Entering Your Data into a Database

This section is designed to introduce you to two ways to enter your data into a computer database system. The section is specifically geared towards whoever will be doing the data entry for your project. The activity is designed specifically for ACCESS and Survey Monkey because they are the most user-friendly and affordable of the data analysis programs.  Data from both can be exported to other data analysis program such as Excel and SPSS.  Many groups already have ACCESS on their computers because it is part of the Microsoft Office Suite.  Survey Monkey offers free and low-cost versions.

Activity: 4.1 Introduction to Data Entry

Purpose of the Activity:

This activity is designed to train staff or volunteers who will be responsible for computer data-entry for your project to use ACCESS or Survey Monkey to enter and manage your data.

By the End of the Activity Participants Will:

  • Have learned about the importance of databases and data entry
  • Have learned how to use ACCESS or Survey Monkey

 

Before this Activity Participants Will Need to:

Compile and organize all the research instruments (surveys, interviews, canvass sheets etc.) that have been completed and need to be entered

 

Materials Needed:

Electronic copies of a built, but empty ACCESS or Survey Monkey database

Filled out surveys that match the database

Computer hooked up to a projector and individual computers for each trainee (Ideal setup; but one computer without projector will work also)

Intended Audience:

People who will be doing data entry

Time Needed:

30 minutes

Facilitator Instructions:

1. In the weeks leading up to the training, finalize your survey and, if needed develop your database in ACCESS or Survey Monkey. Be sure to check the database for errors by entering a few surveys (though of course be sure to remove them afterward).

2. Before the training, hook up a computer to a projector so that trainees can see what you are doing on a ‘master’ computer. Ideally, each trainee would each also have a computer to work on. Before the training be sure each of the computers is set up for either ACCESS or Survey Monkey. If using ACCESS, make sure that the blank database is on each of the computers. If using Survey Monkey, simply make sure each computer has internet access. Also be sure to create a “collector” link and then send this link to participants (turn the multiples responses from the same computer setting on).

3. At the beginning of the training, ask trainees if they have ever used ACCESS, Survey Monkey or other database tool before. Then explain the following:

Databases are easily searchable electronic files that can store a lot of information.  Different types of software, like Excel, ACCESS and Survey Monkey, help with data entry and database management. The database will allow us to easily analyze all the information collected through the research instruments. Generally, databases work best with survey data. Other software can be used to analyze data from focus groups and interviews. ACCESS software is a program in the Microsoft Professionals Suite. Survey Monkey is an online database and survey administration tool. We use ACCESS and Survey Monkey because of their easy to use forms that simplify data entry. Once all the data is entered, we can quickly and easily analyze the data.

4. Give the handout to trainees. Briefly step them through the handout covering basic navigation of the database and tips for data entry (use either the ACCESS or the Survey Monkey handout).

5. Discuss the specifics of your survey; questions that might be difficult for data entry and clarifications on language and data interpretation. If needed, develop a glossary of terms, clarifying all technical language in the survey to ensure consistent data entry.

6. Direct trainees to practice entering a survey or two individually on their own computer. If each trainee does not have their own computer take turns entering some or all of the surveys on a single computer.

7. Afterwards, bring the group back together and see if there are any questions or concerns. Address questions as a group to ensure consistent data entry.

Tool: 4.1 Survey Monkey Basics

Survey Monkey is a useful online tool for creating and administering surveys as well as managing and analyzing data. To use the service, you’ll first need to create a survey monkey account. While free accounts are available (with a ten questions limit), paid accounts are affordable and well-worth the price.  This tool will walk you through the basics of using Survey Monkey from creating a survey in survey monkey to downloading your data.

Creating a Survey

One of the best things about survey monkey is that you can completely design your survey online, using Survey Monkey’s interface. To begin, simply click the green “Create Survey” button on the upper right of your Survey Monkey home screen. After choosing a title for your survey and selecting a category, you’re ready to start entering questions!

