New Knowledge Base articles!

We’ve been adding a host of new articles and survey resources to our Help Centre; here are some of the most noteworthy of them:

Quota Monitoring for Analyse & Vista

This article shows the use of the Read quota function in a Closed by scripts created variable. We combine this function with table arithmetic scripts to create a portfolio that will allow you to monitor the progress of your quotas as new data is collected. The examples are shown in Analyse and Vista 6.

This simple yet complete solution only requires you use the latest version of AskiaVista ( and Analyse ( and higher; of course, you’ll also need a survey with at least one quota question with some data!

Quota Monitoring in AskiaAnalyse screenshot
Quota Monitoring in AskiaAnalyse
Quota Monitoring in AskiaVista screenshot
Quota Monitoring in AskiaVista

Check the example Quota Monitoring setup in AskiaVista online and read the full article to start monitoring your quota management during fieldwork!

Using table arithmetics to lookup other tables

This article details the use of arithmetic calculations to look up data from one table layout (broken into separate tables by edge response) into another table layout (summary in single table).

Basically, the idea is to create a new tab definition which has the structure required and then do a lookup of the values from the original table(s) into this new table (by using the GetTable method). The original tables are broken by edge response to produce 7 tables:

Using table arithmetic to lookup other tables 01

The goal is to obtain the results as below with the attached table structure:

Using table arithmetic to lookup other tables 02

Check out the full article.

Programming Col Sig (means): Classical Student Test

This article demonstrates how to script the formula for Student Test and Student Test using estimator for testing means. Formula and syntax are shown for tables using regular mean calculations as well as Script (mean) calculations which would be used in a mean summary table.

The article details how to program Column Significance tests for means using both the Classical Student test as well as the Student test using estimator.

You can read the article and check the attached example .QES & Portfolio.

How to disable input on Numeric keypad

This article provides a simple snippet of JavaScript to allow you to disable input from the respondent’s or interviewer’s Numeric keypad.

This snippet works for askiaweb as well as askiavoice and askiaface (when using web screens).

Read the full article to start using the code snippet.

Design FAQ

Rather than an article, this Help Centre page list many of the most frequently asked questions concerning askiadesign. Here are some examples of such questions:

  • How should I name my survey questions?
  • How can I change the default theme for my surveys?
  • Is my version of askiadesign up-to-date?

There are many more such questions, so don’t hesitate to check out the FAQ page to see what it’s all about!

Embed an online video in a questionnaire

This article demonstrate the process of embedding video content from an online video source (e.g Youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, …) in your survey:

Embed an online video in an Askia survey screenshot

See the article so you can setup your own Rick Astley survey :)

New ADC: map

A new map Askia Design Control! This one is a bit particular as it allows you to many different maps for your survey controls:

  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • Italy

Below, some of the maps:

France map survey control screenshot
France map survey control
USA map survey control screenshot
USA map survey control

Download the new map ADC.

New ADC: pinboard

This brand new Askia Design Control allows you to provide rating-like annotations to one or more images. It is extremely simple to add to your survey as it only requires an open-ended question in a nested loop.

See the video demo below:

You can also take a look at the source article to pick up the ADC or the example survey.

New ADC: auto-complete

This last Askia Design Control allows you to provide a searchable list of responses to your interviewers and/or respondents. This simple survey control just requires an open-ended question and the data source for the responses (XLS, XLSX, CSV, … converted to JSON).

See the below video introduction:

You can once again read the original article to download the ADC and check out the example survey.

Brand new online documentation

We are extremely pleased to announce that we have released our brand new online documentation for our software suite: askiadesign, askiafield and askiaanalysis.

You can access these new online assistants here:

This major update of our documentation was led by Tim Macer and Andrew Walford from Meaning Ltd and offers many new features:

New help authoring tool

We replaced our old help system (farewell RoboHelp!) and are now using a new web-based help authoring tool that allows us to easily update and maintain our documentation. This should drastically improve content update frequency and allow us to add new feature documentation and fix potential errors as soon as we spot them!

Screenshot of Askia's new online documentation


Responsive documentation

Our new documentation is now fully responsive and therefore allows you to use any device to access it: mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Allowing you to access our software documentation whenever you need it, from wherever you need it.

Screenshot of our mobile documentation layout

Powerful search engine

This new system provides our users with a powerful built-in search engine that delivers instant and relevant results from the first keystroke. This, in addition to the possibility of opening each help topic in its dedicated tab will allow you to easily find the resource you need.

Screenshot of online documentation search results

Other features

Our new assistants offer some other interesting features, such as:

  • Save a specific page as a PDF
  • Save the entire assistant as a PDF
  • Permalinks to each article page
  • Fully populated index to help you find articles related to specific topics

Version askiaanalyse

This post is the second in a series of two that detail the key features in version of askiadesign & askiaanalyse.

Much development work has been done in which bring about a whole host of great new features. A detailed list of these can be found in the version roadmap. Below are five of these features.

