Background variables have multiple purposes, you can use them to present your respondents with relevant questions based on their background information, e.g. business division, age, their city of residence.
You can also personalize surveys and invitation letters by adding the respondent's’ name in the introduction text or the questions themselves. You can also use background variables for more specific and smarter reports. You can create individual reports by creating filters based on, e.g. names, business department.
You can add background variables manually or import them via your CSV file when you're inviting respondents:
- Go to your survey and select share on the side menu. If the menu is closed, click on the menu icon () to open it first.
- Select email.
- When you’re satisfied with the email click next.
- Choose to upload or copy/paste* your CSV file.
- Now you have to map your fields by matching the CSV field with a survey variable, i.e. matching email with email, first name with first name, etc.
- The new variables you have added to your CSV that have not been added to your survey, have to be assigned the correct validation: text or date field. The date field format is MM-DD-YYYY.
For example, if you've added a variable called "department", you would have to match it with the text field format.
- Complete the following steps and once you've invited your respondents, the variables will be added to your survey.
Add variables manually
- Go to your survey and select settings on the side menu. If the menu is closed, click on the menu icon () to open it first.
- Click on list of background variables.
- Click on the add background variable icon () *.
- Select the variable type. This depends on how you want to represent your variable.
- Selection list: This variable type gives specific options for the respondent. For example, the variable age can be represented in age brackets, 20-29, 30-39, etc.
- Text: This variable can be formatted to:
- text: the variable is open-ended. For example, the variable age is filled out by the respondent’s data and not represented by a specific value.
- numeric: the variable accepts only numbers. Use the dropdown menu below to choose your preferred decimal separator.
- email: the variable accepts only email addresses.
- custom: the variable accepts whatever validation you input using a regular expression, e.g. US zip codes. Click here to learn more about regular expressions.
- Date: This variable allows the respondent to select a specific date from a calendar. For example, the respondent will be able to choose a specific date for the variable date of birth.
- Click next.
- Name your variable and add its response options, if applicable, and click next.
- If you want the variable to be mandatory enable the answer is required setting.
- Click add to create your variable.
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