Data collection
March 10, 2011 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Options for electronic data collection with a few complexities?

I'm exploring options for a mechanism for creating forms for a data collection project. It's not large scale (fewer than 50 respondents) but there are some things I'd like to be able to do that I'm not seeing in some of the online survey services I see out there.

I would like to be able to ask a series of questions of different data types - some text entry, some ratings, some yes/no - where each respondent is asked the same series of questions about each of a set of programs. Ideally, I would like to be able to set up the program as a grid so that questions are asked on each row and there is a column for the answers for each program. The number of programs (columns) varies from 1-6 depending on the respondent and the program names are different for different respondents.

Other features I'm looking for:

-ability to prepopulate some answers with information what we already know (ideally by importing from an Access db)
-obviously, ability to pull down the data for analysis, which will probably mostly be in Access
-ease of use - no logins or one shared login for respondents

We would be repeating the survey every six months or so, so it will not be a one-off but it won't be constant input either.

I think it may be possible to do this with Google spreadsheets or just by emailing folks Excel spreadsheets, but I'm wondering if there are other options that I'm not thinking of.
posted by yarrow to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've used SurveyMonkey for this purpose.

Two of your features are contradictory though -- you can't have no logins and different program names for different respondent. Unless by different program names for different respondents you mean based on their answers to previous questions, then you can do it using a tree.
posted by demiurge at 8:59 AM on March 10, 2011

I did something like this for a client a while back. Each recipient got asked the same set of questions about a variable list of "topics". Different topics and recipients each week.

No logins. Each recipient accessed the survey by a unique URL:

Sure, that means I can answer your survey if I know your identifier, but that was considered acceptable risk. There was no upside to a prankster in doing so.

The survey was a dot-net web app.

Mail me if you want to talk about how the thing worked.
posted by chazlarson at 9:12 AM on March 10, 2011

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