Table of contents:

    1. Improvement of inverted data format.
    2. Nested Edges.
    3. Sig Test Options Stored In Variable / Column.
    4. Excel Export Options.
    5. Weighting Efficiency.


Improvement of inverted data format

Inverted data is stored and read variable by variable rather than by respondent. This generally speeds up processes such as downloading, expor ting, importing and recalculating. It is another data format which stores data in a .dat folder rather than in just a .qes file.

Inverted data format options

The ‘Re-invert database’ option in Askia Analyse is used to invert the data and the ‘Open an inverted survey’ option is used to access this data format in Askia Tools.

In Analyse a number of improvements have been made to this format:

  • We have decided to rename the old files and not use the number of responses as an extension – this was causing unnecessary problems when a question was recalculated or if the max number of responses was manually changed in Design. The extension of the inverted data files  is always .dat.
  • The developed questions in a loop are no longer stored individually – the grayed questions always contained the information so we thought the cost of reading the whole grayed data for that question was a small price to pay compared to store all the data twice. This significantly decreases the number of files and lets you easily change your mind about the “Develop level” option in Design.
  • We store the system data – or peri-data – such as start time, end-time, IP-address, completion, …
  • The data is compressed which can gain up to 95% diminution of file size ( versions prior to were a simple uncompressed copy of the memory)
  • We have backwards compatibility: inverted data produced with a version prior to is read properly in Analyse. The new inverted files are readable by Vista but not by older versions of Analyse or Tools.

In most tests we have seen 85-95% decrease of the inverted database size and no noticeable deterioration in the reading speed. For example, in the last test, I reduced the size of a .dat folder from 4.2 GB to 45.0 MB. In order to convert from the old to the new format you can use the following steps:

  1. Open the old format inverted data in Askia Analyse version or higher.
  2. File > Export a sub-population
  3. Select the new target file > select ‘All interviews’ as the sub-population > check ‘Export as inverted database’. At this stage you can also select any calculated variables to export or that can be done after by copying / importing the variables from one file to another.


Nested Edges

Prior to Analyse, the variables you place in your edge would be line up side by side in your edge banner. So, for example, if I have three variables in my edge with 2, 3 and 4 categories then I would have a single edge banner of 9 categories.

From onwards you have the option to change this so that your edges build upwards and you can have two or more variables (edge banners) layered on top of each other. The result from the example above is that you have 2 x 3 x 4 = 24 crossed categories created.

The benefit of Nested edges is that they allow you to have many crossed variables / dimensions in your tables. Previously you would be limited to three before you had to start thinking about using scripts, crossed calculated variables or sub-populations.

Without setting:

Edges in askiaanalyse

Settings for nested edges in askiaanalyse

With setting: – order of nested edges depends on order of variables in Edge

Cross-tab with 2 nested edges in askiaanalyse

You can keep layering them up e.g. if we add another variable, ‘Agreement’, into our edges:

Multiple nested edges in askiaanalyse

We get the following:

Cross-tab with 3 nested edges in askiaanalyse

It’s worth noting that you cannot have a hybrid situation where you have some edges layered and some not. You will have to manage this using your columns as well as your edges.

Example of usage


Sig Test Options Stored In Variable

Up to now, it was only possible to store col sig options in the tab template. Therefore, the same tab template would need to be replicated for small tweaks in the testing. The purpose of this new feature is to enable more flexibility by storing the col sig options in the column profile and by doing so reduces the number of tab templates required.

The closest relation we have to this new feature in versions prior to is ‘Specify columns’.

Specify test columns for column significativity

The only difference with the latest option is that the Test cols test is not entered into the advanced options (above left) but instead the column profile by right clicking in the columns and selecting ‘Col-sig testing’ (below).

Specify test columns in column profile

Since these options can be stored in the columns, they will also be saved in a profile or a portfolio.

Example of usage


Excel Export Options

Prior to Analyse, we had the set of options (A) below. Now since we have set of options (B) which allow more flexibility in organising your Excel tabulations.

Excel export options

The following is a description of what these additional options do:

New sheet for each portfolio chapter

When you are in the portfolio view you can right-click > Insert a chapter. This has the use of keeping large portfolios tidy by organising the tab definitions into sections. With the ‘New sheet for each portfolio chapter’ option set you can now export each of these chapter sections to its own sheet in Excel. So the below will give you 2 sheets. Sheet 1 has 16 separate tables and sheet 2 has 10 separate tables.

New sheet for Portfolio chapter in askiaanalyse

New sheet for each tab definition

A tab definition is created in a portfolio every time you press the yellow folder with green arrow icon in the view below:

New sheet for each tab definition in askiaanalyse

In the example below we have created 3 tab definitions. The shown settings will output 3 sheets in Excel. Sheet 1 has 8 separate tables, sheet 2 has 8 separate tables and sheet 3 has 10.

New sheet for each table definition in export to Excel options

New sheet for each edge

We have 5 variables in the rows and four responses in the edge. Our settings dictate that we therefore have 5 x 4 tables.

