EDDI Conference System, EDDI16 – 8th Annual European DDI User Conference

Font Size: 
Questionnaire Generator
Guillaume Duffes

Last modified: 2016-09-27


Insee has been developing for more than four years a statistical survey questionnaire generator which takes as input DDI 3.2 files and produces web forms (Xforms format).

Until 2015, the DDI files were mainly written manually which gave to the DDI modeller a wide flexibility to determine the right DDI representations. This is possible as long as the modeller knows the DDI model very well and his work is specifically dedicated to modelling DDI questionnaire.

However, with the view of generalising, streamlining and enhancing the metadata-driven questionnaire generation process, a generic tool is needed for subject-matter statisticians to design their questionnaire. “Generic” here means independent of the DDI terminology that statisticians ignore. That's why Insee has built a prototype Graphical User Interface (GUI) which can produce DDI files in an user-friendly manner and pass them to the generator.

Nevertheless the complexity of the DDI model willy-nilly makes the use of the GUI complex, even though the GUI is not strictly bound to the DDI model to the extent possible.

Hence precise guidelines for designing questionnaires are necessary for both subject-matter people who will use the GUI and IT developers who complement the questionnaire generator and need to understand the DDI output objects.

Those guidelines are gathered in a guidebook on the design of DDI questionnaire. The UNECE Modernisation Comittee on Standards accepted to review this guidebook a few months ago.

This presentation will describe the components of the infrastructure set up for generating survey questionnaire in a machine-actionable way: the GUI for questionnaire design, and the questionnaire generator. It will also explain why it is essential to produce detailed guidelines for using those tools and implementing the DDI standard.