When Q imports a data file, it will, from time-to-time, automatically create variables that are not in the original data file. This will occur due to:
- Automatic correction of errors.
- Variables being shared between Multiple Response Sets created within the SPSS file.
Identifying variables created by Q
Any variables created by Q will appear in the Variables and Questions tab with a black font in the Name field (e.g., ), whereas variables that exist in the data file are shown with a grey name (e.g., ). When Q creates a copy of a variable due to the correction of an error, the original variable will be hidden and moved to the bottom of the Variables and Questions tab.
Scenarios when Q automatically creates variables
Automatic correction of errors
When importing a data file Q automatically scans for common problems in data files and automatically fixes these. Sometimes the fix involves creating new variables and hiding variables in the data file. You can avoid this occurring by pressing No to the initial questions asked at the time of importing the data file.
Overlapping SPSS Multiple Response Sets
You can create a special structure in SPSS called a Multiple Response Set, which groups together individual variables into a set for analysis in SPSS. In SPSS, one variable can appear in multiple Multiple Response Sets. Q will honor any Multiple Response Sets created in the file and convert them to Pick Any questions on import. However, Q only permits a variable to be in a single Multiple Response Sets. Thus, if the SPSS data file indicates a variable appears in multiple Multiple Response Sets, Q makes additional copies of the variable. The only way to avoid this occurring is to modify the original SPSS data file.