Show list of questions that depend on current question

Use case: the (Excel) survey designer decides to add a new answer option. The original answer options were 1-5. This answer option should be 3, meaning that original answer options 3-5 now become 4-6. Since this quick request seems to demand a quick change, the SuSo designer inserts the new answer option in Designer, changing the answer option codes accordingly. Later, the SuSo designer realize that this change in answer option codes may affect enablement, validation, and filter conditions in other parts of the questionnaire, as well as variables and macros. When making this change, it would have been nice to have been warned of these dependencies.

In my experience, this is a very common problem SuSo designers face.

Rough feature description: A few disparate ideas on how to address the use case above:

  • If the range of answer options change and there are conditions that reference this question, show an warning message. (Note: false positives are OK. Users simply want to be reminded of this potential problem. There’s no expectation that SuSo know that dependencies on the current question will be affected by the current change.)
  • Show the list of questionnaire objects that depend on the current question. (Bonus: let the elements of this list be links to those objects)

Because this tree of dependencies is probably not created every time the user saves in Designer and is probably also computationally costly, rebuild it upon pressing COMPILE.

Current work-arounds. There are work-arounds:

  • Don’t need to make such changes in the first place. Of course, this is unreasonable/unrealistic.
  • Before making a change, use global search (Ctrl + H) to find mentions of the variable elsewhere in the questionnaire, and page through results them to assess whether mentions are dependencies and if so whether they will be affected by the proposed change.

Arthur, because of the above, I would question the initial promise that

This answer option should be 3

Instead I would add that option with code 33. Or some other new code which will not cause shifts in other codes. Recall that the interviewers never see the actual codes, and those should not be sequential etc. So you can still position it inside in proper order, but the code could be different. I agree, the circumstances may vary. Original conditions may be formulated as v!=4, which is not clear how that should change in the presence of the new code, etc.

Going back to your original request: show list of questions that depend on current question I find the following solution working satisfactory for all my needs: rename the variable name for the question to a new name, e.g. age to age999, and compile. Every place where the original age variable was used will result in a syntax error and they will be listed in the compilation results.

Best, Sergiy

I agree that this is one way to solve the problem. But the typical expectation is that the CAPI/DE application match the questionnaire; not the other way around.

I also see that there are a few work-arounds for identifying the types of dependency problems I describe in the use case above. But this feature request is aimed at warning the user of Designer user of potential dependency problems without any action on their part–somewhat in the same way that Designer warnings alert about potential design problems (e.g., lack of GPS question in the questionnaire, too many rosters, etc.)