Importing and Exporting Raw Data


This tutorial reviews the various methods of importing and exporting raw data. Opinionmeter’s customer feedback platform supports raw data in the following formats: CSV, Excel, SPSS, TXT and XML. You can also import raw data from other survey platforms into the SurveyManager through the Question Mapping feature.


Hello, this tutorial is going to be focusing on importing and exporting raw data. We're here on the main console, so I'll jump up to the Reports tab, and in the Reports tab you'll see the side menu. We have a Raw Data menu and sub menus beneath that, and let's just go ahead and talk about some of these.

Raw Data Import. This is where you obviously would import the data from your system into the SurveyManager. You can also use the Question Mapping Import, and this allows you to map the fields from a raw data file and map them to your survey or your questionnaire. This is especially helpful if you're importing a data file that didn't originate from within the SurveyManager. Maybe you're bringing in a data file from another survey system or another data system. You would just use this question mapping process to map that data file to your survey that you've designed.

You can export your data here, which is where we've come to by default. You can also export media files. Let's say your mobile phone or your mobile survey device, be it a tablet or a phone, is capturing images or video or sound files. Well, you can do a batch export of those files. You can also access those files within your raw data itself, if you wish, or just export the media files themselves here.

Another thing that's nice to know about is you can actually schedule your raw data export, and you can have these exported files attached to an e-mail. You can schedule that for any interval you wish, daily, weekly, monthly, and have them actually exported in any format you want, CSV, Excel, SPSS, and have them delivered to whomever you want whenever you want. So that's what you can do in this area.

So why don't we go up here. We're in the export screen, so let's first select a survey type. We have all these multiple modalities you can select from. I'm going to select Mobile Phone and then select My Survey. I'm going to select Sample iPhone Survey. Now I can select All Locations or individual locations to export. I'll just leave it All. And here you'll see I have Delimited by Comma or by Tab, Fixed Width, .SAV, which is the SPSS format extension, Excel, or CSV options. I can also export the completed surveys, and it tells me right there I have 585 in this file, or incomplete surveys only, or both combined. So those are the export options there.

This is important to note. If you plan to import the data you are now exporting back into the SurveyManager, you should use the Delimited by Comma format only, and that is the default format that is selected by default here. So why would you do that? Well, let's say you wanted to export your raw data file, make some changes, and import it back in before you run your report. That's certainly an option. But let me just mention here that there is another option available to you. If you run a respondent level report, there is a feature called Edit Response. You can also delete responses within that report, so you can actually, within the report itself, make edits or delete individual surveys without having to export your data file. So I just want to make sure you're aware of that option within the respondent level report.

Down here, the raw data schema simply explains, if you click on that, a PDF file will open, giving you an explanation of how we organize our raw data. So I'm just going to go down and click in the bottom right corner the Export button, which is now exporting this raw data file, Delimited by Comma, and the Click Here link will then open or save that file in my system.

Okay, so let's say we've exported that and edited it, and now we want to important that file back in. So I'd click on the Raw Data Import, which is what I've done now. I'd select my survey type, and we were working with a Mobile Phone Survey type, and we were working with Sample iPhone Survey, and I'm going to select Location here to bring that data in. I'm going to browse my system. It was saved to my desktop. Let's see here, Details. There it is, and I'm going to import that. Now, I can click this check box if I want to preview the data before saving it, and I can also say, hey, I'm importing completed or incomplete surveys. So I'm just going to import this, and the system is processing that data now, and it confirms Data Imported Successfully.

So that's the simple method of exporting a raw data in a comma delimited format and importing that file back into the system after making edits. You'll see here it does indicate .TXT or XML formats, so this is important to note. If you are exporting a file and making edits, you can bring it in in either of those two formats. Also our mobile survey devices, raw data by default are saved in XML format, so if you were importing a data file from a kiosk or from a mobile survey device, you would use the XML file extension to bring it in to the system.

Okay. So let's take a look now at Question Mapping. So, again, let's assume we're bringing data into the SurveyManager from another system. That data file didn't originate within the SurveyManager, so I would come here. Let's just stay with the same survey type for the sake of consistency. I'm going to actually stay with the same survey itself. Select a location, let's say, Clinic 1. I want to bring in this data file from outside the system, so I would go ahead and browse my system for that data file. And let's go, Details, Sample iPhone Survey.

Okay. So here's my file, and I selected an Excel file, and you'll see here we support CSV text, XLS, or XLSX. One important note. If you're selecting CSV, that's comma delimited, and if your question text has commas, let's say, a question has a comma in it, it's a lengthy sentence with a comma in the sentence, you're going to want to remove that comma, because the system is going to assume that the break is after the comma, meaning the next question starts after that comma. So be careful with your commas when importing data from a CSV file. Other file extensions, like XXL, you don't need to worry about that. Only in the comma delimited format will you need to really be careful when you have commas within the sentences of your questionnaire.

Okay. So I'm going to import the completed survey option. My file does include a header row, and I always recommend your data files to have header rows, because that's how the system, as you'll see in a second, reads the data. It looks for that header row to identify the individual questions. Was your data file exported from the SurveyManager? Yes or no? My file was, so I'll indicate yes.

So I'm going to import, and here is where you see the mapping occur. The text in red is reading from your data file. Okay. The drop downs are reading from the survey itself that you designed in the SurveyManager, and let me mention something here. We're assuming you've gone into the survey module in the SurveyManager and gone through the Create Survey wizard to first design your survey instrument before obviously trying to import a data file that's going to be mapped or associated with that survey, and that's what you see here in the drop down. You have all the different questions in your survey that you've created in the SurveyManager. Okay. So that's all these individual drop downs beneath the red text, which is being read in from your file that you're importing.

The system attempts to map for you, which it's done here. Which of the following age groups do you fit into? So that's the question in my data file, and, sure enough, it mapped it correctly to the actual survey questions. So it will try and guess for you and map for you, which it seems to have done correctly here. Question 9, question 9, 10, 10, 11, 12. Now, if it didn't, it would just have Select Label or Do Not Import option appearing. So if I didn't want to import this question, I would just select Do Not Import. But I do want to, so I'm going to leave it back on question 12.

Now, below we have date and time, and I do want that data to be brought into the system, as well, so I'm going to leave that there. But if the system misinterpreted one of your questions, you would just simply click on the down arrow and map to the correct question in your survey.
Okay. So assuming everything is mapped correctly, I just go ahead and click Submit, and now the system is importing and mapping that data file to my survey. And here we have a confirmation, Data Imported Successfully.

So this is how you use the Question Mapping Import feature to bring in data files from without the SurveyManager and associate them with your surveys designed within the SurveyManager.

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