Keep Your Survey Reporting Goals in Mind from the Start

Where are you going?You have to know where you’re going, if you ever plan to get there. These are certainly words of wisdom, if I’ve ever heard them. I remember my dad saying something like this to me when I was trying to decide on a major in college. Since my undergraduate major would likely affect the type of job I secured after graduation, my dad just wanted to make sure that I was thinking long-term when I made my “major” decision.

The concept of “thinking ahead” is a good one to grasp when it comes to a lot of things in life, including designing web surveys. If you stop reading this post here, please just remember this: Think about how you want to analyze and report on your data BEFORE you start building surveys in Cvent's Web Survey software! Below, I have included a short list of important things to think about, no matter which of the different survey formats you choose:

1. If you plan to filter your reports by any of your contact fields or survey questions, make sure to make these required in your survey! Making the field or question required ensures that all of your respondents will answer it, which will consequently render your filtered report more informative and inclusive.

2. Think twice about the question types you include in your survey and how they will affect your survey reports. Certain reports are more informative for some question types than for others. For example, if you plan to run the Answer Summary by Question report, use caution when including data list questions, matrix spreadsheet questions, rank order questions, and open ended questions in your online survey questionnaire. The reason for this is that the Answer Summary by Question report will only return a response count for those respondents who answered these questions, rather than reflecting respondents’ particular answers.

3. Do you want to score your survey? If so, remember that you not only need to turn on the scoring option under the Settings tab, but you also need to apply scores to each of the individual answer options. Additionally, remember that if you do turn on scoring, you can inform respondents of their survey score by inserting the total score data tag into the completion email message.

As long as you have considered these things before you launch your survey and send out email survey invitations, you are golden! You will undoubtedly find that your life will be much easier when you are analyzing survey data and reporting survey results on the collected data.
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