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Merge MaxDiff data

Hello all,

I have collected data on an online MaxDiff survey. When trying to update the survey, I accidentally erased the data already collected from the admin module. However, I had previously downloaded the respective .dat file. Now that I have more data collected, I want to merge these two sets of information to compute the scores. Both sets have the same design file, so my question is: how can I do it?

(I already saw both https://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/forum/3322/merging-similar-maxdiff-studies and https://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/forum/3057/how-to-merge-data-for-a-maxdiff, but it seems they are somewhat different from what I'm asking)

Many thanks.
asked May 3, 2013 by João Fernandes Bronze (2,040 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
If you're in Version 7 or earlier, the dat.dat file is simply a text file.  Consequently, you can open both dat.dat files in a text editor (Microsoft Notepad, EditPlus, or any other plain text editor will work).

First, CREATE BACKUPS of both files to make sure you can recover if you do something wrong!

Then copy the entire contents of the one file and paste it at the bottom of the other.  Be careful not to include any extra blank lines between data records, and also be sure to save it in the same file format of the original files.  (We occasionally see problems because people will do this on a Mac, for instance, and the format gets changed, which makes the file incompatible with SSI Web!). Save this new file as STUDYNAMEdat.dat, matching the original names of the other files.

Just a helpful hint - when I do this operation, I will often type something like XXXXXXX at the bottom of the first file before I paste in the data from the second file.  Then, I can use the text editor "Find" function to find "XXXXXXX", delete it, and ensure that I've joined them correctly.  Otherwise, you end up with an enormous file and have no idea where the join occurred, making it difficult to fix should problems arise!
answered May 3, 2013 by Aaron Hill Gold Sawtooth Software, Inc. (10,995 points)
Thanks for the tips, I'll try it. Also, I'm using version 7.0.26, indeed. I won't have any trouble with the respondents IDs (repetead IDs across the two files content, etc?

Thanks so much again, once I try I'll post here my feedback.