About Automatic Variables
Automatic Variable Elements are used to calculate a value to be stored in your Data File. For example, an Automatic Variable can use the system date/time to store the current date and time in your Data File automatically—i.e., without manual entry. This saves time and ensures accuracy (as long as the system date is correct).
Automatic Variables are also often used to calculate values based on responses to previous questions.
Types of Calculated Values
|Today's Date||Date record was recorded (i.e., interview date for CAPI, ACASI, or QDS-Web; data entry date for Data Entry)|
|Current Time||Time record was recorded (i.e., interview time for CAPI, ACASI, or QDS-Web; time of data entry for Data Entry)|
|Elapsed Time||Number of seconds since beginning of interview. If an interview is interrupted and resumed, the elapsed time is calculated as the total time since the beginning of interview, not only the time the interview was in progress.|
|Interview Language||Control File Language|
|Mode of Administration||Control File type (i.e., CAPI, ACASI, Data Entry, or QDS-Web)|
|Data File Name||Default Data File Name|
|Character String||Fixed string entered in Character String box|
|Numeric Calculation||Numeric value: result of expression entered in Numeric Calculation/String Expression box|
|Character string: result of expression entered in Numeric Calculation/String Expression box|
|Store the current QDS version of the module (CAPI, ACASI, Data Entry, or QDS-Web) that is running an interview.|
Tip: If you have multiple Elapsed Time Elements, each variable will record the number of seconds since the beginning of the interview (not the number of seconds since the last Elapsed Time Element).