Any Q project can be automatically updated using a revised data file (e.g., a file that contains additional interviews or corrections to the original data). This article describes the process for updating a project with a new data file.
- A preliminary data file loaded in Q
- An updated data file to replace the preliminary data file
To update the data file in Q, select File > Data Sets > Update and select your current file. Navigate to and select the new data file.
Q will use the variable names to map the new data file to the data file currently loaded in Q. All steps performed on the previous data set such as table modifications, relabeling, constructing variables, creating tables, charts, analyses, etc will be updated with the new data. If there are changes in the new data set, Q may not be able to automatically update everything and will alert you to the errors. Also note, if any outputs in the Report Tree are R-based (have an R icon), the output will only automatically update if the Automatic checkbox in the Object Inspector is checked. Otherwise, you will need to click the Calculate button for the output to update with the new data.
Q will alert you in situations where a variable that has been constructed in Q has been broken due to removal or change of a variable used to construct the variable. A Data Difference Warning window will open with these alerts. Note if the question was not used to create other variables or was not previously modified, you will not be alerted to any changes in the coded values.
If you are happy to proceed with importing the updated data, press Accept and review the contents of the Status column on the Variables and Questions tab. To see this message again next time you open the project, you can instead click on Remind Me Later.
On the Variables and Questions tab, you can also see which variables are NEW, INVALID, CHANGED or OK in the Status column. You can click on the drop-downs under Status to obtain more information.
Any outputs that become invalid due to a data change will be identified by a red exclamation mark in the Report Tree. If there are discrepancies between the data file used to create the project and the updated data file, it may result in work being lost. For example, if a code frame has been revised, it may “break” any filters created using the question with the revised code frame and ruin any merging and renaming of categories in tables using the question with the revised code frame. This is by design. That is, while painful, it is better to lose work than to continue working without being aware that the code frame has been revised. Q gives warnings when this is about to occur.