Capturing, Coding, and Cleaning Survey Data
In comparison to other components of the survey process, the literature on capturing and coding data is sparse. In contrast, there is a whole body of literature on cleaning data. All three components are essential when designing and conducting a survey. The capture of survey data takes place in both the collection and processing phases of the survey. Data capture occurs initially during the survey field period, as survey data are entered into the data collection instrument. The phase(s) of the survey process where survey data coding and cleaning occurs (are) largely dependent on the mode of data collection. If electronic modes of data collection are used, some coding, such as respondents assigning their businesses to a standard industrial classification, may take place during the survey field period. Some data cleaning may also take place in the survey field period if the electronic data collection instrument has inbuilt validation. Data capture, coding, and cleaning then proceeds after the survey field period as data are returned to the survey organization for processing.
The connections between what is typically regarded as the process phase of the survey and the collection phase have implications in terms of the mode, questions, questionnaire, and respondent communication. These need to be considered, as these parts of the survey process are designed and built. This chapter ...