Online Survey Advice: Frequently Asked Questions

Philip Cleave
May 17, 2018

We regularly receive a range of support questions from both new and existing customers asking for survey advice. We are always happy to cover as much as we can but we thought it might be useful to highlight some of the most common questions we get asked.

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becoming law on 25 May, there is a strong burden on organizations to protect personal information, so we have received lots of enquiries and have published a guide on creating GDPR compliant surveys.

Another frequently asked question about GDPR compliant surveys relates to data being stored in the US. Survey companies that store data on US-based servers will most likely rely on EU-US privacy framework and others outside will probably rely on Standard Model Clauses. The key problem, in our opinion, with the EU-US privacy framework is that it’s self-certifying – so organizations may claim they are signatories to the framework and sign up to it, but in fact they still fall foul of GDPR – the Data Controller (i.e our customers) have the responsibility of doing checks on data processors to ensure they comply with GDPR, it can be easy to simply take their word for it given that it’s self-certifying.

Also, bear in mind that generally, the EU has stricter rules than the US on data privacy. So, in the US they may lack the expertise to properly implement it, relying instead on self-certification of the framework to win business. Take a look at our page that shows how SmartSurvey’s security stacks up against some of the biggest survey providers.

If you have a question or want survey advice from one of our team, please feel free to contact us anytime. In the meantime, we hope the following answers to frequently asked survey related questions are useful.

Our top 6 FAQs for online survey advice

Question 1: Can I set up my own branded URL for surveys?

Branded URLs are setup for a range of reasons, the most common is to increase the ‘trust factor’. A URL that has brand recognition with an existing website domain will increase the chance of it being clicked. Creating your chosen URL will require some simple work on your side to set up the domain but we are on hand to help. It is really straightforward and can be well worth the effort. Please note that this feature is only applicable to Business accounts and users of our Enterprise survey tools.

Question 2: What is Skip Logic?

Skip Logic is a feature that takes your respondents through certain paths within a survey, based on how they answer previous questions. This can increase completion rates, as users are only asked relevant questions.

For skip logic to work effectively, our survey advice would be to create a questionnaire with more than one page, as you can’t filter respondents through questions on the same page. We advise planning out your survey before you start building it, especially if you want to apply skip logic.

An example of Skip Logic

A survey has been set up by a clothing company to gather information from their customers, there are four pages in total:

  1. Gender
  2. Male clothing sizes
  3. Female clothing sizes
  4. Contact details

The company is sending this survey out to a mixed demographic so will need to use Skip Logic to filter their respondents to the relevant questions. This is done by applying Skip Logic rules to the first question.

The first rule will be set so that if a customer selects ‘Male’ then they will proceed to page two (Male clothing sizes), but will skip page three (Female clothing sizes).

Alternatively, if a customer selects ‘Female’ then they will skip page two (Male clothing sizes) and jump straight to page three (Female clothing sizes).

So, by adding just two simple Skip Logic rules, this company now has a survey tailored to their customers. Please contact us if you would like a free demo.

Question 3: What options do I have for exporting survey data?

Data can now be gathered and exported in a range of forms to suit many types of software. Our survey advice provides you with the option to export data either manually or via a scheduled report on a daily, weekly, monthly or just a one-off basis. You can export to CSV (Excel), Individual Responses to MS Word, Summary Data to Excel, Summary Reports to MS Word, Cross-Tab Reports.

We suggest only exporting the data that you need and in a form that it can be easily analyzed. At the start of your research, think about what data is likely to be produced and in what form you want to review it.

Question 4: How can I use the Filter Tool?

If you need to break down your data, you can use our filtering tool to segment your survey responses by specific options.

Filter by Question and Answer – This section allows you to choose a question and answer(s) to filter the data by. Each rule is limited to one question, however, you can apply multiple answers per rule, if they are part of the same question.

Filter by Date Completed – This type of filter allows you to apply a date range to your results.

Filter by Unique ID – If you have used unique ID’s with your survey links, then this filter type allows you to break down the data by unique ID.

Filter by Variables – If you have passed custom variables through your survey link, then this feature allows you to filter the data based on variables.

Filter by Contact List Data – If you have sent your survey out via a contact list, then this feature would allow you to filter your results based on column data.

Question 5: How to order a Live Audience panel

Do you want to reach a specific target audience promptly but don’t have all the contacts on hand? Using a live audience service will help you get in front of your target audience instantly, you can even choose the demographics. If you already have a paid account you can access our live audience tool instantly.

If you want to purchase responses using a consumer panel, visit the ‘collect’ page of your survey and ‘Click on Buy Responses’.

An order form will open, allowing you to select your target audience criteria. When you have selected your panel, click on Order Summary.

If the details for your order are correct then you can complete the order by clicking on Place Order.

Question 6: How to analyze partial responses

Unfortunately, not everyone will complete your survey, but that does not mean their input is lost. You can still include their partial responses in your reports. Including partial responses in your reports is quick and easy, you simply need to follow these simple survey advice steps.

  • Login into your account
  • On ‘My Surveys’ page, click Results next to the survey with partial responses
  • Click on the Partial number.
  • Click Force Complete Response to mark the partial response as complete
  • Once you have confirmed the action, you will see that the response has been moved to the completed responses section

This process will only export the partial responses, leaving them marked as partial within the account. It is also possible to export all of the partials.

We hope you have found this survey advice useful. If you have any other questions or would like further advice, please get in touch with our friendly support team. Simply visit our Contact Page or call us on 0800 0937 822.


Get started and create your first survey

If you would like more information then please get in touch.