Designing a questionnaire using the concept of preloading

Dear Survey Solutions team

I have a question on how to design a questionnaire using the concept of pre-loading since I have never used it before in any of our surveys. My questionnaire has been uploaded for reference. We have already completed the Establishment listing and now we are going to conduct the census so we are planning to preload some information which were already collected from the listing. S

ome questions has to be just displayed for the enumerator to see but not to be edited but some information needs to be edited based on whether the information is correct or not. So I am confused here as to whether it should be preloaded or prefilled, If its preload I don’t want the information to be hidden but to be displayed for the enumertaor to be seen and if its prefillled then I have a lot of information and its not in sequence.
I was not able to upload my excel sheet so I have uploaded a picture of it

Can you please suggest how I should proceed

Great question.

Survey Solutions can pre-populate almost any type of information, at virtually any spot in the questionnaire. But the approach differs depending on how the preloaded data should be handled in the interview.

Here are the most common use cases, quick instructions for implementing them, and links for further learning:

  • Show address information to define the interview case. In Designer, create a question with scope set to Identifying. In Headquarters, prefilled these questions by providing their value in the relevant column during batch assignment creation. In Interviewer, Headquarters, and Supervisor, these questions will be the attributes of each interview. On the tablet, this is what the interviewer sees before opening a case. On Headquarters and Supervisor, this is what is seen in reports to distinguish one interview from another.
  • Hide “overflow” address information. In Designer, create a question with scope set to Hidden. These questions will not been seen directly or modified by any actors. Their value can be piped into question text or static text, or use for enablement, validation, or filter conditions. Their values will also be available in exported data. In Headquarters, preload these values via panel preloading.
  • Preload answers and make editable. In Designer, create a question and set scope to “Interviewer”. In Headquarters, preload the value via panel preloading. In Interviewer, these questions will be pre-answered, but their answers may be changed from their pre-set value by the interviewer.
  • Preload answers in make read-only, In Designer, create a question. In Headquarters, preload the value via panel preloading. Also in Headquarters, add the variable to the list of protected variables (see this article for more detail.) Note: protected questions are currently limited to numeric, list, and multi-select types.

These two videos from our YouTube channel offer helpful, step-by-step walk-throughs of prefilling identifying information and preloading information for any other questions.

In your survey, there seem to be a two different types of pre-population needs:

  1. Address information. To get started, try the first use case outlined above. If that yields too much address information on the tablet, consider a combination of the first two use cases, where some address information is shown to the interviewer, but other information hidden but preserved until export.
  2. Information for confirmation. Here, there are a few approaches to consider. The first is to preload to editable questions. This might make most sense if you only care about getting the correct information. The second approach is to show the answer from listing, ask the interviewer if this is correct, and enable a question to correct the information if it is wrong. This involves a hidden question for the information to be displayed, an interviewer question for the question about whether the information is correct, and another interviewer question to capture the corrected information.
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Thank you for your answers. I will try and get back to you


Does it have to be a roster for the preloading to work. Because mine is not a roster and it gives an error when I was trying it out

Preloading works whether you pre-populate rosters or not–and, indeed, whether your questionnaire contains rosters or now.

If you haven’t already found it, here is a compilation of all of the preloading errors. This might help you figure out what’s wrong. If not, please feel free to write back with questions.


It worked now …Thanks