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:
- Once created, Custom Variables are available for use in Queries and Reports.
- Only Power Analysts and Power Users have the ability to add, modify, or delete Custom Variables
- Custom Variables are not permitted to reference other Custom Variables
- A Custom Variable created in a Test Published survey is only available for the Test Published survey. You will
- have to create the same variable for the Published Survey.
- 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.
- Custom Variables are not objects that can be copied and pasted.
- 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”.