Improved search and download PDFs of selected filled surveys

Dear Survey Solutions,

  1. Some of our partners in the field have requested a feature whereby they can download individual filled PDFs of surveys. Does such a feature exist? If not, would you consider implementing something like this?

  2. It would be helpful if in the search bar on the server, under the interviews tab, the search function could look for answers within questionnaires (e.g. the name of individuals or firms). Please consider adding this functionality if possible.

Many thanks.

1 Like

For point 1 above, could you say more about why is is needed? Currently, a user with access to the server could review the contents of an interview here. What about this functionality does not suit your use case? Also, why is PDF the preferred format?

For point 2, could you please provide a few concrete use cases of how this would be used, and the types of work flows for which this would either required or highly useful? Currently, a user could emulate this approach by downloading the data and writing a query of the data.

Point 1: Project managers wanted surveys for specific companies for their review - it’s nicer to give them the data in this form rather than an excel file where it has question variable codes etc. I’ve had this request from project managers at least three times in the last year.

Point 2: When looking to reject certain companies back to interviewers, at the moment you have to download the data, find the firm, find the associated ID number, log onto the server and then reject the correct one. It would just be quicker if we could search for the relevant company on the server.

On point #2 the logic is upside-down.

You don’t decide that you want to reject a company, then search for a corresponding interview. Instead you must review the interview, then deside whether to reject it. On that case no search is necessary.

Afaik the search works on the identifying fields. Which identifying fields are defined in your survey?

On point 2: I agree that ideally that’s not the ideal workflow, but sometimes it’s the interviewer that is requesting the survey be rejected back to them because they realize a mistake has been made.

I didn’t realise the search works on identifying fields, so perhaps I can change the company name question to such a type.

If I am not mistaken you recall feature is based on the assumption that only one interviewer is working on an interview, which is not the case in Survey Solutions, where a completed interview may be rejected to another interviewer or even a different team.

This also means that if implemented one interviewer may affect the work of another. Which is undesirable. There are also undesirable consequences for audit and randomizations.

What is wrong with telling the supervisor to reject back the interview?

Dear Survey Solutions,

Is there any progress on point #1 Exporting filled surveys to PDF format?

Just an FYI to say that I would still very much like this feature to be implemented. This morning I was asked for a number of surveys for particular companies to be shared as a filled PDF. This is especially useful when wanting to check or change data when using the web survey functions (where you can’t reject back for changes).

Hello Jasmeer, so how did you solve it? What software did you use? Which techniques? Did you have to write any program code for this? Thank you.

Hi Sergiy. I haven’t solved it. I usually send them an excel file with the results, but it’s not user friendly. The nice thing about a filled PDF is that ppl in the field can check against the physical copies they have collected the data with (some prefer to collect physically and then use the weblink later). It’s also quicker for them to communicate changes because they can write on the PDF and then send us the scan.

And you can’t send them a Survey Solutions interview for commenting?

Not sure what you mean. Send them another interview? It’s not really what I meant by commenting or changing / updating answers. Interviewers want to check the filled surveys. When interviewers use a link to enter the data, they can’t review it to their heart’s content like on a tablet. It’s a one shot affair that has to be completed in that session, and I think some are less comfortable as a result. Some want to make double sure that the information reaching the server is correct. A PDF download enables them to check this. Enterprises sometimes want to receive the filled survey too for their records.

The ability to download a filled PDF is something that has been requested multiple times. It adds flexibility and deals with a number of “edge cases” - I think it’d be a good feature to add.

Yes, it seems like a good feature to have. Any thoughts on how this overview should be delivered? Email after completion, self download?

And as for supervisors, do they need such pdf document or overview page on interview details is enough?

This is what you wrote:

If electronic communication with interviewer exists, then you send them the interview to make any corrections/comments by rejecting from HQ.

When interviewers use a link to enter the data, they can’t review it to their heart’s content like on a tablet.

Now this is just a mistake of survey organization. Interviewers should work under an interviewer account, taking full advantage of the case management system, not filling out web interviews as anonymous respondents.

Make sure that you are familiar and fully understand the difference between:

  • web interview;
  • web interviewer.

I can’t come up with a mode or configuration that would require the whole interview to be completed in one session. Most of our interviews are on the order of thousands of questions and may take a number of sessions to complete.

Thanks for your responses Sergiy. I’ll look into some of the technical options you suggest. However, filled PDF downloads are still a feature that I think would be useful.