Creating a FastFinder question

Creating a FastFinder question

Summary This article describes how to create a fastfinder question to access response items stored in an external database in askiadesign.
Applies to askiadesign
Written for Scriptwriters and survey authors
Keywords import; fastfinder; database; list; design; askiadesign

The FastFinder feature is useful when you need to define a very long list of response items. It enables you to access response items stored in an external database via a DSN connection and an ODBC query.

You can decide to use the responses in

  • an open ended question (During data collection, the Interviewer will be presented with a refined choice of items, based on the characters he or she typed in a preceding open question. Using this option not only saves the Interviewer time, but also ensures that the syntax of responses contained in the final data will be identical to that of your original list.)
  • or show them as closed question Edit

Download the example file

Open Ended Question (compatible with askiavoice/askiaface)

From Numerical Question

Let's consider a list of all the cities in France. This list is stored in an MS Access *.mdb file, more specifically in a table called "FRANCE", in the field "VILLE". The table "FRANCE" also contains a second field called "CP", containing each city’s respective numerical postal code (e.g. Paris: 75000, etc...).

Immediately preceding the FastFinder question ("Communes1"), we create a Numeric question, "Departement1", in which we ask the respondent the department code. You will want to set the minimal and maximal values of this question so that only valid departments can be entered.

On the FastFinder question, we click Fast Finder, and specify the DSN of the *.mdb file. For example:


We then enter the SQL query, for example:

Select VILLE From FRANCE Where CP >= !!??Departement1??*1000 !! AND CP < !!(??Departement1??+1)*1000 !!

(Note: If you want to force Interviewers to select a response that exists in the database, select must match)

From Closed Question

It's the same principle as above, you just have to replace the numerical question by a single closed question within the list of Department. (The system will take into account the order of the response selected)

Closed Question (compatible with askiavoice/askiaface/askiaweb)

The principle is to use an open ended question ("Communes") to store the list of responses related to the postal code given previously.

We use the Import functionality - ODBC query (don't forget to tick Use as an array: the variable will be able to import several fields via an ODBC import. The number of columns that will be used is determined by the size option. If 0 is set, the size of the array will be dynamically adjusted).

Finally, in a closed question ("List"), We use


to show the first response stored in the open ended question,


to show the second one etc.

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