Chapter 6 Data processing activities
Open access

The chapter discusses processing activities for data collection and post-survey activities. Data collection requires a log to record all activities to contact potential respondents and a data entry file for collecting results. Online and interview survey software automatically enter results into a computer readable file. Postal returns can use machine readable questionnaires or be manually entered into online survey software. Post survey activities include how to calculate response rates, different types of non-respondent analysis including a survey of non-respondents, data editing (cleaning), and miscellaneous tasks such as linking survey data to other data sources, anonymizing data if open access is required by the funding organization, and data validation. The discussion of data editing explains checks for errors, the purpose of flag variables, imputation methods for missing values, and the identification and management of satisficing and other respondent behaviours that can reduce data quality.