Sometimes you already have data for respondents prior to their completing the survey and you want this information to be available during the questionnaire (for example, to display certain prior-known information or to execute skip patterns). Lighthouse Studio lets you add up to 248 data fields (variables) in addition to the passwords that will be automatically merged into each respondent's record when the respondent accesses the survey. Merged data may be used just as regular survey data for skip patterns, displaying prior answers to the screen, etc. Merged data is limited to 255 characters per field. Both the passwords and the Merged Fields are stored within the same database file.
Use the table to define the Merged Fields included in your password database. As an example, suppose we already have information on our respondents (prior to interviewing them) regarding their zip code and names. In this survey, we'll be asking them to evaluate a list of grocery stores in their area. Since we already know each respondent's zip code, we can merge each respondent's zip code into each respondent's record as soon as the respondent provides his or her unique password(s) and starts the survey. We'll use the zipcode variable to build a constructed list of grocery stores available within the zipcode. Furthermore, we'll use the respondent's first name to customize the welcome screen, such as "Thank you for taking this survey, Mary."
The Firstname variable may be referenced with Sawtooth Scripting as would any other question variable within the study. For example:
Thank-you for taking this survey, [% Firstname %].
You can add another Merged Fields variable by typing in the next blank row, or by clicking the Insert a new merged row icon. To delete a row, click the Delete the selected merged row(s) icon. To reorder the merged fields, click the up and down arrow icons.
Click the Password Data icon to add the actual merged fields data into the password database.