 

Some important question types to highlight:

  1. Multiple Choice (only one answer): Use this for traditional multiple choice questions, including “yes”/”no” questions
  2. Multiple Choice (multiple answers): Use this for “check all” questions
  3. Rating Scale: Use for rating questions (“On a scale of 1 to 10...”)
  4. Matrix of Choice: Use this for consolidating several rating questions into one chart
  5. Numerical Textbox: Use this for questions with a numerical response, such as age or income
  6. Single Textbox: Use this for open-ended questions
  7. Demographic Information (U.S. or International): Generally, do NOT use these questions as they are primarily “Contact Information”

Once you’ve entered all your questions, customize your survey by adding additional pages, selecting a theme (at the top), and moving around questions. Further visual adjustments are available by clicking on Survey Options on the left column. A grey button at the top right allows you to preview the survey.


Collecting Survey Responses

Be sure to completely finalize your survey before you begin to collect survey responses.  Survey monkey will generally let you make edits after you’ve done so, but it could seriously impact your data.

To collect data in survey monkey, you can either have respondents fill out the survey online or you can collect paper surveys and manually enter them into the online database. There are pros and cons to both options.

1. Online

On the top right, navigate to and click on the “Collect Responses” grey tab.

There are four collection options:

  • Web Link to send via email
  • Email to send email invitations and track who responds via Survey Monkey
  • Website to embed the survey in a website
  • Share on Facebook to post the survey to wall or embed on a page

 

Once you decide on the collection method, you’ll have to select a name for this collector. This can be a very helpful way to track how you are getting responses if you choose multiple methods.  Once you’ve named the collector, click next.

Depending what you choose as your collection method, the next page will vary, but generally you’ll be able to customize the message or link or display.

Pros: Crowd-sources data entry

Cons: Not accessible for respondents without internet or without understanding of the internet, difficult to ensure integrity of data collected

2. Manual Data Entry

To enter data manually, you’ll need to create a web link using the method above (be sure to name the collector). Once that is done, simply click on the manual data entry link on the left column. Then click the blue “Add New Response” button to begin entering new surveys. Be sure to always use the manual data entry link (i.e. don’t just use the link you just created) so that you can go back and edit the surveys if you make a mistake.

Pros: You can edit a survey after you enter it

Cons: Slightly more time-consuming

Noteworthy Collector Settings:

Each time you set up and create a new collector, you can adjust the settings for that particular collector. Here are some key settings you should check:

  1. Use SSL encryption? Enable SSL to ensure secure transfer of data.
  2. Survey Completion: Use this setting to redirect respondents to your website when they have completed the survey.
  3. Allow Responses to be Edited? There are three options here, but generally the last one should never be used for formal surveys (“Yes, respondents can re-enter the survey at any time to update their responses”), since this can impact the integrity of the data. Either of the other two options is fine depending on your particular survey.
  4. Allow Multiple Responses: If you are collecting responses via a kiosk or computer lab, allow multiple responses. If not, don’t allow multiple responses. Note: If you are manually entering hard copy surveys (meaning you plan to enter several surveys from one computer), you do NOT need to enable multiple responses. Simply use the Manual Data Entry protocol above.


Analyzing your data in Survey Monkey

Access your data by clicking on the grey “Analyze Results” tab on the top right. This will bring up multiple options for viewing and analyzing your data along the left column with the summary as the default initial page. If you want to analyze the data in Survey Monkey there are a number of tools available to analyze both quantitative (closed questions) and qualitative data (open-ended questions).

Important Note: At the top of the page, there is a pull down menu that says “Default Report.” At the beginning this will simply be the number of total surveys collected. Once you begin analyzing though, this can easily be changed. Every time you enter this page, make sure you are viewing all of the surveys collected and not a filtered subset.

Quantitative Data: Viewing the data in the summary is usually sufficient to get frequencies and counts for each question. The “Browse Responses” Tab allows you to look at each survey individually. Use the “Crosstab Responses” button on the left to crosstab different questions (e.g. crosstab income by education to see if there is a difference in education levels between income levels). The “Filter Responses” Tab allows you to create a subset of the full data for separate analysis (e.g. to analyze responses from only the female respondents).

 

Qualitative Data: In the summary view, scroll down to a qualitative question (includes “Other” responses). Click on “X replies,” where X is the number of responses for that question. This will bring up three tabs with all the responses, an automated text analysis from Survey Monkey and categories. On the first tab, go through all the responses and sort each response into categories that you define. To get started use the automated text analysis tab that pulls out the most used words. Then click on the categories tab to review the final counts and frequency for each category of responses.

