Post on 12/02/2016 by Sealia Thévenau

Categories : Your online surveys

Our Pre-population feature is up and running.  This is an exciting new feature that will allow you to magnify the power of your survey campaigns by supplementing collected data with a pre-population of your surveys.


There are a few tools that allow “Pre-population” of surveys and most people think of it as a way to save your respondents some time.  Because when you send a non-anonymous survey you know certain basic information about them like their name and email…

But what most people don’t realize is that pre-population is a tool that can do so much more than save Johnny Appleseed the time it would take him to type in his own name.  Pre-populating a survey is an effective way of delving deeper into the data, increasing the power of your analysis, and allowing you to compare the data you collect in one survey to be supplemented by or compared with data from other sources. 


Here are some examples of how to use a pre-population:


  • The first is the obvious one: Putting in details you know already to save the respondent having to type them in. Let me just say that I am not putting down this option at all! It is very useful and is one of the ways you can improve the flow of your survey and promote a positive respondent experience.  My “flippant” comment above was meant to highlight just how narrow this usage of pre-populations is, so that we can take a look at some other options…
  • You can pre-populate a survey with data collected elsewhere or with knowledge you already have about the respondents (beyond their name and email…) that they may or may not have any knowledge of. For example, you want to send out a satisfaction survey to your clients concerning your services.  You can pre-populate the survey with information you might have on your clients like whether they are regular clients, what their last order with you consisted of, whether they’re a “big” or a “small” client… and other pertinent information that the client themselves can’t tell you because it’s related to your own business.  After collecting the satisfaction data from your clients you could then analyze this data in comparison with your previous information.  Do your “big” clients have a higher level of satisfaction than your “small” clients? Are your regular clients happy with the services you provide? If not, then what are more do they require from your services?  Is there a correlation between frequency of purchase and satisfaction? I won’t belabor the point… Adding in a pre-population can help you to go deeper into analysis and make real business decision based on your knowledge of your business coupled with the reactions and needs of your clients and customers. 
  • Pre-populations can also be used in the case of standardized forms or applications. If you have a database of information on your clients, employees, patients, classmates, alumni, club members, etc… but they haven’t been updated in a while, then you can put the information you already have as a pre-population and ask respondents to answer the “survey” and either confirm, modify, or update the information.  For fun, you could tack on some additional questions at the end to gain additional insight about this group.
  • Another great use for pre-populations are in 360° You know information about the respondents (like their position, their record within the company, and so on…) that they may know or may not fully realize.  You can then, as with the previous example, use this information during analysis to compare individuals with a group, one group to another, and so on.  The possibilities are many. 
  • Additionally, pre-populating a survey may curb bias. You may be able to avoid mistakes and wrong answers on data you already knew the answers to.


There are many ways pre-populating surveys can be useful. It isn’t just a way to speed up a survey. Pre-populating a survey is an effective tool to compliment your data collection and supplements of information can be exceptionally helpful in analysis to make real business decisions.


Sign in and try it out for yourself!


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