Report Tip Sheet

Tips for Reading your Reports

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Things to keep in mind when reviewing the reports from the database.

  • The Frequency report summarizes your survey results by question.   The report includes the survey question, the number (N) who answered the questions, and the percentage for how seniors answered each question.  For example, if you are interested in knowing how many people have had a flu shot, this report will show you the number and percentage of respondents that have answered “yes”, “no”, “don’t know”, and “refused.”
  • The Respondent report is a sub-report within the Frequency Report. It displays each respondent’s name, ID number and response to a specific question. To access the Respondent report, click on a specific questions heading in your Frequency Report. For example: on Q. 42, “Has a doctor ever told you that you have diabetes?” the Respondent report will show how many and the names of the surveyed seniors who responded “yes”, “no”, “don’t know”, and “refused.”
  • Always pay attention to the N (number of respondents) in the Frequency report because it can change depending on the type of survey question.  Some questions are:

    • Asked of everyone. Q. 1 asks the gender of each senior and so the N includes all the seniors surveyed.

    • Specific to certain seniors. On Q. 27, mammography screening includes only females. If the total number of seniors surveyed is 100 and 73 of them are female, then the N for Q.  27 is 73. The percentage on how the females answered the question is calculated based on the subset total N of 73.

    • Follow-up questions to a base question. Q. 42 asks seniors if they were ever told by a doctor that they have diabetes. Q. 43 asks if symptoms are under control, and Q. 44 asks if they went to an emergency room because of their diabetes. The N for Qs. 43 and 44 represents only the seniors who answered “yes” to Q. 42.

    • “Check all that apply,” and allow respondents to provide more than one answer per a question. Q. 56 asks seniors if a doctor ever told them that they have any of the following conditions, and they have the option to choose more than one answer (such as arthritis and osteoporosis).  

  • Don’t jump to conclusions without sufficient data. For example, 40% if 2,248 respondents equals 889. This is a sizeable number, but 40% of 10 respondents is 4, which is most likely too small a number from which to draw conclusions or identify trends. Look at both the percentage of respondents and the number of respondents who answered each question before deciding something is a trend or there is a definitive conclusion.


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