 

Downloading to Other Programs for Analysis

Begin by clicking the grey “Analyze Results” tab on the top right. On the left column navigate to the “Download Responses” tab. Generally, you’ll want to download all the responses and not just the summary report, but there are a number of options depending on the software you have available. The best option is probably downloading all the responses in SPSS format. Just enter your email address and you will be sent the file.


Additional Resources

Survey Monkey Manual: http://help.surveymonkey.com/euf/assets/docs/pdf/UserManual.pdf?noIntercept/1

Survey Monkey Help Center: http://help.surveymonkey.com/app/home

Survey Monkey Templates: http://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/use-cases/


Tool: 4.2 Survey Monkey How To and Tips

You will enter your survey data via Survey Monkey, which is designed to match the paper surveys. The form is a way to see and enter information that is stored in a table. When you enter information into the form, it automatically gets entered into an underlying table.

To start…

Log into Survey Monkey and click on the survey you want to open for data entry.

Then click the “Collect Responses” tab in the upper right corner. Select the “Collector Name” that you want to use to enter the data (“collectors” are used to track who collects which surveys and how).

Click “Manual Data Entry” in the right hand grey column. Finally, click the green “Add New Response” button on the right. Enter the data in the window that pops up. It should look very similar to the paper surveys.

After you’ve finished entering the survey, the window will close and a new survey will be added to the list on the main window. Simply, click on “Add New Response” again to enter another survey.

Tips for Entering Data:

  • Keep the answers as they are on the survey, even if you don’t think they make sense.
  • Leave blank answers blank in the form.
  • If ‘other’ is selected in any question, be sure to write in the response in the text box provided.
  • Double check your work.
  • Ask if you have any questions or are unclear about how to input something.

Tool: 4.3 ACCESS How to and Tips

You will enter your survey data via an “ACCESS form”, which is designed to match the paper surveys. The form is a way to see and enter information that is stored in a table. When you enter information into the form, it automatically gets entered into the underlying table.   You do not need to worry about the table and should ONLY OPEN THE FORM (don’t open the table for any reason; any changes to the table could be very bad).

When you open the database….

  • You will be prompted by a Security Warning that reads “certain content in this database has been disabled.” Click “Options…” In the window that pops up (see picture to the right), select “Enable this content” and Click OK.
  • On the left side of the screen under “ACCESS Objects,” double click on the form named “NYCHA Report Card” (see picture to the left).
  • Make sure the screen is in “Form View” NOT “Layout View” or “Design View”.  You can tell by looking at the bottom right hand corner of the screen (see picture to the right).

When you enter survey data….

  • Leave the survey number box blank. Start entering data into any other field and ACCESS will automatically fill in a survey number (see picture to the left).
  • Each “Tab” at the top of the white section corresponds to a section of the report card. Click on the Tab name (“Repairs”) to navigate to the next tab.  Be careful not to miss any tabs.

When you’re done entering each survey…

  • Write the survey number that ACCESS assigned (see above) on the front page of the survey (so we can match the electronic record with the corresponding paper survey).
  • Write your initials on the front page of the paper survey.

When you are ready to enter the next survey…

  • Use the navigation Tool at the bottom left to move to the next survey.

 

NOTE: Whenever you click one of the below arrows, it will take you to a different record, but on the same tab. Be sure to navigate back to the first tab when you start entering a new survey.

This arrow will take you to the next record.

This arrow will take you to the previous record.

This arrow will take you to the first record.

This arrow will take you to the last record.

  • If you do need to edit an existing form, BE VERY CAREFUL to avoid overwriting the wrong form. Double check the number written on the paper survey matches the survey number on the electronic form. On some computers, when you scroll down ACCESS will automatically scroll ahead to the next form.

 

Tips for Entering Data:

  • Keep the answers as they are on the survey, even if you don’t think they make sense.
  • Leave blank answers blank in the form.
  • If ‘other’ is selected in any question, be sure to write in the response in the text box provided.
  • Paraphrase the response if an answer is too long to fit into the text boxes (the character limit is 255). If you think the full quote would be useful for the report, save the full quote for later reference in a separate Word document.
  • Double check your work.
  • Ask if you have any questions or are unclear about how to input something.
  • Back up your work on either a network drive, a USB drive or by emailing it to yourself.