Custom Variables

Custom Variables are computed variables that allow for recoded questions to be quickly created. This functionality is found in the Data Dictionary Tab of a Published or Test Published survey.


The following points are worth noting for Custom Variables:

  1. Once created, Custom Variables are available for use in Queries and Reports.
  2. Only Power Analysts and Power Users have the ability to add, modify, or delete Custom Variables
  3. Custom Variables are not permitted to reference other Custom Variables
  4. A Custom Variable created in a Test Published survey is only available for the Test Published survey. You will
  5. have to create the same variable for the Published Survey.
  6. Custom Variables are saved in the database and are not part of the survey. For example, a cloned survey will not contain the Custom Variables that were a part of the original survey.
  7. Custom Variables are not objects that can be copied and pasted.
  8. When fields referenced by a Custom Variable are modified, the Custom Variable’s value will also vary

Examples of Custom Variables

An example of a Custom Variable would be the creating of a variable that provided the “top 3”, “bottom 3”, and the middle. So if you have a question, Q1, with a scale from 1 through 10, you might want to recode the question into the “bottom 3”, “top 3”, and middle 4. You could do this by defining the following criteria “Q1 <= 3”, “Q3 = 7”, and “Q3 3 AND Q3 < 7” respectfully.


Another example would be where there is a question, Q1, that is an open-ended AGE question and you want to define a new question that breaks this data out into the following intervals: those < 18, between 18 and 35, between 36 and 65, 65. A variable could be defined that would define each of these separate intervals or scale values. Each scale value would be assigned a different criteria “Q1 < 18”, “Q1 = 18 AND Q1 <= 35”, “Q1 35 AND Q1 <=65”, and “Q1 65”.