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> Setting An Option Group To Null, Access 2013    
 
   
Brandi
post Jan 16 2020, 03:12 PM
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I have a 13 question survey.
Each question has an option group with option buttons and 6 choices.

Strongly Agree =5, Agree = 4, Neutral = 3, Disagree = 2, Strongly Disagree= 1, NA= 0

Users can select a checkbox at the top of the form that will make all questions have an answer of 'Blank' in one swoop rather than selecting each of the 13 questions, if a survey is returned Blank.

Two questions.

1. What is the difference between 'Blank' and Null? I can set a default for the option group to Null but it looks like if I do that it contains the word "blank"
2. If the user makes a selection and then changes their mind, how could we reset that particular question to Null or Blank? Would I need some sort of a reset button?

Thank you.
Brandi
This post has been edited by Brandi: Jan 16 2020, 03:15 PM
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theDBguy
post Jan 16 2020, 03:15 PM
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From: SunnySandyEggo


Hi Brandi. Typically, the question is "What is the difference between Null and a Zero Length String (ZLS)?" So, in this case, I am thinking a "Blank" is the same as Null because you can't assign a ZLS to an Option Group. To assign a Null value to it, though, you could try something like:

Me.OptionGroupName = Null

Hope that helps...

--------------------
Just my 2 cents... "And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know" - Kansas
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Brandi
post Jan 16 2020, 03:19 PM
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OK. If Null and Blank are the same thing, should I set the 13 option groups to Null On Form Open?
And then if a user wants to change an option group (question) back to no answer at all (which is not the same as NA - Not Applicable) then should I have some sort of little reset button next to each question that resets the option group to Null?

Thanks.
Brandi
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theDBguy
post Jan 16 2020, 03:22 PM
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From: SunnySandyEggo


Yes. You won't be able to assign ZLS to an Option Group, so you'll need to assign Null.

In other cases, Textboxes, for example, a "blank" may be the same as or may also mean ZLS.

--------------------
Just my 2 cents... "And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know" - Kansas
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Brandi
post Jan 16 2020, 03:48 PM
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OK. thanks very much.
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theDBguy
post Jan 16 2020, 03:50 PM
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From: SunnySandyEggo


No worries. Let us know how it goes. Good luck!

--------------------
Just my 2 cents... "And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know" - Kansas
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GroverParkGeorge
post Jan 16 2020, 04:18 PM
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At the risk of being pedantic, "blank" is not a valid concept in a Relational Database Application, IMO.

Values are Non-null (numbers, strings, dates or variants, etc.), Nothing, Empty, Missing, null, or zero length strings, ZLS.

Allen Browne's seminal article is a must read.

Blank is too ambiguous to use for most situations for our purposes, because it can be used as an alias for different things (ZLS and Null).


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My Real Name Is George. Grover Park Consulting is where I did business for 20 years.
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pere_de_chipstic...
post Jan 17 2020, 01:45 AM
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PMFJI

Nulls are always a bit more difficult to deal with, and I set option groups to a different value to the value of any valid option in the group. e.g. you could have a default value of -1 which would show as not having a selection.

Is not responding to a question a valid 'answer'? If not, is there a need to reset the option group? If it is a valid answer why not provide an option with a blank (or some other) caption with an option value of e.g. -1?

hth

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Bernie
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Brandi
post Jan 17 2020, 09:01 AM
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Thank you for the information on the difference between Null, 0, Blank etc. That helps.

I used Blank because a survey form can actually be returned Blank in which case we want to know that and we calculate how many Blank surveys were received vs. those that were completed. We count the Blanks for each question.

If someone checks NA, that means Not Applicable to them and so we calculate NA responses.

I am setting the option groups (the 13 Questions) to Null at the outset and will compare Null vs. NA vs. Blank.

I guess I am a little confused on Null vs. Blank but when I am looking at the data I do store the text "Blank" as the response and Null of course is Null. And if they have chosen the response NA, then a value of "0" is stored.

The field for each of the 13 responses is a text field.

If they choose Strongly Agree, a "5" is stored.
If they choose Agree, a "4" is stored.
If they choose Neutral, a "3" is stored.
If they choose Disagree, a "2" is stored.
If they choose Strongly Disagree, a "1" is stored.
If they choose NA - Not Applicable, a "0" is stored.
If the whole Survey is Blank, then "Blank" is stored for each of the 13 questions.
If they made no entry in some of the questions, then the default Null will be stored.

This way I can run statistical analysis on the 8 different responses.

Does this sound OK?



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GroverParkGeorge
post Jan 17 2020, 09:43 AM
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In other words, "Blank" means something other than "Null" or "ZLS".

It means "the respondent didn't respond."

--------------------
My Real Name Is George. Grover Park Consulting is where I did business for 20 years.
How to Ask a Good Question
Beginning SQL Server
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pere_de_chipstic...
post Jan 17 2020, 09:46 AM
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Hi Brandi

As George pointed out in his post earlier, 'Blank' doesn't have a meaning in a relational database.

What do you store in the table when a response comes back that isn't 0,1,2,3,4 or 5?.

Is the field a numeric field - in which case you can store a null value but not a Zero Length String (i.e. ZLS or "").
If the field is a string you can store both a Null or a zero length string or even the string "Blank"

I'd suggest the following:

0 (default) No Entry / no response to question
1 Not Applicable
2 Strongly Disagree
3 Disagree
4 Neutral
5 Agree
6 Strongly Agree
7 "Blank"

But what is 'Blank', what does it mean, how is it selected and how does it differ from the default (no entry) or Not Applicable?

hth

--------------------
Warm regards
Bernie
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Brandi
post Jan 17 2020, 10:51 AM
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The forms (surveys) are snail mailed and they must keep track of each survey even if it comes back blank or not at all for a government report.
An administrative assistant enters each survey into the access database and then we run some analysis and percentages for the government report.

So if a survey is returned blank, they still want to know that it was all blank vs. a few questions were answered and a few were Null vs. NA - not applicable.
NA means that the person felt that question was not applicable to them.

Blank is only stored if the whole survey was recorded as blank.

Null is if they didn't answer the question.

and NA is used to in effect say this question is not applicable to me.

I hope that makes sense. (government at it's best!)
This post has been edited by Brandi: Jan 17 2020, 10:52 AM
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cheekybuddha
post Jan 17 2020, 11:21 AM
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Throwing in my tuppence-worth,

Leave an option group = Null if the question is ignored.

If you do a count of all questions where the value Is Null and the result is equal to the number of questions, then you know that no questions were answered (ie the survey was blank)

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David Marten
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pere_de_chipstic...
post Jan 17 2020, 12:32 PM
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From: South coast, England


Hi

Another option might be to add a checkbox for each returned questionnaire to indicate that a reply had been returned, so that a null response or no response wasn't assumed if a reply had been accidentally missed.

hth

--------------------
Warm regards
Bernie
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Brandi
post Jan 17 2020, 02:17 PM
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Thank you all.
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