Day 2: Running Surveys & Receiving Data
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In the last lesson we asked you to create a simple survey with a few TEXT questions. If you have not done that, go back and do it now before continuing with this lesson.

This lesson will show you how to run the survey that you previously created on the HANDHELD SIMULATOR and how to RECEIVE the DATA back and look at your RESULTS. This should give you an overview of what we call the OPERATIONS CYCLE.


We will be using the RUN button in the SURVEY DESIGNER for this lesson but in a later lesson we show you how to RUN the survey on a real HANDHELD.

Now do the following.

    1. OPEN the survey that you created in the last lesson. You can open surveys by using the OPEN button on the toolbar or the FILE | OPEN menu item. However, often the quickest way to open a file is to pick it off the list of recently used files displayed at the bottom of the FILE menu (This is termed the MRU list).

    1. Now simply click the RUN button on the PocketSurvey Designer toolbar. If you have previously RUN the survey and not RECEIVED the data back from the SIMULATOR you may get a message informing you that data already exists... you can choose to keep the data or overwrite it at your discretion. Generally when TESTING new surveys you would choose overwrite, since the data is simply TEST DATA and not important.

    1. The SIMULATOR will open and display the first question in your survey. Remember what we called this first question? Yes, we called it QUESTION ZERO and it IDENTIFIES a set of questions and answers. Enter the answer to this first question such as "Survey 1" or "Person 1". After clicking the OK button you will see a pop up message asking you to CONFIRM the answer. This confirmation message is optional and can be turned off by un-ticking the CONFIRM box in the QUESTION DEFINITION DIALOG in the survey designer.

    1. Continue answering the questions presented by your survey. Notice you can click OK to move forward and BACK to change your mind. BACK effectively undoes the answer and lets you choose a different answer. If you do go BACK remember to go forward again otherwise data will not be collected.

    1. After answering all the questions you should see the OK and QUIT buttons. Enter another SURVEY IDENTIFIER and answer the series questions again. When you have finished and want to stop answering questions click the QUIT BUTTON on the SIMULATOR.

    1. You have now collected some data from your survey and need to transfer the data from the HANDHELD SIMULATOR to the desktop program. To do this, simply click the RECEIVE button on the PocketSurvey Designer TOOLBAR. The data now resides on the PC and has been removed from the SIMULATOR.

    1. To quickly see the results of your survey click the REPORTS BUTTON and then choose the RECENT DATA option. Your data, QUESTIONS and ANSWERS, is displayed in your web browser as an HTML page. This report is useful for checking the data coming in from multiple FIELD WORKERS/SURVEYORS.

    1. To see your data in a more structured format open the data using our DATA DOCTOR program. The DATA DOCTOR is very similar to MICROSOFT EXCEL, but simpler and easier to use. To view your data in DATA DOCTOR choose TOOLS | QUICK EDITOR and choose the first file from the list, it will have a name of something like "SURVEYNAME#Single item".

    1. Now RUN your survey again on the SIMULATOR and collect more survey data. Remember to finish your survey completely by clicking the QUIT button. Then click RECEIVE on the designer toolbar to get the data from the SIMULATOR to the desktop PC. Because you have already captured some data you will get an APPEND/OVERWRITE warning. Unless you want to discard your previously collected data, you should normally choose APPEND. If you want an extra backup of your data tick the ARCHIVE CSVs check box as well.

    1. Now when you look at your data in DATA DOCTOR you will see data from both survey collections. Remember you use TOOLS | QUICK EDITOR menu item to open your data in DATA DOCTOR.

The next lesson will look at splitting your survey into SECTIONS. SECTIONS enable you to organise larger surveys into manageable parts and also display the questions in three different display modes: DIRECTED mode, RANDOM mode and FORM mode.

Final Tip

The data collected by PocketSurvey is stored as a COMMA SEPARATED FILE (CSV) which is an INDUSTRY STANDARD FORMAT readable by all databases and can also be viewed in Microsoft EXCEL. You will find the DATA FILE for your survey in a FOLDER that has the same name as your survey. If you use the Windows FILE EXPLORER to find the file you can simply double click on it to open it in EXCEL.

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