Why "null" in number question?

This may be a silly question, but why do decimal and number question
types return the value "null" if nothing is filled in? Should'nt it be
a number, i.e. 0 (zero)?

In my case it mess up copy and paste in a spreadsheet if I formatted
cells to currency etc. It means I can't paste the whole range and it
wreaks havoc on the spreadsheet formulas if I do.

Is it possible to have the default "null" replaced by something else?

“Null” essentially means that the question has not been answered. “0” is an answer, you don’t want to confuse the two.
You might ask a person how many times they have been abducted by rebel soldiers.

If the respondent refuses to answer, record “Null”. This is useful later in terms of deciding which questions people are not comfortable answering.
If he answers “0”, it means he was never abducted.

These are very different pieces of data, and that’s why you need “Null”.

~Neil (not Null)

···

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 7:55 AM, Bergie bergi...@gmail.com wrote:

This may be a silly question, but why do decimal and number question

types return the value “null” if nothing is filled in? Should’nt it be

a number, i.e. 0 (zero)?

In my case it mess up copy and paste in a spreadsheet if I formatted

cells to currency etc. It means I can’t paste the whole range and it

wreaks havoc on the spreadsheet formulas if I do.

Is it possible to have the default “null” replaced by something else?

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You can also typically assign an out of range value if someone
refuses to answer (e.g. abducted? 0: No, 1: Yes, 99: no answer)

As Neil points out, it is important for us to distinguish a "no"

answer from a non-response. Neil, is there anyway to return a
specific value if a question is not answered (e.g. 99 instead of
null?)

Patrick
···

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–is there anyway to return a specific value if a question is not answered (e.g. 99 instead of null?)

You could create a default value in the instance (99 for example, which we often use to signify “decline to answer”), and make the question Not Required. Then, if the enumerator does not make a selection which would replace the default 99, the output data would reflect 99. To do this, just edit the “default value” field in KoBoForm.
However, this is not functionally different than allowing unanswered questions to be Null.

If you are using skip logic, you will have questions that are never presented, naturally, their output should be Null. It is better to distinguish questions that are never presented from questions that are refused.

To do this; make all questions required, add an option for “Decline to Answer” and “Don’t Know”. Assign these options out-of-range values like 77, 88, 99.

☞§※☼:airplane::open_umbrella::slight_smile:

~Neil

···

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM, Patrick Vinck zon...@gmail.com wrote:

You can also typically assign an out of range value if someone refuses to answer (e.g. abducted? 0: No, 1: Yes, 99: no answer)

As Neil points out, it is important for us to distinguish a "no" answer from a non-response. Neil, is there anyway to return a specific value if a question is not answered (e.g. 99 instead of null?)



Patrick




On 11/2/2011 11:31 AM, Neil Hendrick wrote:
  "Null" essentially means that the question has not been answered. "0" is an answer, you don't want to confuse the two.

  You might ask a person how many times they have been abducted by rebel soldiers.

  If the respondent refuses to answer, record "Null". This is useful later in terms of deciding which questions people are not comfortable answering.

  If he answers "0", it means he was never abducted.

  These are very different pieces of data, and that's why you need "Null".



  ~Neil (not Null)

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 7:55 AM, Bergie bergi...@gmail.com > > wrote:

      This may be a silly question, but why do decimal and number question

      types return the value "null" if nothing is filled in? Should'nt it be

      a number, i.e. 0 (zero)?



      In my case it mess up copy and paste in a spreadsheet if I formatted

      cells to currency etc. It means I can't paste the whole range and it

      wreaks havoc on the spreadsheet formulas if I do.



      Is it possible to have the default "null" replaced by something else?



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True, I understand the reason to distinguish between the two. So to
confirm, my best option is to make the default value for a numerical
question, 0 (zero). In my specific case, I am entering battery
voltages, it should never be "null," but can be skipped, because in
the next question (as I have now learned) I want to automatically add
up the figures. I'm naturally lazy and don't want to calculate on my
fingers to fill it in or later amend a spreadsheet to automatically
add it in any case.
Thanks

···

On Nov 2, 5:31 pm, Neil Hendrick <neil.h...@kobotoolbox.org> wrote:

"Null" essentially means that the question has not been answered. "0" is an
answer, you don't want to confuse the two.
You might ask a person how many times they have been abducted by rebel
soldiers.
If the respondent refuses to answer, record "Null". This is useful later in
terms of deciding which questions people are not comfortable answering.
If he answers "0", it means he was never abducted.
These are very different pieces of data, and that's why you need "Null".

~Neil (not Null)

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 7:55 AM, Bergie <bergi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This may be a silly question, but why do decimal and number question
> types return the value "null" if nothing is filled in? Should'nt it be
> a number, i.e. 0 (zero)?

> In my case it mess up copy and paste in a spreadsheet if I formatted
> cells to currency etc. It means I can't paste the whole range and it
> wreaks havoc on the spreadsheet formulas if I do.

> Is it possible to have the default "null" replaced by something else?

> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Kobo Users" group.
> To post to this group, send email to kobo-...@googlegroups.com.
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> kobo-users+...@googlegroups.com.
> For more options, visit this group at
>http://groups.google.com/group/kobo-users?hl=en.

Yes, since as you say in your case a value of 0 would be meaningless, you can make that the default.

☞§※☼:airplane::open_umbrella::slight_smile:

~Neil

···

On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 7:13 AM, Bergie bergi...@gmail.com wrote:

True, I understand the reason to distinguish between the two. So to

confirm, my best option is to make the default value for a numerical

question, 0 (zero). In my specific case, I am entering battery

voltages, it should never be “null,” but can be skipped, because in

the next question (as I have now learned) I want to automatically add

up the figures. I’m naturally lazy and don’t want to calculate on my

fingers to fill it in or later amend a spreadsheet to automatically

add it in any case.

Thanks

On Nov 2, 5:31 pm, Neil Hendrick neil.h...@kobotoolbox.org > > wrote:

“Null” essentially means that the question has not been answered. “0” is an

answer, you don’t want to confuse the two.

You might ask a person how many times they have been abducted by rebel

soldiers.

If the respondent refuses to answer, record “Null”. This is useful later in

terms of deciding which questions people are not comfortable answering.

If he answers “0”, it means he was never abducted.

These are very different pieces of data, and that’s why you need “Null”.

~Neil (not Null)

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 7:55 AM, Bergie bergi...@gmail.com wrote:

This may be a silly question, but why do decimal and number question

types return the value “null” if nothing is filled in? Should’nt it be

a number, i.e. 0 (zero)?

In my case it mess up copy and paste in a spreadsheet if I formatted

cells to currency etc. It means I can’t paste the whole range and it

wreaks havoc on the spreadsheet formulas if I do.

Is it possible to have the default “null” replaced by something else?

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups

“Kobo Users” group.

To post to this group, send email to kobo-...@googlegroups.com.

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to

kobo-users+...@googlegroups.com.

For more options, visit this group at

http://groups.google.com/group/kobo-users?hl=en.

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