Standard and Non-standard IMPORT and EXPORT with MERLIN

Because MERLIN does not have a CATI interviewing component, we have to try harder to interface with existing CATI software.

The most important part of interfacing with CATI is to read all of the data accurately. The next most important step is to get the Response text that goes with the various respondent answers in the CATI process. Lastly, getting the Question text is of some use, but is not as important as the first two elements because this usually must be rewritten for the tabular reports. The ultimate CATI interface would also capture the shifting "bases" of respondents of whom specific questions are asked. This is usually quite difficult to get from CATI programs.

MERLIN will import a wide variety of standard PC file formats and text from many different CATI software suppliers. The import of standard fixed and "free-format" data files handles many situations. Also, MERLIN can exploit data in dBase, Excel and SPSS formats. CATI data and text can be imported from ci2/ci3, Research Machine QSL, QUANTUM Axis definitions, Telescript, Query and the worldwide SSS standard. In addition, MERLIN MAP and DLB (Title/Label) file standards allow easy customized MERLIN setup of almost any survey data source.

With the advent of Web Interviewing, we are seeing data files that contain very large and often disorganized data records. The people writing the Web surveys are not necessarily research professionals! The MERLIN MPE editor will read and edit data records up to 32,000 characters in size. MERLIN has the ability to derotate, unscramble and otherwise extract the information from the mass of data that is often dumped into HTML-produced survey data files.

Without even needing a conversion step, MERLIN can read most of the standard column binary and ASCII-coded data formats used by other Market Research software. For instance, "rmp" file format is used by Research Machine CATI. "cbe" is MERLIN's name for the data format used by QUANCEPT CATI. Of course, "cbi" refers to the standard IBM 360 column binary and "cbj" to the IBM 1130 column binary format. The chances are that MERLIN can read data in any format your suppliers choose to send to you. Here are some of the many data file formats that you will not need to know about if you use MERLIN: asc, rmp, cba, cbt, cbg, cbc, cbe, cbi, cbj, cbu, cbr, cbd, csa, cst, csi, csj, csu, raw, set, bci, arc, etc.

MERLIN export flexibility is even more versatile. Once the data and labels are in MERLIN, then the output format can be as varied as your imagination desires. MERLIN can write data and text out in virtually any format. Data output format can be fixed or free-field layout. MERLIN can export to Excel spreadsheets via CSV or DIF formats, and to QUANTUM, SPSS or SAS. In addition, Table data can be exported to spreadsheet or to SPSS or SAS.

MERLIN also offers the powerful MERPOST Table-posting program. It allows the analyst to pick and choose portions of the actual production tables and text and extract them for inclusion in word processing reports. The user has the option of changing several dozen output parameters such as type of percentaging, minumum response bases, and statistical flagging.


Toolkit menus relating to Import and Export:

MERLIN TOOLKIT - all rights reserved
License #64443 issued by DATAN, Inc.
DATAN, Inc.; 79 Tamarack Circle; Skillman NJ 08558
Tel: 609/921-6098
Licensed for multiple Unix and DOS machines

Enter TOOLKIT choice, or S/D/G/I/E/X, (<RETURN>=main menu): IMPORT

1 Import fixed format ASCII data file
2 Import free format ASCII data file
3 Import Ci2 data definitions to MERLIN
4 Import QSL data definitions to MERLIN
5 Import SSS data definitions to MERLINPLUS
6 Import QUANTUM axis definitions to MERLIN
8 Import SSS data definitions to MERLIN
9 Import Ci3 data definitions to MERLIN

Enter a number, or TOOLKIT choice, or S/D/G/I/E/X: EXPORT

1 Export data to fixed format ASCII
2 Export data to free format ASCII
3 Export data to LOTUS format

11 Export data definitions to full MERLINPLUS
12 Export data definitions to MERLINPLUS Database
13 Export data definitions to SPSS
14 Export data definitions to SAS
15 Export data definitions to QUANTUM
16 Export data definitions to SSS

21 Export tables to DIF format
22 Export tables to CSV format
23 Export tables to LOTUS format
24 Export tables to SPSS format
25 Export tables to SAS format