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Electronic Survey Data Entry using CSPro or Hand-held Device

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Paul Mwas

on 10 September 2013

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Transcript of Electronic Survey Data Entry using CSPro or Hand-held Device

Electronic Survey Data Entry using CSPro or Hand-held Devices
Current Status
Paper then Digital
Data collected using traditional paper and pen method (PAPI).
Questionnaires then transcribed into a digital form for analysis.

Using Hand-held Devices
Data collected using a data collection application in a netbook/laptop or tablets/PDAs.
Data already in digital format and only data transfer and aggregation is required.

This session is intended to be a starting point for anyone who is considering doing electronic survey data entry as opposed to paper questionnaires.
Learning outcomes:
Be able to see how electronic data entry systems assist in achieving quality data.
Be able to decide whether to transition from using paper questionnaires to electronic data entry systems.
Be able to know when to use notebooks/laptops and when to use hand-held devices.

Questionnaires are the most preferred mode of collecting data here at ICRAF.
Generally referred to as PAPI (Paper and Pen Interviewing) applications.
Survey design, questionnaire design, sample design are done perfectly.
Will electronic data collection help?
Electronic/Digital Data entry
Usually a developer creates an application to be used for data entry in the pc.
The application is then transferred to a hand-held device.
The hand-held device (notebook, tab, mobile phone etc.) displays the questions on screen, the interviewer reads them to the respondent, and then enters the respondent's answers.
These applications are called CAPI (Computer-assisted personal interviewing) applications.
Two ways:
Paper then digital – using CSPro
Using hand held devices – using CyberTracker
Minimum criteria for CAPI programs
1. Data Capture
2. Questionnaire navigation
3. Skipping/branching
4. Data quality control
5. Data management
6. Case management
The Census and Survey Processing System (CSPro) is a software package for entering, editing, tabulating, and disseminating data from censuses and surveys.
CSPro is developed and supported by the U.S. Census Bureau and ICF Macro, funding for the development and maintenance of CSPro is primarily provided by USAID.
CSPro is not intended to provide database management capabilities.
Windows based and can also be used with PDAs.
Features of CSPro:
Data dictionary
Data entry forms
Export Data
Compare data
Concatenate data
Pack application
Download documents and software from www.census.gov/population/international/software/cspro/
Started as a tracking tool in the Kalahari desert.
CyberTracker is developed and supported by the University of Cape Town.
CyberTracker is the most efficient method of gps field data collection.
Android based and can be used on any android portable device.
Comparison (Capi vs. Papi)

Paper Survey
Digital Survey

Though the electronic devices such as notebooks and tablets are getting cheaper, buying the devices is expensive.
There are no costs for data entry.

Setting up the infrastructure is essential and is costly upfront.

Paper Survey

Digital Survey


A separate pilot is need for the questionnaire and for the device to ensure the staff is comfortable with both.
Changing the software after piloting requires uploading the new version of the software on each device.
Database structure must be updated and must be consistent with the questionnaire changes.

Paper Survey

Digital Survey

Training the staff requires a longer time upfront and because the staff must be trained to understand the questionnaire and the device operations.

Electronic surveys combine many steps into one and therefore may be a more viable option for future as the digital devices get cheaper.


Paper Survey
Digital Survey

Data Validation and Accuracy

Data Collection and Data Entry happen at the same time, and no separate Data Entry staff needs to be hired.
Data can be scrutinized real time as the data is data is getting uploaded to the server (if configurations allow).
Data validation is built into the software, which does not allow invalid values to be entered.
 Back-checks can be performed to ensure data accuracy.

Paper Survey

Digital Survey


The infrastructure must be in place to charge the devices, backup and upload the data, and restore the software on all devices.
Devices must be stored in a safe and checked for wear-and-tear, and damages on a regular basis.
There should be replacement devices in place in case of a mechanical malfunction.

Paper Survey (PAPI)

Digital Survey (CAPI)

Staffing and Training

Staff should have basic field experience and basic computer knowledge.
Staff must be trained on both – the questionnaire and the device operations.
Recruitment and training typically take longer.
Data Collection precedes Data Entry, and therefore there are two separate teams for these operations.
Data is scrutinized manually either after the survey is completed or after the data is entered electronically.
Data validation happens at the time of Data Entry.
Back-checks are performed to ensure data accuracy.

Paper surveys entail lesser cost for data collection, higher overall costs.

Additional costs for data entry include hiring, training and employing the data entry staff, and setting up the data entry machines.
The infrastructure costs for data entry can be high depending on the number of surveys to be entered.
Training the staff happens in two stages – the surveyors are trained for data collection and then data entry operators for data entry. Therefore training can be costlier for paper surveys.
The paper surveys are less efficient than electronic surveys and therefore may end up being more expensive.
Staff should have basic field experience.

Staff must be trained to address the questionnaire.

Recruitment is more straightforward compared to those for electronic surveys.
Only basic infrastructure is needed to store finished and unfinished surveys.


Extra replacement surveys should be printed in case the originals cannot be used.
A single pilot (may include multiple rounds) is needed to test the questionnaire in field conditions.
If the questionnaire is changed after piloting all changes must be accommodated and new surveys must be printed.
Thank You!
Paul Baraka
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