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Losing data after reentering a questionnaire and changing an answer

We just noticed on a project that when a respondent reenters the questionnaire, gets back to a previous question and changes his mind or adds an information the data gets lost. The answers corresponding to questions following this page, that were previously validated and saved in the data have disappeared. For the respondent the answers are still shown online when he continues answering the questionnaire, as they seem to be strored in a "history" database, however they get stored again in the "real" database only after the respondent has validated them again.

Is there a way to avoid this situation and to have either access to the history table or to have the data still stored in the real database? Or should we think of another way of programming the questionnaire that would avoid this situation? The limitation here though is that respondents are never marked completes and should always have the possibility to go back to previous questions.

Thank you
asked Mar 24, 2017 by anonymous
Does someone have an answer to this problem?  We have the same issue.

Thank you

1 Answer

0 votes
Please email me directly on this issue: justin@sawtoothsoftware.com.  The software is currently programmed to force a respondent to start over at the beginning of the survey if anything on the link changes.  For example if you have a pass-in variable "region" your link might look like this:


If the next time you return to the survey your link has changed such that region is 2 for example:


The survey restarts at the beginning.  The respondent will see prior answers but will have to click "Next" until they return where they left off.

This is by design because we don't know if the pass-in information controls skip logic etc.  Imagine that you are linking two surveys and passing information from one to the other via pass-in variables.  If you backed up and changed an answer in a prior question in the 1st survey you would need to see all the questions again going forward in the 2nd survey.

Even though the software is designed this way we want to find out more from you.  I realize this design has not been good for some people.  Maybe we could figure out a solution that would make everyone happy.  Again, please email me if you have ideas or want to discuss this further.

answered May 8, 2018 by Justin Luster Silver Sawtooth Software, Inc. (7,775 points)
Thanks for confirming Justin. That makes sense in what you say. Me personally, I think the design you have in place is correct.