How can I collect and analyze survey data over time?
If you want to track your respondents over time to measure different trends, changing climates or attitudes, etc., then you have a couple of methods from which to choose and accomplish this goal:
Single Survey: Consider if you need all the data collected into one survey over time. If so, all the data will be combined into one survey's analysis section. Through filtering, you can view specific time frames of data.
Multiple Surveys: You may want to create a new survey for each time period. This will keep each data time frame separate from another. However, you will not be able to merge multiple surveys into one report.
A. Single Survey Design with Multiple Collectors:
When using one survey multiple times rather than creating a new design each period, consider this option:
After creating the survey, a collector needs to be established. The collector is what generates the link that you send to an audience. You can create a new collector for each time period when fresh data needs to be collected.
You want to track trends monthly. Create 12 collectors and name each one a specific month. Email out the new link each month (e.g. January, February, and so on).
Tracking respondents by name:
If you want to track respondents specifically by their identity (e.g. name, email, or custom ID), you will need to establish a tracking mechanism before sending out the survey:
Each response will have a start/end date and time recorded. Now you can see who responded according to a specific time period in the Analyze section of the survey.
1. Create a New Collector Each Month:
Create a new collector each month you distribute the same survey.
- Email a new link each period to the same respondents. Name your collectors according to the month for which you are surveying.
- As responses come into the Analyze section, they will be combined with data from the 12 collectors. If you wish to view only the responses from a specific month, create a Filter by Collector.
- EX: If you wanted to look at March's responses, create a filter for the March collector. When it is applied and active, only those responses will be visible. Export that data if you wish.
2. Use One Collector Only:
If you do not want to create a new collector each month, simply resend that same link from the original collector. However, you will need to create a Web Link and set it to allow multiple responses. That way the respondents can take the survey again from their same computers.
All survey responses will have a Start and End date time stamp recorded on each response.
- The Browse Responses button in the Analyze section allows you to scroll through each individual response. This time stamp is recorded on each one.
- Create a Filter by Property to view responses recorded during a specific time frame. If you wanted to see March 2008, filter by 03/01/2008 to 4/01/2008.
- Export the data with a filter applied. Only those responses collected during that time period will be exported.
B. Multiple Survey Designs with One Collector per Each Survey:
You may want to keep your data separate and associated with an individual survey instead of using filters.
If you wish to create a new survey for each time period, then create one original survey to initially distribute. That original survey will be the template. For the next time period, copy the original to create a new one. Collectors do not copy, so you will need to create a link.
NOTE: Try not to change your questions. Use the exact same copy if you want to compare results accurately across different surveys. This helps to validate your comparisons for each time period.
If you are tracking monthly, you will create 12 separate designs. Twelve surveys will be visible on your My Surveys page.
- Name or title the survey according to the month you are collecting data.
- Click the [Analyze] icon next to the survey month that you want to review.