Working with Survey Monkey Data

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SPSS files downloaded from the Survey Monkey platform do not conform well with Q's recommended SPSS file specifications, and there are no options in Survey Monkey to change the format. There is a separate routine in Q's automatic survey data file setup which tries to detect the Survey Monkey format and set up the file according to the patterns that have been identified in Survey Monkey files.

If you import an SPSS (*.sav) file from Survey Monkey and you get a poor result, like variables from multiple response questions not being grouped as Questions or blank labels in tables, then please contact us at [mailto:]. If Survey Monkey have altered the format of their data files then we can incorporate this information into Q's setup routine. We may also be able to provide you with a QScript to help you set up your data.

Note that you need to have a Gold Survey Monkey account (or higher) to be able to obtain SPSS files. Lower-level accounts allow for Excel-style survey data files, but these are of poor quality for use in Q and additional setup may be required. See Setting Up Files With No Metadata for more on how to do this.

Problems in the Survey Monkey SPSS format

No missing values in multiple response questions

Survey Monkey do not record missing values in multiple response (Pick Any) questions. This means that if a respondent skips a question then there is no way for any software to be able to distinguish that respondent from one who simply did not select any of the options in the question. To tackle this, Q will attempt to detect multiple response questions where some respondents have not given answers, and create a new copy of the question where the variables are rebased to the sample who have at least one answer. If you need to rebase the question later, see How To Rebase A Table.

The original variables remain in your project at the bottom of the Variables and Questions tab. They will be marked as hidden (H), and will have the extra label: Original Data (Incorrectly Set Up).

Poor labeling of multiple response questions

The Variable Labels for multiple response (Pick Any) questions don't contain information about which survey option the variable refers to. This information is instead stored in the Value Attributes for the question. When Q detects a Survey Monkey file it will copy this information into the variable labels.

No question text for grid questions

The variables for grid questions, like Pick One - Multi and Pick Any - Grid, do not store any information about what question was asked in the survey. This information is entirely absent from the file. As a result, when Q detects a Survey Monkey file, it will name grid questions with their question number and the first three row and column labels from the grid. To give your question a better name, click into the Question field in the Variables and Questions tab, or right-click on the table, find the Question name in the context menu, and select Rename.

See also

File Formats Supported by Q