Aggregate codes

By default, when you have codes nested in parent–child hierarchies, the codes are treated separately for coding—i.e. you can code to the parent code without affecting the child codes, and to the child codes without affecting the parent code. As an alternative, you can select to aggregate all child-code references to parent codes—for selected parent codes. This means that the parent code includes all coding references in its child codes, as well as references that were coded to it directly. With aggregation on, coding to a child code creates 2 references—one to the child code and one to the parent.

NOTE  Code aggregation is undoable—if you turn off aggregation for a parent code then references it gained from its child codes are removed.

For example, if you turn on code aggregation for all 3 parent codes in this hierarchy:

  • respondents
    • farmers
      • Giacomo
      • Pat
    • fisheries
      • Franz
      • Vikram


  • respondents includes coding references in all 7 codes
  • farmers includes all coding references to farmers, Giacomo and Pat
  • fisheries includes all coding references to fisheries, Franz and Vikram

If you have code aggregation on for respondents but not farmers and fisheries, then respondents will include references from farmers and fisheries, but not Giacomo, Pat, Franz and Vikram.

If you add new child codes to a parent code that already has aggregation turned on, aggregation automatically applies to the new codes.


  • You may get different results in queries and visualizations if you turn on aggregation for a code.

Turn code aggregation on or off

  1. In the List View select the parent code.
  2. On the Home tab, select Item > Get Info.
  3. Check or uncheck Aggregate coding from child codes.