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Whenever you export data with SurveyCTO, a data export report is output alongside that data, to help contextualize it. This report is designed to help downstream consumers answer questions like the following.

How was the data secured?

Data export reports indicate whether or not SurveyCTO's advanced encryption features were used to protect the data. See Encrypting form data to learn more about those features. (If your data is at all sensitive, you should typically use those features.)

How was the data reviewed and corrected?

Data export reports include details on submission approval status and method – as well as the number of comments and corrections made to the data – so that you can gain some insight into the quality-control process used to produce that data. No data-collection effort is perfect, and the best efforts include a robust QC process to assure that the data exported for visualization and analysis is high-quality. Typically, you want to see evidence that some reasonable proportion of incoming data was reviewed and corrected as necessary. See Reviewing and correcting incoming data to learn more about SurveyCTO's review and correction workflow options.

What was the assessed quality of the data?

Data export reports include details on the quality classification of all exported submissions. Given that no data-collection effort is ever perfect, if you see that all submissions are either "Good" or "Unclassified," that suggests that incoming data was probably not reviewed carefully (or at all). See Reviewing and correcting incoming data to learn more about submission review classifications.

What data was excluded?

If only a subset of a form's submissions are exported, then the data export report includes a summary of submissions excluded. For example, it's typical to only export approved (vs. pending or rejected) submissions, so the report will include a summary of the overall universe of submissions. See Reviewing and correcting incoming data to learn more about submission review status.

How many file attachments are there?

SurveyCTO submission data can include file attachments such as images, audio recordings, and detailed meta-data, so data export reports indicate the total number of attached files associated with the export.

Which form versions were used to collect and export the data?

Data export reports include details on the form used to export the data (in the top-left), as well as the form versions used to collect that data. Since changes to a form can affect which data is included, how it is formatted, and how it should be interpreted, it's often important to factor form differences into your visualization or analysis. See Updating an existing form to learn more about form updates in SurveyCTO.

How was the data exported?

Data export reports will also contain information about the actual export process, including the date and time that the data was exported. If exporting directly from your server console, the export report will list your server name and username. If exporting from SurveyCTO Desktop, the export report will list your computer name and username. Export reports from Desktop will also indicate if the export completed with any errors or warnings.

Learning more

See Understanding the format of exported data to learn more about the format of data exported by SurveyCTO.

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