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What is the easiest way to gather data or opinions from a group? Well you might say a survey would be pretty easy, but how should you do the survey? Survey Monkey? Fortunately, if you have SharePoint then you're in luck! SharePoint has a premade survey list that can be quickly added and customized however is needed. They can have branching logic (have special diet needs ye or no can branch into Vegan etc.) Then once the survey is made there are many functions for distributing and looking at the survey results.
As SharePoint consultants we want our clients to get the most out of SharePoint. Surveys are easy to get started with, but have a lot of options and tools, some of which may not be apparent as to their use. This post will take you through the steps of making a survey all the way to reviewing and compiling the survey results.
Figure 1: The New Question Page
Figure 2: The Survey Settings Page
SharePoint allows for the ability to test a survey before making it live. This allows you to make sure that the survey works as intended before asking a larger group of people to fill it out. This helps to ensure that it works as you intend it – particularly if you've implemented complex survey branching.
Figure 3: The Survey Overview Page
Figure 4: The First Survey Question
When a survey is being created, not every question will be applicable to every respondent. For instance, if you want to poll users about their favorite candidate, and you've already asked their political party preference, you would want to narrow their choices to those candidates who are actually in that party. When a question asked depends on the answer of a previous question, this is known as branching.
Note: For survey branching to work, there must be more than two questions in the survey, or branching cannot be set up.
Figure 5: The Survey Settings Page
Note: Selecting the last question will only allow branching to a Content Type.
Figure 6: The Branching Logic Section on the Edit Question Page
Once you've created a survey you need to let your users know where it is so they can respond to it. That requires sending out a link.
Figure 7: The Survey Overview Page
SharePoint has the ability to graph the survey responses. Once a survey is completed by one or more respondents, you can view the results in a comparative graphical form, or view the answers given by individual respondents.
Figure 8: The Graphical Summary Page
Figure 9: The All Responses Page
Figure 10: The View Response Page
SharePoint surveys can capture a lot of information and viewing the results on the screen is great for a quick review, however, sometimes it will be necessary to look at the details and perform the kind of data analysis only available in Excel. Thankfully SharePoint can export the results of a survey into an Excel spreadsheet.
Note: If a warning dialog box appears identifying a potential security concern, click Enable if you were the one who initiated the export from SharePoint.
Figure 11: The Survey in Excel
Use Advanced Branching to show or hide questions based on multiple answer choice conditions in previous questions. You can combine rule conditions with the Boolean operators AND or OR to create more complex conditions.
For example, you can choose to show parenting related questions to respondents who answered yes to a question asking if they currently have children OR if they answered yes to a question asking if they are planning to have children.
Mention this post and we'll send you a white paper on all of the ways Outlook and SharePoint work together! As SharePoint consultants we strive to empower our clients to unlock the full potential of your SharePoint environment.