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Syntax Guide: Date questions

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2018 01:51PM EDT

There are two types of date questions: Calendar and Current time. Both of these questions are recorded as DateTime? data type
 
Responses for the calendar data questions are recorded as  {Year, Month, Day}. Meanwhile, responses to the current time questions are recorded as {Year, Month, Day, Hour, Minute, Second}.
 

Calendar

Comparisons

‚ÄčPerform Calculations

Extract Information


Current Time

Extract Information

  • Date. Retrieve the date.
  • Hour. Retrieve the hour.

Perform Calculations

  • AddHours.Compute a date by adding a number of hours.
  • AddMinutes. Compute a date by adding a number of minutes.

 



Operators

Description

Compare a calendar date with another using the relational operators.

Example 1

Assume there is a question (dateDeath) in your survey that asks for the date that a household member died. We want to check that the date selected is equal or after the household members date of birth.

For this check, we would write the validation condition for the question like this:

Self>=dateBirth

It can also be written using the variable name:
dateDeath>=dateBirth
 

 

InRange

Description


Checks if a value falls within a specified range.

Syntax

 

var.InRange(a,b)

This function will return true if a ≤ var ≤ b. Otherwise, it will return false. The values of a and b can either be numbers or variables. This function provides a more simple way to write the condition:
var ≥ a && var ≤ b

 
 

 

Example 1

Assume there is a question (dateMarriage) that asks for an individuals date of marriage. We want to check that the date selected is after the individual’s date of birth, but before the date of death.

For this check, we would write the validation condition for the question like this:
 

dateMarriage.InRange(dateBirth,dateDeath)
 

 

FullYearsBetween

 

Description.

 
Computes full years between an earlier and later date.
 

Syntax.

 

FullYearsBetween(dateA, dateB)

 
This function will compute the full years between dateA and dateB. The values dateA and dateB can be either date variable or a defined new date.
 
 

 

Example 1

 
Assume there is a question (dateGraduation) that asks for the respondents date of high school graduation. We want to check that respondent was greater than or equal to 18 at their high school graduation. 
 
For this check, we would write the validation condition for the question like this:
 

FullYearsBetween(dateBorn, dateGradudation)>=18

 
 
 

 

FullYearsSince

 

Description.

 
Computes full years between a later date with an earlier date.

Syntax.

 

dateB. FullYearsSince(dateA)

 
This function will compute the full years since dateA to dateB. The values dateA and dateB can be either date variable or a defined new date.
 
 

 

Example 1

 
Assume there is a question (dateMarriage) that asks for the respondent’s date of marriage. We want to check that respondent was greater than 15 when he/she married.
 
For this check, we would write the validation condition for the question like this:
 

dateMarriage.FullYearsSince (dateMarriage)>15

 
 

 

CenturyMonthCode

 

Description.

 
Computes elapsed time in months with Century Month Code(CMC).
 
 

Syntax.

 

CenturyMonthCode(dateMonth,dateYear)

 
This function will compute the months from dateYear to dateMonth.
 

 

Example 1

 
Assume there is a question ageMonths that asks for an additional detail—months past the full years recorded (ageFullyears), for the age of household members, which are 5 years old and younger.
 
We want to make sure that the additional months reported in ageMonths is consistent with the number of months calculated from the dateMonth and dateYear questions that capture the household members date of birth.
 
For this check, we will need to implement the following:
 
ageMonths = age in months – (12*age in years)
 
Therefore, the correct syntax is:
 

self==(CenturyMonthCode(dateMonth,dateYear) - (12*ageFullyears))

 
You can also use the variable name:
 
ageMonths ==(CenturyMonthCode(dateMonth,dateYear) - (12*ageFullyears))


Value.AddYears/Months/Days

Description

Add years, months, or days to a calendar date variable for use in a condition.

Syntax

 

varDate.Value.AddYears(numeric value)

varDate.Value.AddMonths(numeric value)

varDate.Value.AddDays(numeric value)


This function enables you to add any number (numeric value) of years, months, or days to a calendar date variable. 

 

Example 1

Assume that you are collecting information on food consumption in the past 7 days and you want to display the recall period date in the question. The recall period can be calculated from the interview date variable (interviewDate). To do this, you would create a string variable (recall) and use the following syntax to retrieve and calculate the date for the recall period:
 
interviewDate.Value.Date.AddDays(-7).ToString("dddd, MMMM dd")



The format to which the date is displayed can vary, pleaser refer to this article for other possible formats.

Then, in the consumption question use piping in the question text with the variable name (%recall%) to display the date calculated through the variable.

