Connect columns to rows?

Hi Community,

I have two related tables that pertain to a survey I’ve created.

Table 1 is all of the survey questions. So Row 1 is Question 1, Row 2 is Question 2, etc. Columns have characteristics of each question - topic, category, stage to be asked within the interview, notes.

Table 2 is to record each person’s survey data. So Row 1 is Participant 1, Row 2 is Participant 2, etc. Columns are the Questions 1 through XX.

So, Table 1 has all of the Questions as rows; Table 2 has all of the Questions as columns.

For reasonably obvious reasons, I’d like to be able to connect these tables together, akin to lookups (so that I can see the underlying characteristics of each question, without having to flip between the two tables). I know how to do this column to column with lookups. But I’m not sure how to do it when I’m trying to relate columns to rows.

Is this possible?


Hi Matthew,

How about you structure the second table so that it also has the question in the row?

So rather than

Person, Q1, Q1, Q1
Piet, 3, 2, 4

You have
Person, Q, response
Piet, Q1, 3
Piet, Q2, 2
Piet, Q3, 4

Rambling Pete

Wouldn’t that limit the ability to see patterns, run column counts/sums, etc?

Similarly, subsequent data analysis (in, example, SPSS) is going to require the data be in the format I created:

  Q1 Q2 Q3



I mean, I guess I can transform the data once the whole dataset is put together, but if that’s going to be the case, I may just want to use something else from the start.

As they say in the classics; “It depends.”

How many people do you have? How many questions do you have? Why do you not want to make use of Coda charts? In what level of details do you want to send the information to SPSS?

You can always group the data using the “top” setting to get the questions across as columns.

There are very many ways to do this, and having more info in rows rather than in columns, will actually give you more flexibility.

Let us know.


You could also structure the first table to have the questions as rows…

Thanks Piet,

I’m not that good with Coda yet, so haven’t really played around with charts. If akin to pivot tables in Excel, perhaps that will work. I can check it out.

I did try to use the “top” function, but that seemed to provide more of a nested organization - it has benefits, but still doesn’t really adhere to good stats-related organization.

I guess the bottom line is that columns and rows can’t connect in Coda. And I presume that there isn’t a transfer columns-to-rows function like in Excel? I’ll just have to remember moving forward so that I organize things properly.

Still, I’m not quite sure how I would design questions that have underlying properties. The questions really need to be:

     Q1                       Q2                       Q3
  Type: Text.  Type: Number.       Type: Canvas.   etc.


And the question properties almost certainly need to be:

  Characteristic1 Characteristic2 Characteristic3
    Type: Text.        Type: Number    Type: Slider    etc.


They don’t have to relate…I just thought that was the big thing about Coda, was that they could.


Tables can indeed be related to each other. There are several ways that one can use. However, I am still not clear on what your exact requirement is.

Where do you store the answers? I assume Q2 in the first table is not in the form of a number, but the answer is. But if Q1’s response is text, how do you statistically analyse that? Or Q3, that is in the freeform format of a canvas?

Q2 would get dummy coded.
Q3 would get analyzed and recategorized.

This really doesn’t matter though. The original question remains: can this be done?

Yes, rows and columns can be related.

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