How to best import complex questionnaire into Maxqda

26.09.2014, 04:07

Please forgive my obvious ignorance. I am a completely new user to MAXQDA.
I have a fairly complex questionnaire and want to enter the replies into MAXQDA.
I understand from tutorials that the best way is to enter all data in Excel first and then Import this into MAXQDA. But since I am not sure whether I really understand this I want to make sure that is the way to go (I'd prefer not working on this for days and weeks to then soon discover there was actually a much better way....)

The setup of the questionnaire is about like this
- there are 60plus questions
- a few are simple yes /no
- some have added options to either the yes or the no answer.
- the majority of question gives a number of options to choose from. In some cases I ask for one selection, in some cases they can choose multiple answers/options.
- with one question there is rating of importance (1 to 10)
- a good number of questions also allow to add a different answer (to the multiple choice given), in the sense of "other, please specify"

Here the form on dropbox (though it is in Thai language): ... 2.pdf?dl=0

So, do I simply enter each respondent in Excel as a row, with the column being the question and the answer added in the corresponding cell? How would I enter multiple answers to a question so that MAXQDA then is able to Import the data.

Thanks for all your help!!!
Posts: 7
Joined: 23.09.2014, 14:40

Re: How to best import complex questionnaire into Maxqda

29.09.2014, 20:51

Dear NiranTH,

it sounds like importing your data from a spread sheet might in fact be the best idea to add your questionnaires to a project in MAXQDA. There is a tip of the month that explains the procedure in detail: ... read-sheet

Regarding the content of your data and thus the question how to edit your data before importint it into MAXQDA, you might want to consider the following remarks:

1) If you have quantitative data in your questionnaire you might want to consider whether it qualifies as variables and thus should be treated differently from the qualitative data. For more information on variables, here is the link to the online manual: ... maxqda.htm

2) Which parts of your questionnaire are actually designed for qualitative data analysis or mixed methods? And in which way do you want to analize the data? MAXQDA is not designed for complex statistical analysis, therefore you might want to leave out data you cannot process with MAXQDA in the first place.
Best regards on behalf of the MAXQDA team,

Katrin Kleemann
Katrin Kleemann
Posts: 31
Joined: 29.09.2014, 13:50

Re: How to best import complex questionnaire into Maxqda

04.10.2014, 08:02

Dear Katrin Kleemann,

[b:2ge1qpnh]Thanks a lot for your reply[/b:2ge1qpnh], very helpful indeed!
This has brought some clarity regarding importing variables. So, is my assumption correct that MaxQDA has no problem dealing with these variables (like age, sex, marital Status, length of education, occupational field, religious affiliation, level of debt)?

In case of a questionnaire with multiple choice answers [b:2ge1qpnh]is it correct then to actually enter [/b:2ge1qpnh][b:2ge1qpnh]all the questions as variables[/b:2ge1qpnh] (with the $-sign in front of the column Header)? For example this one:
[b:2ge1qpnh]Question 33.[/b:2ge1qpnh] Who is the person you can trust most? Tick one:
o father
o mother
o spouse
o grandparents
o sibling
o a relative
o a friend
o Buddhist Monk
o Christian pastor
o teacher
o other (please specify)……

Would I need to create a separate column for the last Option (other, please specify) since the answers will not simply match?

[b:2ge1qpnh]How would I enter the data when [/b:2ge1qpnh]the respondent can tick several options like the following example:
[b:2ge1qpnh]Question 47.[/b:2ge1qpnh] What did it do to your relationship to your mother when she did not give you what you wanted? Tick several if applicable.
o I was angry with her for a short time
o I was angry with her for a long time
o I did not trust her anymore
o I loved her less
o It made me think I will give her back less when she is in need
o It made me look down on her because she was not able to give what I wanted
o It made me look for someone else to give me what I wanted
o It did not diminish my love for her because I understood her
o It did not diminish my love for her despite not understanding her
o other (please specify)……

(these are actual questions from my questionanaire in an English draft version)

[b:2ge1qpnh]Yours Question: [/b:2ge1qpnh]"And in which way do you want to analize the data?":
I would want to find out whehter there are any correlations between various factors covered in the questionnaire like:
--- Does the factor which person mainly raised you (question 32) have any impact on the relationship with the mother if one does not get what one wants (question 47, mentioned above)
--- Does religious affiliation (question 10) in any way influence whether you trust father or mother more (question 33)
--- does knowledge of Buddhist sciptures (question 24-27) have any implication on the level of support given to aging parents
--- Is there any correlation between the level of debt (question 31) and the feelings about the obligations towards the mother (question 51)
these just as a few examples.

[b:2ge1qpnh]So, my hope would be that [/b:2ge1qpnh]- if data is entered correctly - MAXQDA would be able to show whether there are correlations and if to what extent. I hope this isn't just my stupid novice dream...

[b:2ge1qpnh]In addition I would want to [/b:2ge1qpnh]do some hypothesis and probability testing (e.g. what is the probability that a specific knowledge of the พระไตรปิฎก will lead to an increased level of support given to aging parents).
However, I am not sure whether MAXQDA is the tool to deal with this kind of stuff??

But, really, I am completely new to all of this so forgive my stupide questions which will probably be very obvious to an experienced researcher.

Posts: 7
Joined: 23.09.2014, 14:40

Re: How to best import complex questionnaire into Maxqda

13.10.2014, 12:31

Dear Niran,

sorry for this late reply.

It is possible to enter your questions as variables, but please take into account that MAXQDA is a program that focusses on qualitative data analysis, and not quantitative analysis. It is not designed to do correlative analyses or even probability testing. Variables in MAXQDA are usually used for activation, e.g. to check a certain retrieval only for a special group and see whether this differs from a different group. There are a few statistical functions MAXQDA is able to perform, but the main idea is to help with the qualitative analysis.

We would suggest that you analize your qualitative data with MAXQDA, but enter the quantitative data in a statistic program.
Best regards on behalf of the MAXQDA team,

Katrin Kleemann
Katrin Kleemann
Posts: 31
Joined: 29.09.2014, 13:50

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