Finding Missing Data


SurveyCTO includes a wide range of features and safeguards meant to prevent the possibility that you will ever lose any of the data you collect. However, it's not uncommon for data to be mis-coded, mis-placed, or just generally overlooked, and so it's not uncommon to find yourself thinking that some data has gone missing somewhere.

If you find yourself suddenly worried that some of your data is missing, the first thing we'd ask is that you trust that SurveyCTO has been used to collect data in thousands of challenging settings around the world -- and that you don't need to panic. Almost certainly, the data is safe and sound somewhere.

This troubleshooting guide will walk you through the most common sources of problems and confusion, and guide you through the process of looking for your missing data.

Step 1

When reviewing your data:

(A) Are you looking at the data in the CSV file (perhaps by opening it in Excel) that is exported by SurveyCTO? Data can be exported from the Export tab of your server console, or using SurveyCTO Desktop.

If yes >> Please click the following link to jump to Step 2.

(B) Or are you looking at your data after importing the CSV/Excel file into another software, like Stata, SPSS or R?

If (B) >> Please look at the data directly in the original CSV exported by SurveyCTO. Is any data missing in the CSV? The simplest way to look at your CSV data is to open the CSV in a spreadsheet tool like Excel or Google Sheets. If you have trouble viewing the data properly in Excel, please follow the steps in this help article to correctly import the CSV into Excel.

If yes >> Please click the following link to jump to Step 2.

If no >> Stop here: your data is being exported from SurveyCTO correctly and it sounds like the real issue is that it is not fully being imported into your third-party data analysis tool (such as SPSS or Stata). To resolve the problem with your third-party analysis software, you will want to troubleshoot in that tool. If you are using Stata, you can read our help topic on using our SurveyCTO-generated Stata .dta file for some guidance.

If you are a paying user, you can also submit a support request by clicking on the My requests link in the top right to get help troubleshooting the Stata import process. If you are a free community user, you can seek additional help by posting a question to other users on the community forum.

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