Example 2

Suppose you have a follow up questions asking for the date a business enterprise began operating (operationDate) if it has been recorded in a previous question that a new business began operation in the last 12 months (lastyrstart). You want to check that the operation date recorded falls within the last 12 months using the interview date question (interviewDate).

For this check, the validation condition would be:
operationDate.InRange(interviewDate.Value.Date.AddMonths(-12), interviewDate)
 


Year, Month, Day

 

Description

 
Retrieve the year, month, or day from a date question.
 

Syntax

 
qDate.Value.Year

qDate.Value.Month

qDate.Value.Day

 
This function will allow you to extract the year, month, or day from a date question (qDate) for use in conditions.
 

Example 1

 
Assume there is a question asking the household head for the year that they took out a loan (yearLoan). You want to make sure that the reported year falls within a specific interval—from 2014 up until the year the interview is conducted. The interview date is also recorded as calendar date question at the start of the interview(interviewDate).
 
The validation condition for this question would be:
 
yearLoan.InRange(2014,interviewDate.Value.Year)

 

Example 2

Assume that you have a question asking for the date that the household’s harvest began (dateHarvest). You want to check that the date selected falls within November.

For this check, we would write the validation condition for the question like this:
 
dateHarvest.Value.Month==11
 



New DateTime

 

Description

 
Define a new date to use with conditions involving calendar date questions.
 

Syntax

 

new DateTime (year, month, day)

 
This function enables you to define a date (Year, Month, Day) or construct a date from variables.
 
 

 

Example 1

 
Assume there is a question asking when the household began the harvest(dateHarvest), and it is known that harvest could not have started before March 1, 2017.
 
For this check, we would write the validation condition for the question like this:
 

dateHarvest> (new DateTime (2017, 3, 1))

 
 

 

Example 2

 
Assume a date question is asking for the date the interview was conducted (InterviewDate), and there are three questions that asks for the year of birth (yearBirth), month of birth (monthBirth), and day of birth (dayBirth). We want to check that the birth date is prior to the date to which the interview is conducted.
 
The validation condition for this question would be:
 

IntervewDate > (new DateTime( (int) yearBirth, (int) monthBirth, (int) dayBirth ))

 
Here we are using the prefix to “int” to change the data type to integer, which is the date question data type. 
 

IsDate

Description

 
Confirms that a date recorded is in fact a calendar date.
 

Syntax

 

IsDate(YearDate, MonthDate, DayDate )

 
This function checks that a date recorded in three variables is a valid calendar date.  Returns true if a combination of the three date components makes a valid date, and false otherwise.
 
 

 

Example 1
 

Assume you have a series of 3 numeric questions asking for a household members date of birth, and you want check that the date recorded is a valid date.
 
The syntax for the validation condition would be:
 

IsDate((decimal)YearDate, (decimal)MonthDate, (decimal)DayDate )

 

Date.

Description

Retrieve the date from a current time question.

Syntax

var_currentTime.Value.Date

This function retrieves the date from a current time variable to compare to calendar date variable or a new DateTime.

Example 1

Suppose you have a current time question at the start of the interview (interview_start), then you have a date of birth question for all household members (dob). You want to make sure that the date of birth recorded is after the interview date.

For this check, we would write the validation condition for the question like this:

interview_start.Value.Date>dob
 

Hour.

Description

Retrieve the hour from a current time question.

Syntax

var_currentTime.Value.Hour
This function retrieve the hour from a current time variable.

Example 1

Suppose you have a current time question at the start of the interview (interview_start), and you want to make sure the interview is being conducted at a reasonable hour-- at or before 9pm.  

For this check, we would write the validation condition for the question like this:

interview_start.Value.Hour<=21
 

AddHours.

Description

Compute a date by adding a number of hours.

Syntax

var_currentTime.AddHours(numeric value)
 
Compute a date by adding a number of hours (numeric value) to the date (var_currentTime).

Example 1

Suppose you have two current time questions, one at the start of the section(ModA_start) and another at the end of a section(ModA_end). You want to check that the module has not taken more than 1 hour to complete.

We would write the validation condition for the question like this:

ModA_start.Value.AddHours(1)>ModA_end


AddMinutes.

Description

Compute a date by adding a number of Minutes.

Syntax

var_currentTime.AddMinutes(numeric value)

Compute a date by adding a number of minutes(numeric value) to the date (var_currentTime).

Example 1

Suppose you have two current time questions, one at the start of the section(ModA_start) and another at the end of a section(ModA_end). You want to check that the module has taken at least 10 minutes to complete.

We would write the validation condition for the question like this:
ModA_start.Value.AddMinutes(10)>ModA_end
 

 

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