There is nothing new
in collecting and processing survey data. But the issues of data
quality and geo-coding persist. How do you deal with non-postal
addresses? How do you validate the data on entry for the more complex
checks; say to identify impossibly long trips? How do you generate
variables from the survey data that you need for subsequent processing;
say main mode?
A range of tools are available to address these
various tasks, but it is not uncommon for Access and Excel to be
the ‘tools of last resort’ to deal with these tasks.
And there is only so much that they can do – efficiently.
Further, it assumes that staff has the appropriate programming skills
and knowledge of the data environments to deal with the task correctly.
Minnerva has developed specific software that deals
with these issues. Data entry combines validation as well as instant
geocoding given the input of the postcode. A Gazetteer can be built
up to deal with non-postal addresses which provides a uniform approach
for dealing with these locations.
Generated variables (main mode, stage lengths,
journey length/time) are calculated easily and expansion factors
appended to the data records.
The process delivers high quality data in a single
step and reduces the need for staff to get involved in developing
processing methodologies that otherwise might be beyond their scope
(Contact: Martin Bach)