Getting Data

Taking the survey online

Once you are done setting up your survey, you can take it online with just 2 clicks. However, before you do, make 100% sure you are ready! Once a survey is online you can not implement any major changes, and if you take a survey offline to do changes, the responses so far will be backed up, and any new responses will be added to a new database.

Once you are sure, open your survey, press the little green activate button on the survey menu, and confirm that you want to activate the survey. Congratulations, you are now live. You may want to send out invitation e-mails from the token page (the people icon on the survey toolbar), or put a link up on your website.

Reviewing data

You can review responses at any point, to start, click the “responses and statistics” item from the responses dropdown on the survey menu.

This will bring up a new screen, allowing you to have a look at individual responses, check some basic statistics within the LimeSurvey environment, and to export results to SPSS (and other programs).

From left to right, the buttons are; home (takes you back to the survey screen), summary (this page), view responses, view the last 50 responses, data entry, view statistics, export to application (allows exporting in some common file formats), export to spss, export to R, import from a deactivated survey, view saved unsubmitted responses, import a .vv file, and export a .vv file. The rest of this manual will explain the statistics viewer and SPSS export in more detail.

View statistics

The statistics button, fittingly labeled with a pie chart icon, will allow you to view some basic statistics. Min/max values, means, standard deviations, and charts (pie charts, to be more precise) for each question. The top half of the screen allows you to set some overall options, including which responses to include, and whether to include graphs and question texts as well as what format to use. This can be useful for a quick at-a-glance overview of where your survey is going.

Export to SPSS

When you click the export to SPSS button, you can select what responses to export and what version of SPSS to export to. The rest of this manual will assume you have SPSS 16 or higher and the specific instruction are for SPSS 20 on windows. Earlier versions and different operating systems should be the same, or similar.

The first step is to download both files, place them somewhere you can easily find them. The desktop or your personal drive are good options.

What are these files?

The syntax file is a file with instructions for SPSS. It first tells SPSS to open the data file, and how to import the data it contains. Then it instructs SPSS to apply the variable and value labels, and renames the variables to the LimeSurvey codes.

The data file is a simple comma separated values file. It contains the raw data, but no labels, names etc.

How to import

Open the syntax file by double-clicking it, the SPSS syntax viewer should open and show the contents of the file.

The opened syntax file should look something like the above image. The first part tells SPSS where to find the data file and how to interpret it, the later parts assign labels to the variables and values. What we need to do is provide a full path to the data file. The simplest way to get the full path is to right click the data file, and select properties. If the data file is on your desktop, just right click it. If it is in a different folder, open an explorer window and navigate to it, then right click it.

A window opens up with some details on the file. The full path is a combination of the name of the file, and the location, highlighted in the below image.

Copy and paste the location and name into the syntax file (using Ctrl+c to copy, and Ctrl+v to paste), until the syntax file looks something like the below image.

Make sure that there is a ‘\’ between the location and the name, like in the above example. When you are done, run the entire syntax file by selecting ‘run -> all’ from the menu bar.

Once the syntax has run, your data file should be imported, labeled, named, and ready for further analysis. Don’t forget to save it!