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Introduction to Auto Category variables

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Auto category variables allow you to code open-response literal and quantity variables. The auto category variable is derived from the open-response variable. When you create or run an auto category variable, it sorts the responses in the variable it is derived from into categories. You specify the number of codes to create, and Snap will create that number of codes from the categories with the highest number of responses. The codes may change each time the data changes.

Results dialog base lables tab

Coding works differently depending on the type of data in your open response variable.

Text

  • You can create codes based on individual words within responses or the complete response. Codes are created in alphabetical order from the codes with the highest counts. When categorising by word, Snap assumes that the words are separated by spaces.

Dates, times or values

  • Codes are ordered from lowest to highest (with code 1 containing the earliest time or date or the lowest value).

Creating an auto category variable

  1. Click AnalysisVariablesIcon.png to show the list of Analysis Variable
AnalysisVariables.PNG
  1. Click NewSurveyIcon.png on the toolbar and select New Auto Category Variable from the list. The Auto Category Variable Details dialog opens.
AutoCategory1.PNG
  1. Change the Label to a short description of the purpose of the variable.
  2. Enter the name of the open-response variable to categorise in the Source field.
  3. Specify the maximum number of codes that you would like in the Limit codes field.
  4. Check ‘With Other’ if you wish to group responses into an ‘Other’ category e.g. if ‘Limit codes’ is set to 5, only the top 5 codes will be displayed and the remaining codes will be grouped as ‘Other’.
  5. If you are categorising a literal variable:
    • Within Options ensure Separate Words is selected unless you know that there will be common phrases (e.g., zip codes) that you wish to use as codes.
    • Set Modify case to the case that you would like the code labels to use. (Normal will use the text as it appears in the responses)
    • Leave Case sensitive clear unless you know that you wish to code responses in different cases differently.
AutoCategory2.PNG
  1. Click SaveIcon.png to save your new variable.
  2. Open the Auto Category Variable Details window. By default the codes are displayed in order. These are the most populous codes in alphabetic order by label.
  3. Change the name to something that you will understand. For example, MyAVfromQ8
  4. Select ch_codes to display all possible codes. Categories that are not displayed in the word cloud appear with the category number in brackets. They are sorted by number of items.
AutoCategory3.PNG
  1. To stop a word being used in the word cloud, clear Include.
  2. Items that are not included are sent to the bottom of the list. You can sort the list by Label or number of items. Click on the appropriate column label to change the way the list is sorted.
  3. Click SaveIcon.png to save your new variable.

Editing an auto category variable

  1. Click AnalysisVariablesIcon.png to show the list of analysis variables. The dialog below shows two auto category variables and a group variable. Double-click the variable you wish to edit. The Auto Category Variable Details window opens. By default the codes are displayed in order. These are the most populous codes in alphabetic or numeric order by label.
AnalysisVariables.PNG
  1. Select Choose codes to display all possible codes. Categories that are greater than the code limit in the variable appear with the category number in brackets. Categories that are not included in the list of possible categories are tagged with a dash.
AutoCategory3.PNG
  1. To stop a category being included in the codes, clear the Include box. If the categories are sorted by Code, items that are not included are sent to the bottom of the list.
  2. You can sort the list by Code, Label or number of items. Click on the appropriate column label to change the way the list is sorted.
  3. Change other settings as needed.
    • Set Modify case to the case that you would like the code labels to use. (Normal will use the text as it appears in the responses)
    • Leave Case-sensitive clear unless you know that you wish to code responses in different cases differently.
    • Select Use words if you want to categorise by single words (separated by spaces) rather than complete responses.
  4. Click SaveIcon.png to save your changes.
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