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Bucketing Variable Creation

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About Bucketing Variable Creation

Let’s say you internationally distribute a survey asking what country each respondent lives in. Halfway through data collection, you realize you don’t just want to do analyses on the countries, but the whole continents. It’s too late to add a new question or an embedded data element that captures this information, so how do you group the countries into continents without invalidating your data?

Bucketing creates custom variables that combine values from previously existing variables into new groups. Values assigned with a bucketed variable will be applied to both collected and future data, making it an alternative to embedded data in situations where you need a variable to be added retroactively. Once created, bucketed variables can be used in the Data and Weighting sections of the Data & Analysis tab and in the Results section of the Reports tab. They can also be exported with your dataset or be retrieved by API if you use Create Response Export, Get Response Export Progress, and Get Response Export File calls.

Need to make changes to an existing bucketed variable? See our Editing Custom Variables page.

Creating a Variable with Bucketing

Qtip: The selected field must have 200 or fewer unique values. If the field exceeds this amount, you will see the message “Too Many Source Values” in the Source Values box.
  1. Go to the Data & Analysis tab.
    Create New Field option in Tools Dropdown in top-right corner of Data & Analysis tab
  2. Click Tools on the right side.
  3. Select Create New Field.
    Qtip: Bucketing does not erase or otherwise affect the variable it is based on. Instead, it creates a new variable in addition to the original.
  4. Select Bucketing at the top.
    Bucketing option selected in top-right corner of Create Variable menu
  5. Name your variable.
  6. In the Source Values box, click Select Field to choose the variable you are going to bucket. You can choose from all available survey questions, survey metadata, contact fields, or embedded data.
    Qtip: Bucketing cannot be used to combine different variables together; it is only for combining different values of one variable. If you’d like to create a variable based off of multiple questions, our Manual Variable Creation feature might be right for you.
  7. Name the groups your values will be sorted into. If your variable requires more groups, you can add more by clicking New Group below the existing ones, as seen below.
    Values on the left are dragged over into bucket categories on the right
    Add New Group option beneath bottom-most bucket category
  8. Drag fields from the Source Values box to the groups on the right. Note that you do not need to have every field sorted into a group.
  9. Click Create Variable.
    Qtip: Whenever a value isn’t sorted into a group, it is marked Uncategorized within your new bucketed variable.
Attention: Bucketing is compatible with multiple answer questions, but be careful. Only one group can be assigned per response. For example, if you have allow respondents to choose multiple countries where they have lived, the bucketed variable discussed above would only assign them the continent of their first selected answer.