mEMA Demo Data Format

This video shows you the Flat Data File and how it relates to what you do in the Survey Editor.

How To: Download Response Data

Data is accessible on the mEMA web platform once a completed survey has been uploaded from a mobile device. It could take up to 24 hours to for the data to show up, depending on the load being processed from your participants.

To access the aggregated data set for any survey, go the the Survey Editor tool. The Survey Editor is located under the "My mEMA" menu, option "Create Surveys". Once there, select the survey you wish to view from the "Surveys" drop-down.
Clicking the Flat Data Table icon brings up a window that allows you to select how to display the data table.
Flat Data File Icon


Choose between:

• Horizontal: the variables columns from left to right and the survey instances form rows from top to bottom
• Vertical: the variables form rows from top to bottom and the survey instances form columns from left to right


Choose one of these three:

• Value: Each cell will return the numerical value of the answer selected by the participant. The value is set by you in the Survey Editor in the "value" field of each response option. Text Entry questions don't have a value and so do not appear in this view. Times and dates are presented as a Unix timestamp (the number of seconds since midnight on January 1st 1970) for easy automated analysis.
• Tag: Each cell will return the Short Text of the answer selected by the participant. The Tag is set by you in the Survey Editor in the Short Text field of each response option.
• Code: Each cell will return the Analytics Code of the answer selected by the participant. The Code is set by you in the Survey Editor in the Analytics Code field of each response option. Multiple Selection, Matrix, and Slider Questions generate a separate column for each response option. Make sure to label the codes for these response options in a way that indicates which question it is related to.
• Text: Each cell will return the Long Text of the answer selected by the participant. In the case of Range type questions where there is no text the numerical value will be presented. 

Other Options

Show Ignored: Checking this box will insert additional rows into the table to represent each survey alert that was sent and not responded to. Alerts that were sent but ignored (i.e. the first question was never opened) will appear as a row with a subject #, timestamp and then the entry "false" in the has_data column. There will be no other data in these rows. If a participant responds to an alert which opens up the first question of the survey but then does not complete that or any other question a "true" row will be created and "true" will appear in the has_data column but the rest of the cells will be blank.

NOTE: In order for the "has_data" column to populate you must select the timezone for each participant in their Configure Momentary Parameters window.

Sort Codes: to sort the Data Table columns alphabetically by Short Text (just an option to make it easier to read quickly)

Show Local TS: Shows the local time according to the setting in "
Configure Parameters" for the participant's account, in addition to the UTC. 

Show Location, Weather, Light and Sound: This will include these variable in the flat data table if your account has access to these data.

Numeric Timestamp: Checking this will format date-times as a Unix timestamp.

One Row/Subject: Checking this option will display each subject's responses in one row, appending an index number to each survey instance. The numbering begins with zero and will show sequentially. For example, if the survey is comprised of questions HONEY, APPLE, and BEE, then the subject's row will show: HONEY_0, APPLE_0, BEE_0, HONEY_1, APPLE_1, BEE_1, etc.

*Refresh Data: This is a troubleshooting step which resolves data table issues by re-accumulating all the uploaded raw data and translating it to CSV format. Normally the program translates everything uploaded to the server since the last data download and adds only the new stuff to the data table. If the survey has been changed mid-collection this is one reason you'd want to press Refresh Data because the columns will begin to look different.

Download the CSV file
Once you press "Get Data", the data begins to be processed. Wait on this screen until the link to download the data shows up. You'll have the CSV file on your computer which you can open in any spreadsheet program.


  • Significant changes to survey structures and data types should never be made after a survey has been used to collect live data. This can break the data already collected.
    • If changes are required after data collection has begun, the survey should be copy and pasted, and the changes made to the new copy.
  • Depending on your spreadsheet program, you may not be seeing all of the information which is available in the Flat Data File. For example, Excel can cap the number of rows that it will display. It can also auto-format data types, or truncate Text Entry responses.