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sys_SumPageTimes vs sys_ElapsedTime

I am trying to understand the mechanics of these two system variables.

I have reviewed some old forum posts that didn't quite answer my question.

I was just reviewing the data for a recent survey. Most of the data indicated sys_ElapsedTime > sys_SumPageTimes. That made sense to me. But there were occasions where sys_ElapsedTime < sys_SumPageTimes? This had me puzzled?

I always thought the sys_ElapsedTime was the end time - start time. So if I started the survey on Monday at 9am and completed the survey on Tuesday at 9am, my elapsed time would be 24 hours.

My understanding of sys_SumPageTimes was the total time the respondent spent on each page (from the time the page was delivered to the respondent until the page was submitted, including backing up times). So multiple times / visits to the one page would all be included for that page.

If a respondent took 24 hours from starting a survey to completing a survey because they had suspended the survey and came back to it later, I would expect the sys_ElapsedTime = 24 hours. The actual time completing the survey, including backing up may have only taken 20 minutes.

So I see how the sys_ElapsedTime > sys_SumPageTimes and in some cases far greater, depending on suspension dates / times. If the survey is completed in one session, I would expect these two system time variables to be similar, particularly if backing up was kept to a bare minimum.

How is sys_SumPageTimes ever greater than sys_ElapsedTime? Please explain?
asked Nov 25, 2016 by Paul Moon Platinum (98,670 points)
I would also like to know the answer to this. In the survey I'm working on right now the sys_ElapsedTime is less than sys_PageTime in all cases.

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