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entering data for survey in excel

Many users inexperienced in the subject of the analysis of survey data underestimate the difficulty of the tabulation and analysis process and opt for the "easy" way: use the worksheet Microsoft Excel as a tool to contain the data and perform with her fingering, quality control and data analysis. However this road that initially seemed easy, become then a long and tortuous process of carpentry that will set the quality of the data from the survey as well as the time of delivery of the results and final report. We analyze in detail the advantages and disadvantages that has Excel for managing surveys.

Advantages of Excel for managing surveys:
  • asy to use and understand the structure of the grid in Excel.
  • Easy to start and understand the process of fingering and tabulation of data
  • Bajo precio de Excel y normalmente está disponible en cualquier PC.
  • It does not require special training and anyone who knows Excel can do it.

Disadvantages of Excel for managing surveys
A) Disadvantages of Excel for data containment:
  • When the survey has multiple choice questions, you must book a column in Excel for each possible answer. If every question has a 100 response options, because each question will use 100 columns in Excel, making that management; storage and analysis of such questions is extremely cumbersome, slow and manual.
  • Since it is easy to mix the raw data (which comes from the questionnaire) with the processed data in Excel you must add new columns, which will alter the original data base, producing multiple versions of sheet spreadsheet what confounded users or you will require a version control methodology.
  • When you have many variables and many individuals, say some 2,000 variables and some 30,000 subjects, Excel becomes slow and unmanageable.

B) Disadvantages of Excel for the capture of data (fingering):
  • Although it is possible to reprogram, the validation of data becomes an Odyssey and a challenge for the more experienced, for example to validate numeric ranges, date ranges, numbers, time ranges of characters entered, types of acceptable data, etc..
  • Each column in Excel and each cell must be validated to ensure the quality of the data. This usually slows to Excel and complicates the grid.
  • Since Excel can not work in multi-user mode network; If you want to enter between various transcriptionists, every Transcriber must have a copy of the structure of Excel sheet, so that it is not possible to validate that a questionnaire has been admitted several times.
  • If you enter data between various transcriptionists, every Transcriber must have a copy of the worksheet, but what happens when the administrator must make a change, such as adding a question, eliminate a choice of response, etc... Because the processing becomes a hell of copies and versions.
  • The likelihood of making mistakes in fingering is high since Excel not valid alphanumeric codes or numerical ranges, or not to be that it is programmed.
  • If each row in Excel is a case and each column a variable, the data entry will be horizontally, column to column. While reading the questionnaire is vertical. So the transcription process is extremely slow and cumbersome. (The same applies to SPSS).
  • In general, the quality of the data entered via Excel is doubtful and they should be the data a third tool type SPSS to complete its review.

C) Disadvantages of Excel for analysis of survey data:
  • Generating statistics is very manual and the process is slow and meticulous.
  • The generation of crosses, for example counting the area X smokers who prefer brand X is a difficult to obtain it, the only way to achieve this in Excel is with PivotTables, however when the cigarette brands come from a multiple choice question, the PivotTable is inoperative.
  • Make a frequency table to Excel may take hours or days to get, which takes seconds in any specialized software such as "Rotator OLAP Analyzer".
  • Think about creating a tabbed all survey variables, cross city, stratum, sex, age, etc. may take days (or weeks in Excel), which delay minutes in any software specialized in the analysis of surveys, such as "Rotator OLAP Analyzer"

In general, users who have made more than one quantitative survey and have passed through these bad experiences, choose to use specialized software such as "RotatorSurvey", which guarantees you quality optimal data, substantial reduction of technical and human errors, and most importantly: considerable reduction of time and rework.