Working With Survey Data

Video Tutorial: Importing Survey Data. These days, most surveys are conducted online. A positive side effect is that (a) all data is immediately available in a digital format and (b) respondents often do write lengthy answers to open-ended questions. If you work with surveys from the analog world, chances are, they will end up in an Excel™ spreadsheet at some point. Regardless how your surveys originate, ATLAS.ti can handle them once they exist in that format.

Online surveys can be created using a number of tools. What most of these tools have in common is that the let you export your data as Excel™ file. When importing such an Excel file via the Survey Import option in ATLAS.ti, a wizard will guide you through the import process, and you can decide which information from your survey should be included, which questions should be turned into document groups for comparative analysis, and which questions will make up the body of the data.

In addition to the answers to open-ended questions, demographic information like age, profession, or age group, answers to single choice questions (yes/no, or offering more than two options) and answers to multiple choice questions can be imported. Within the framework of ATLAS.ti these are mapped in the form of document groups, one group per value.

Workflow when importing Survey Data

A survey broadly consists of the name of the survey, the questions, and the answers for each respondent. Questions can be of different type:

  • Single choice between two (yes/no) or more options
  • Multiple choice
  • Open-ended

Within the framework of ATLAS.ti these concepts are mapped as follows:

Survey ConceptATLAS.ti Concept
Open-ended questionCode (and code comment)
Answer to an open ended questionContent of a quotation (data)
Single Choice questiona document group for each value
Multiple Choice questiona document group for each value

ATLAS.ti automatically codes each open-ended question with the information provided in the header. As this is usually the question, the code name would be very long. Therefore, you can split it into code label and comment. The recommendation is to use the question number as code label and the text of the full question as comment. In order to do this you add two columns (::) between question number and question, as in: 'Question 1::Tell me about the highlights of your last vacation'.

Data are imported case-based. This means each row of the Excel™ table that is imported from the online survey tool is transformed into a document.

Click here to learn how to Import Survey Data.