AskiaVista data management and best practices
Askiavista is a multi-user, multi-survey platform that allows simultaneous access from designers/administrators and reporters/users/analysts.
As AskiaVista allows multiple use / functionality at one time, certain considerations have to be taken into account when managing surveys.
This best practice guide will help you use the software to its fullest potential. This guide is primarily aimed at the Administrators of AskiaVista.
Let us first detail a few parameters that you will see in the AskiaVista Administrator interface :
Inverted data allow faster reading than "regular" data. While this does not affect small surveys, using inverted data in large surveys will significantly decrease the loading time of a data table for the end-user.
This comes to the cost of actually inverting the data. This operation will last a certain amount of time, depending on the size of the data to invert and on the speed of your CPU.
To speed up the inversion, we have developed an "Inversion type" option. If the already collected interviews are not being edited, or deleted, the "Verify inversion" option will skip all existing interviews and only invert new data, which makes the inversion process faster. Otherwise, the "Full inversion" will be used.
SQL server format
There are two available SQL formats in AskiaVista : "new SQL format" and "SQL (Legacy)". The first one includes faster data performance and will be preferred in all cases, except if you are running CCA 5.3.1.
In order to have up-to-date tables and counts without any manual intervention, AskiaVista offers the possibility to schedule tasks for each survey.
While some tasks will run for a millisecond, some others (such as data inversion) are CPU-intensive, and should be scheduled with extra attention.
This is especially true when scaling and you have more and more accessible surveys on the same AskiaVista server.
Here is a summary of the available tasks for scheduling.
|Invert and reload survey||Inverts the data first. Then, updates the survey information and updates with data with the latest respondent data. If Use inverted data when available is not checked, then using this task is useless and only wastes system resources.||Very intensive|
|Reload survey data||Updates the data (only) with the latest respondent data. Use this when more data has been collected, but there are no changes to the survey.||Light|
|Reload survey||Updates the survey information and updates the data with the latest respondent data. Use this option when the survey has changed and additional respondent data has been collected.||Light|
|Generate survey structure||Only used for AskiaVista 5.x.|
Below is a decision flowchart that contains recommended task setup settings for different types of surveys:
Even after applying the recommended settings, my survey is slow or the structure fails to be generated on the AskiaVista application server, what can I do?
The survey is probably very big in terms of data structure. Here are a few checks that can shrink the size of the data files.
- From AskiaDesign, spot the variables and loops that aren't required to be displayed in AskiaVista. Uncheck the "Visible in Analyse" checkbox on the useless variables, and uncheck the "Develop level in Analyse" on the useless loops.
- From AskiaVista's administration interface, deactivate languages that aren't used at the reporting level. Many multi-lingual surveys are only displayed only with a single-language view.