DIY Surveys - Part 3, Data Capture

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The boring part. You have a pile of paper and somehow you have to get it into a format so the results can tell you a story.

If you are lucky enough to have scanning technology, then you just need to set up the system and feed it in. First though you may need to ensure every page is orientated the same way. Staples might need removing and you will need to be very careful that multi page surveys stay together if the first page contains any information such as gender.

If you will be inputting results manually then hopefully you have made this process as easy as possible whilst considering the "Layout & Design" above. For single response, 30 question surveys, you will be inputting 3,000 numbers for every 100 people you survey. Accuracy, boredom and available time will be your enemies here.

More than likely, you will want to input your results to a spreadsheet. Set up a spreadsheet for this task - if you try to put the questions vertically and put responses in columns you might run out of columns if you're using Excel 2003. So head up columns with a question number and out each individual respondents results in a separate row. Work out a system whereby response boxes are numbered 1,2,3 etc. If the response box for a question is blank, decide what you will input. What will you do if respondents have ticked more than one box or you can't determine what they have ticked?

Next time, we will consider how to analyse the results.

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