A Data Lookup question enables users to retrieve data from a table through a query. Rather than having to type out a response, they can find the data that they need, refining their query until they locate the right result. For the admin this offers greater control of received input and improved data quality, while users can benefit from the aid of the search feature and gain assurance that their answer suits the question being asked.

The Data Lookup question can be added to a survey by clicking Add Question and selecting Data Lookup among the Participant Information questions.

To use the question, you will need a CSV containing a table of data. The user will be searching through the contents of one column and be seeing/retrieving the results of another column. In the example below, we'll have the user search for a state abbreviation from the "Abbrev" column and see the matching cell from the "State" column. Or, we could also show the content of the "Capital" column -- i.e., when the user searches "WA," we can show them either "Washington" or "Olympia." The result they see will be the question data response.

After entering a question prompt you'll select the following options:

  1. Change Image (optional): an image added to the question can be removed or changed here (see step #3 below).

  2. Question wording: the question prompt. This will have already been chosen but can be edited here.

  3. Add Image (optional). The image added here will be shown to the user along with the question prompt.

  4. Data file: this is the data file prepared earlier. If a file has already been added to a data lookup question, it should be available here. If so, you may select it here and choose to edit it, download it or upload another (see below).

  5. Edit: choose the settings for the question in the Data Lookup Editor.

    1. Dataset name: the name of the file as it will appear in the dropdown on the question settings.

    2. Choose lookup column: this is the column of data from which the user will search. The values here will be the ones eligible to be searched by the user -- i.e., this is what they'll be entering to find something in the table.

    3. Choose lookup type: you may choose a default data type that the system recognizes or choose Custom for something else. If you want to enforce that the exact values in the table are returned, Custom is the recommended setting here.

    4. Translate lookup values: this will automatically translate the returned values seen by the user. In our example, if the user searches OR and the survey is a custom Spanish-language survey, they should see "Oregón" instead of "Oregon."

  6. Download: this will download the data file onto your computer. You may then review and edit the data as desired.

  7. Upload New: upload a new data file to use for the question.

  8. Enable Fuzzy Lookup: toggle this on to offer more flexible lookup, or toggle it off to enforce a strict lookup.

  9. Generated message after lookup (*important*): this is the value from the data file that the user will see. Surround the name of the column in double braces.

  10. Merge fields: you may choose another column from the data file and add it to the lookup. If the user searches for a state abbreviation in our example, you can have the system return both the state name and capital from the data file.

Click Save Changes and return to your survey live site to see the results.

See also:

What types of questions and engagement activities can I add?

How to add and edit tables within your project content

Adding images to questions and response options

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