I am currently designing a questionnaire whose variable names include A101, A102, A103, A104, A105… A126.
But my mentor had added a new question between A104 and A105 and assigned A105 to this question, which means that the original A105, A106, A107… A126 should be converted to A106, A107, A108… A127, respectively.
(Plus, variable name that I need to modify is like this：
Survey Solutions Designer does not have a feature that allows you to load a batch of variable names to assign to questions.
Instead, Survey Solutions Designer offers you a search option where you can find all existing matches in the questionnaire with the name of your indicated variable and then simply replace it with the corresponding value.
Variable names are not seen by the interviewers or respondents.
If you explain this and the fact that it will require a manual changes to a large number of variables, perhaps he/she would be sympathetic to introducing new questions as A201, or A105a if ordering matters somehow.
Don’t forget that you will also need to change all the usages of variable names in all the conditions, which is a great opportunity to introduce a problem/bug to an already tested questionnaire.
There is no batch renaming of variables, and I can’t imagine how it may have been implemented, since you would somehow need to explain all the changes to the computer, what has been added, deleted, reordered.
From other environments, the closest action i can think of is refactoring for variable name e.g. in Visual Studio. It is still done manually for each variable, but takes care of all the usages in the code. Survey Solutions doesn’t have this.
I’ve started learning programming long ago, in the times when BASIC still required the programmer to manually assign line numbers to every line of code. In those days we were numbering the lines as 10, 20, 30, … rather than 1, 2, 3,… precisely to be able to insert something between the already entered lines if code. The same approach can be used for numbering questions, but giving them meaningful names is still the best solution, (and free from the described renumbering problem).
Yes, that happens to me often when my quiz has new questions.
I solve it as @sergiy mentioned by adding descriptive names for the variable names. In case of following a numbering, as is your case, then what I do is add the variable with the new numbering but I add a description to the name, for example A105_Age and the next variables A105_Phone.
When field survey ends, the first thing for my colleagues is to clean raw data and they had often complained that variable name plagued them a lot.
They had to reference Stata’s label (by the way, setting the text of the question as a Stata’s label by default is great) to figure out which variable name is the corresponding question on the questionnaire.
So it sounds great and convenient that naming variable following Pinyin system (or Mandrin).
However, because the identical Pinyin characters in different context may have totally different meanings, confusion may also arise during the process of cleaning data.
So could you give me some specific programming or database systems whose rules to name variable is similar to which Survey Solutions applys? I am so sorry that I don’t major in CS and don’t have experience in coding