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What is a calendar question?

The most common trouble faced during data analyzing and processing is the formats of the numeric data like dates and times. In a survey, you might want to ask the data of birth, or time of issuing the complaint or any such date and time related question. When the respondents hardcode it themselves, you cannot guarantee that all of them will use the same date and time format.

The calendar question allows the researcher to collect date and time responses in a generic and common format. This will eradicate the above data processing issues and will make analyzing an easy job. Another perspective of it is that the respondents do not have to worry about the format, they can just select the date from the provided calendar and time from a similar format. 

It is now up to the researcher how he catches the responses of date and time questions. For dates, it can be DD-MM-YYYY or MM-DD-YYYY format depending on the country. For time, the respondent can adapt to 24-hour or 12-hour format.

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Why use calendar questions in your survey?

Date and time questions create the most data processing issues while data analysis. By using calendar questions in surveys, the researcher saves time and gets the date time data already in a uniform format. Especially, when the sample size of the population belongs to various countries following various date and time formats, calendar questions take responses from all such various respondents and bring them into one single format, the way the respondent wanted it.

Examples of calendar questions

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Advantages of calendar questions

  • Data uniformity – the main reason why researchers use calendar survey questions is due to the uniformity and quality it provides with the collected data. 
  • Data correctness – respondents just have to choose the date and time from the already provided format. This leaves them with making little to no error at all while filling out the question answers. 
  • No formatting trouble – since the researcher gets ready-made date and time data already in a fixed format, it saves his time to sit and format all that data to have in a single format.
  • Analysis – data analysis goes smoother with the uniform data format provided by the calendar survey questions.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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