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Summarise question answers

In Netigate, if you want to summarise the answers from a number of questions, you can use the question type “Textbox” with a few modifications.

When to use summarise answers?

This function won’t be necessary for every survey, but it can be useful in surveys where you are dealing with numerical values. For those of you who do want to make use of the function, it’s important that you present your intention clearly to respondents. In order to avoid confusion when using this function, we advise you to insert straightforward instructions about what type of information you need and how the respondent should fill out the questions.

How to create?

To begin creating a summarised textbox, click the “Textbox” option in the left-hand menu. It will then be added as the last question at the bottom of the page you are currently editing. You will then be given the option to label the question with a description or heading. This field can be left blank, but we recommend that you have a clear heading explaining what value should be inserted into the box.

Once you have created a textbox, you will need to adjust the settings in order for the SUM functionality to work:

  • Required: All questions that should be summarised need to be set as “Required”. This means they cannot be skipped by respondents.
  • Numerical: In order for the calculation to work, all questions that should be summarised need to collect numerical responses and be marked as “Numerical” in the textbox settings.

Important: Textboxes marked as “Required” cannot be left empty by the respondent. If a “Required” question is not relevant to a respondent, they must insert “0” into the answer field.

With these two settings, all textboxes that appear consecutively, on the same page, will be included in the calculation.

Important: The textboxes need to appear consecutively (i.e. one immediately after the other) on the same page. They should not be split up with any other question types or information text—this will disrupt the calculation.

In the image above, we have used to the question “How much do you spend on the following items per month? (In Euro)”. We will use two textboxes in this example:

  • Food (€)
  • Shopping (€)

Below these two options you can see an additional box, with the text “[SUM=0] Total (€):”. This box is where the calculation is executed. You must include this box in order for the summarise function to work.

The summary

As noted above, you need to end your series of questions with a final textbox that works to summarise the responses. This will complete the functionality. It is important that this box has the same settings as the boxes above it, meaning that you need to set the box to “Required” and “Numerical”. In the header of the textbox, you need to insert a short tag in order for the system to perform the calculation.

This tag can vary depending on what the purpose of the summary is.

[SUM=0]: When writing [SUM=0] in the header, the system will add up all of the numerical responses provided by respondents, giving you the total sum of all boxes.

[SUM=100]: When writing [SUM=100] in the header of a textbox, the system will add up all numerical responses provided, but there will be a limit of 100. This option is a perfect fit for considering percentage distribution, for example. This means that the individual answers provided cannot be lower or higher than 100, with the final figure equalling exactly 100 in order for the calculation to work. You can change the number 100 here to any number that will fulfil your purpose.

Sum functionality in the respondent view: