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What happens if I switch the order of questions after launch?

We decided we need to swap the order of two questions. We've already launched. If I switch the order and upload, what will happen to my existing data?
asked Mar 27 by IowaResearcher (275 points)
I did a very quick test, and it looks like the data will stay, and it will stay in the original order when I view it online. Any confirmation or info on whether it depends on question type would still be appreciated.

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I've had to change the order of questions before in past surveys.

Your existing data is fine. The data is captured. So no issues there.

Regarding your new surveys, they will be captured according to the new survey order. The same data will be captured as per the old survey version, with just the order being different. We are still dealing with the same questions right?

The concerns are with the incompleted surveys when you make the update. If for example you had a question at the back and you moved it to the front, an incompleted survey half way through the survey that recommences will continue from the half way mark and go through to the end and will miss that moved question.

Providing it is just the movement of questions and not changing question structure (e.g. a multiple response question becoming a single response question), I have found it to be okay.

I certainly don't encourage the movement of questions, but if it needs to be done, so be it.

I encourage the following before making the changes ...

1/ Backup your current data.
2/ Take a snap shot of the incompletes counts in the admin module.

And if you want to go one step further, do a test survey yourself and suspend it half way through, then update the survey with the moved question/s, then recommence that suspended survey and see the effect.

Hope that helps.
answered Mar 27 by Paul Moon Platinum (80,455 points)
selected Mar 27 by IowaResearcher
Thanks, Paul! Yes, the questions are the same, and luckily they are right next to each other in order. I didn't even consider the incompletes. I only have one that may be affected. Yay! Thanks for the reminders on saving data and reviewing the incompletes.
It sounds like you are understanding the effects of the changes.

Now make a note of that potential incomplete survey that could be affected (record the sys_RespNum). If it eventually becomes a complete and has missing data, you will know why.

And in the admin module under the DATA menu, the question order will become the new question order. But that's okay.

Your old data (completes and disqualifieds are totally safe). It's those incompletes that can throw a wobbly at you.

Another tip is to consistently monitor the frequency counts on the questions that have moved around. To be honest, you should be checking the whole data set a few times to convince yourself all is okay.
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