grew bigger, even the best coder loose the overview over the questionnaire. This is the most significant advantage of coding in Excel. While it is possibly to push through and keep using the form building. However, the data sets from questionnaires not finalized in Excel tend to be less well structured and more cumbersome to work with.
We do not object towards starting programming in the form builder, but we strongly recommend that the questionnaire is at least reviewed in Excel. Experienced coder tend to skip the form builder part altogether, apart from making a quick update to a form already uploaded to the server.
- It is easy to switch back and forth between the form builder and the Excel method. Therefore, one way to transition into coding in Excel might be to create something in the form builder that can be downloaded and inspected in Excel format.
- While it is easier for a beginner to start in the form builder, we strongly recommend you to swithc over to the Excel Method as soon as possible, as you will have to do that eventually unless your questionnaire is very small.
Programming in Excel
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This article is a part of the chapter Questionnaire Programming.