With the old settings we could select:

‘One tab per sheet’ – Yes, which would give us 20 sheets in our Excel output or

‘One tab per sheet’ – No, which would give us 1 sheet in our Excel output.

One tab for every response in edge option in askiaanalyse

Now with the following settings we can create an Excel output which has 4 sheets, one for each edge response. Each of the 4 sheets contains 5 separate tables, one for each variable in the rows.

New sheet for each edge option in askiaanalyse

It’s worth noting here if you were to also set ‘One tab per sheet’ – Yes, and rerun your tables, the output would be 20 sheets. This setting overrides the others. Furthermore, if you use the three settings in conjunction with each other, the setting which produces the greater number of tables will take priority.


Weighting Efficiency

The weighting efficiency is a measure of how much skewing we have had to do in order to get the weights to converge – the result is a percentage. The closer it is to 100% the less skewing.

In onwards, when you run a weighted set of tables, a file called “Report of weights.txt” is created in the .dat folder that belongs to the .qes file you have opened in Analyse. If the .dat folder doesn’t already exist, it will be created.

An explanation of the weighting efficiency formula can be found here.

Reviewing the attached WeightingEfficiency.xlsx file should also help to understand how we arrive at the weighting efficiency figure.

This looks at the 24 interviews we have in the Data.qes and for each interview lists the weighting factors in column E. In the range L2:U36 it works out, step by step, the numbers required for eventually arriving at the weighting efficiency of % 80.05722937.

Weighting efficiency in askiaanalyse

In WeightingEfficiency.rar there is a .qes and weighted portfolio. If you open these and run the results, you should see the following in the Report of weights.txt created in the .dat folder:

Weighting efficiency report in askiaanalyse

The weighting info on the first line relates to the weighting options you have set:

-Min weight-            -Max weight-            -Number of possible iterations-         -Accuracy-

Weighting options in askiaanalyse

The maximum weight displayed in this file is different to what you’ll see in the weighting options because the base calculated by summing the weighting factors (24.82096438) is different to the unweighted base (24).

If you interview 100 people, and you set your base to be 10,000,000, a “normal” interview would have a weight of 10,000

If you set the maximum weight to 5, it means the algorithm will ensure the weight will not allocate a weight 5 times more than a normal interview. In this particular example, it means it will keep all interviews’ weights under 50,000.

This askiavista is massive!

We have finally released version of askiavista! First, of all, don’t judge a book by looking at the cover: this is more a 6.1 version than a minor version. Indeed, it packs:

  • 22 new features
  • 22 bug fixes
  • 7 miscellaneous tasks

Below, some of the key new features:

Portfolio section pages

Askiavista portfolio section pages

Users can now create Section pages within their Portfolios; these pages allow to add formatted text and media (image & video).
Such pages are a great solution for report introductions, notes, metadata, …

New portfolio link management

Askiavista new portfolio by link management

Portfolio links have been completely overhauled in order to allow many nifty features such as Expiry dates, Filter management, dynamic tabbing, custom URLs, default page, …
Portfolio links can also be duplicated in order to batch create multiple links.

Reorder portfolio items

Reorder portfolio items in askiavista

This was a recurrent client request: having the possibility to reorder elements (table definitions & now section pages) from within a portfolio.

Raw data / open-ended management

Askiavista raw data and open-ended management

Askiavista is now able to render data at interview level and can also render open-ended data! These flat tables are accessible in a dedicated view and can of course be embedded within a Portfolio.

Fixed headers

Fixed headers for large tables in askiavista

In order to improve our user experience when browsing large cross-tabs, we have added fixed headers (for Rows, Columns & Edges) to the Default table style.

Select all / unselect all in Dimensions

Select all - unselect all in askiavista's dimensions

This client request allows users to select all questions or response items in a given Dimension (R/C/E). This is especially useful when dealing with many questions or for very long lists of response items to which you may want to apply a given action (group, hide, …).

View source

View crosstab source in askiavista

This option (hidden by default), allows advanced users and API developers to embed table & chart data directly in their web page; could it be an askiavista-driven dashboard, portal or web page.

Compressed inverted data

We have decided to improve the inverted format:

  • We decided to rename the old files and not use the number of responses as an extension – this was causing unnecessary problems when a question was recalculated or if the max number of responses was manually changed in Design. The extension is always .dat.
  • The developed questions in a loop are no longer stored individually – the greyed questions always contained the information so we thought the cost of reading the whole greyed data for that question was a small price to pay compared to store all the data twice
  • We store system data -or peri-data – such as start time, end-time, IP-address, completion, …
  • The data is now compressed
  • We have backwards compatibility: inverted data produced with a version prior to 5.3.4 is read properly but the new inverted files are not readable by Vista (yet) or an old Analyse / Tools

We have seen up to 90% decrease of the inverted database size and almost no noticeable deterioration of the reading speed

For the full list of new features & bug fixes, check the changelog.