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Analysing time responses

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Time questions enable respondents to give a specific time either in 12 or 24 hour clock and Time variables can be analysed in a number of ways as follows:

  • Times can be categorised as falling into particular periods in the day, such as ‘rush hour’; ‘mid-morning peak’ or ‘lunchtime’.
  • The difference between two times (for example between a time of arrival and a time of departure) can be calculated and the totals grouped into appropriate ranges, such as ’15 minutes waiting time’; ’30 minutes waiting time’ and ‘1 hour waiting time’.

Time formats

A wide range of ways of entering time data is supported.

  • When time data is entered, use a consistent time format. If you use the twelve hour clock remember to add the am or pm suffix otherwise all times will be read as am.
  • Any calculations of time between two periods that fall either side of midnight (e.g. 11.58 pm to 3.30 am) produces a positive number in calculations such as ‘Duration of time’ from time of departure minus time of arrival.

Time Format examples

Time Format varieties

23:59:59

24 hour clock with hours, minutes and seconds. Hours, minutes and seconds separated by a colon.

23:59

24 hour clock with hours and minutes. Hours and minutes separated by a colon.

2300 hours or 23 hours

24 hour clock with or without 00 minutes and with ‘hours’ suffix.

2300 hrs or 23 hrs

24 hour clock with or without 00 minutes and with ‘hrs’ suffix.

11:59:59 or 11:59:59 am or 11:59:59 pm

12 hour clock with hours, minutes and seconds and ‘am’ or ‘pm’ indicator. Hours, minutes and seconds separated by colon.

With no am suffix morning is assumed.

11:59 or 11:59 pm

12 hour clock with hours and minutes and ‘am’ or ‘pm’ indicator. Hours and minutes separated by colon.

With no am suffix morning is assumed.

11 am or 11 pm

12 hour clock with hour only and ‘am’ or ‘pm’ indicator.

With no am suffix morning is assumed.

11 o’clock am or

11 o’clock pm

12 hour clock with hour only, ‘o’clock’ label and ‘am’ or ‘pm’ indicator.

With no am suffix morning is assumed.

Time functions

When defining times, there are a number of functions that can be used to perform calculations and tests on the times.

Function

Interpretation

{time}<, <=, =, ==, <>, >=, > {time}

Shows whether or not a time response fits into the category specified.

{time}-{quantity}

Gives a time, calculated from an existing time variable and a quantity variable.

{time} + {quantity}

Gives a time, calculated from an existing time variable and a quantity variable.

hour

Gives the hour in which the time occurs. Use 24 hour clock only when specifying code values.

minute

Gives the minute’s part of the time only.

second

Gives the second’s part of the time only.

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