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De-rotate repeated questions

This is the recommended method for processing questionnaires which require that a respondent be asked the same set of questions for 2 or more products, or situations (often referred to as a “trailer” survey) when the products are asked in a different order for respondents (rotated).

Data is entered in the same order as it was collected on the printed questionnaire.

We will use as an example, a questionnaire which collects information about just 3 different products – A, B and C (tested in any order).

When defining your Question Definitions file (QDF), before each set of repeated questions (with each question text simply labelled 1st product tested, 2nd product tested, and 3rd product tested), you should include an “id” entry to establish the name of the product which is about to be tested. In this way you will know the order in which each respondent tested each product.

This Question Definitions file (QDF) can then be used for data entry purposes. Information from the product test questionnaires is entered in the same order as it was collected on the printed document.

Once all data from the questionnaires has been entered, we recommend that you take a back-up copy of the completed data file (ASC or CBA) and then using the Companion to open the data file and from the “Data” window, select [File] [Export Data] and choose all of the questions which relate to the 1st tested product, including the “id” entry and save to a CSV file. You should then follow the same procedure until you also have a CSV file for the 2nd tested, and 3rd tested products.

Next using a spreadsheet program, such as Excel, insert the 3 individual CSV files into a new master CSV file. Next, sort this master file on the product being tested (using the column containing the “id” entry), so the information is re-ordered by the product, rather than when it was tested.

IMPORTANT: Remember to highlight information in all of the spreadsheet columns when sorting in the CSV file. If you do not do this, only the contents of the “id” column will be re-ordered and the other information (including the respondent serial number) will remain in the original unsorted position - meaning that the data for each respondent will no longer be correct!

The next step is to split this master CSV file, back into 3 separate “product” CSV files, one for product A, another for Product B and another for product C. Each new “product” CSV file, should include the original column headings - containing the entry names, as the first row.

Now copy the Question Definitions file (QDF) which was used for data entry, so that you can make a correctly labelled “master” questionnaire to use for analysis purposes. Using Companion open the new “master” Question Definitions file (QDF) and use "Text find and replace" to change the text for all of the "1st product” entries to read “Product A”, all of the ”2nd product” entries to read “Product B”, and all of the ”3rd product” entries to read “Product C”.

Using this new “master” Question Definitions file (QDF) with QPSMR Classic, open the original data file (ASC or CBA) and from the “Data” window, select [File] [Update from CSV file], choose the “Product A” CSV file. Notice that Companion automatically selects the [Portable format] radio button at the “Format of CSV file” dialog box, and select [OK]. A description of the “data hand over” is then shown at the screen; when you have checked the display select [Yes]. QPSMR Classic will automatically feed the re-ordered information from the “Product A” CSV file, into the “Product A” entries in the master questionnaire.

Repeat this procedure for the “Product B” and “Product C” CSV files, to hand over the re-ordered data into the remaining product entries.

This new “master” QDF file can then be used for analysis and the data can be exported.

TIP: When using this method it is possible to “hand over” all of the re-ordered product information, using just one CSV file, rather than 3 separate product CSV files, if you prefer. To do this you should sort 3 separate files, as described above, and then sort the re-ordered information again, this time by the serial number column. Care is needed, however, to ensure that all relevant columns of the spreadsheet are included in the “sort” and you must check that all re-ordered product information, from each of the product files, uses the same serial number order. You can then cut the “entry” information from the individual product files and paste it into one master product CSV file, ensuring that a correctly labelled column is included for each question. Information from this master CSV file can then be “handed over” as described above.


  • Copy QDF and ASC (or CBA) to master files and modify texts in new MASTER.QDF to include product names.
  • Open ORIGINAL.QDF and export a portable CSV file for each test (TEST1, TEST2 etc).
  • Open TEST1.CSV in your spreadsheet program and save as MASTER.CSV then open other CSVs and copy cells into MASTER.CSV.
  • Sort MASTER.CSV on TEST question.
  • From MASTER.CSV copy cells for Test 1 to TEST1.CSV.
  • From MASTER.CSV copy cells for Test 2 to TEST2.CSV, and so on.
  • Open MASTER.QDF and update MASTER.ASC (or CBA) from TEST1.CSV, then from TEST2.CSV and so on.

Care is needed when sorting using the spreadsheet program