Lookup table


Lookup table Lookup table
Table of Contents

What is a lookup table question?

Sometimes, while creating a survey, you want a particular question to have an answer from the options that you will define prior. Now, obviously you can design that question to have multiple options one after the other and the respondent will choose one from that. But what if the question is “Which country do you live in?” It will be a tiring job to list all the countries and even tiring for the respondents to search their country and select it.

The solution to such problems is a lookup table. A lookup table is a textbox which has an additional dropdown functionality from which the user chooses the option he wishes to select for an answer. The dropdown has a list of all the possible answers loaded in it, the user will just search through the list. This list is arranged in a certain manner, like an alphabetical sequence. When the user needs to select an option which is not easy to search through, it can start typing his answer in the textbox and the dropdown list will come up with the relevant searches for you. 

The researchers make use of lookup tables in their surveys to make it easier to gather data in one single format and avoid any possible typos, random capital letters, grammatical mistakes and so on. The real catch of the lookup table is its auto-completion feature.

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Why to use lookup tables?

 Researchers use lookup tables to save the trouble of making sure all the answers are in a right and uniform format. Data processing and analysis can be a challenge when respondents are made to type in answers according to their knowledge. There are various formatting issues like typos, grammar errors, case errors and others. When the researcher has to compare the answers, he then has to edit all those and make them in one format. With a lookup table, he doesn’t have to worry about any such thing. 

Another reason to use the lookup table is to help out the respondent in selecting the option he wanted from the long list provided in the dropdown menu. Lookup tables have an auto-completion facility that when the user starts typing its answer, the suggestions show up in the dropdown list below.

Example of lookup table

Let’s say a University website asks the students to fill the admissions forms. The form is online and has a question asking them the state they live in. the questions might look like:

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Advantages of lookup table

  • Data quality – lookup table helps the researcher get all the answers in a single uniform format without having to worry about data processing and analysis errors. 
  • Accuracy – the data collected through lookup tables do not possess any typos, grammatical errors or case errors as the answer is selected from the options provided by the researcher himself. 
  • Research speed – lookup table boosts the speed of the respondents’ survey taking speed as they just have to select the option without having to actually search for it one by one. 
  • Data analysis – data analysis becomes a piece of cake with uniformity in data that the lookup table brings to the researcher.

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