The difference between a question and a sub-question

Apart from most other survey systems Research Studio has a unique concept of questions and sub-questions. At a first glance this may seem a bit complex, but once you get the grasp of it you will benefit from this feature. In practice you can easily create advanced questionnaires that normally require expert skills.

An example: The benefit of sub-questions

Looking at the question below, you can see an example of a typical question where two questions share the same set of rows:

  • The first is a multiple choice question with an open text alternative
  • The second a follow up single grid question

In Research Studio this is defined as  1 question-box with 2 sub-questions.

Constructing a question like this will give you three obvious advantages you probably won’t find anywhere else:

  1. It is very easy to filter the second sub-question based on the answers given in the first, i.e. you only want to show the rows for the alternatives ticked in the first sub-question. You create a filter for the second sub-question:
    1. Open the filter builder
    2. From the Filter drop-down, select sub question 2
    3. Select "Advanced" and scroll down. Check "Synchronous"

  2. If you insert a new row, or disable one, the other sub-question will be “automatically” updated. The rows will always be synchronous and hence no routing discrepancies between the two sub-questions.
  3. You also have the option to include an open text alternative (“other, please specify”) in the first sub-question. This implies two “automatic” features:
    1. The text specified in the open text will “follow through” to the next sub-question, so that for a respondent this “other” will look as a normal category in sub-question 2.
    2. When you code the open ends from sub-question 1, the number of rows in the second sub-question will also be expanded. This makes the data extremely easy to analyze. 

You can even add more sub-questions to the above (“How many days did you stay in this country?”, “How did you travel to this country?”, “How much did you spend?” etc.)

This feature is very useful for typical questions like:

  • Recall - impression (or other ”synchronous” follow up sub-questions) as described above
  • Brand awareness – first mentioned – second mentioned etc.
  • Satisfaction – “why were you dissatisfied with these factors”

Note that ALL questions-boxes have at least one sub-question, even if it only has one.

Additional note - make sure you test this on small / mobile screens. The layout may differ from what you want to achieve.


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