Exporting CAPI data to Stata: Experience from surveybe
Researchers typically spend significant amounts of time cleaning and labeling data files in preparation of analyses of survey data. Computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) gives the ability to automate this process. First, consistency checks can be run during the interview so that only data that passes autogenerated and user-written validation tests comes back from the field. Second, CAPI allows for the autogeneration of a Stata do-file that labels data files. This presentation discusses the Stata export procedure used by surveybe, a CAPI application designed to handle complex surveys. The questions, as displayed on the screen to the interviewer, are automatically turned into variable labels. Likewise, the drop-down menus are autocoded as value labels. Furthermore, the export procedure ensures that data from rosters get exported into different Stata data files and that complete referential integrity is ensured across all the files originating from the same survey, with unique primary keys linking files together. Any changes made to the electronic questionnaire (for example, adding a response code to the drop-down menu) or changes to the phrasing of a question will be automatically incorporated into the exported data files, thus ensuring that the data files match the questionnaires completely.
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