Editing a survey which already has response data

Contents

Changing text in questions, headings and paragraphs
Changing/deleting options to dropdown and multiple choice questions
Adding/deleting/reordering questions
Changes to page order and branching
Changes to address book and the assigning of questions to data fields

Summary

It may be the case that your survey has been designed, you've distributed it and people are responding to it - however, you've just realised that something needs to be changed.

Don't worry - this isn't a problem. Changes can be made instantly but there are a few things to look out for when editing an active survey.

Firstly, you'll receive a warning message prior to making any changes to your active survey, just to ensure you understand the possible impact.

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If your survey has no responses yet - then editing the survey won't cause any problems; however, consider that people could be responding to your survey while you edit it.

If your survey has one or more responses - the data for the existing responses may be affected, or potentially lost, by changing the questions and survey. To avoid this, consider duplicating the survey and making changes to the new survey.

Changing text in questions, headings and paragraphs

Making changes to the text in questions, headings and paragraphs - such as changing spelling - won't have any effect on your survey response data. You can also add in and remove paragraphs without any worry.

However, changing the text of the survey can change the meaning, so consider whether any responses received before the change will provide you with valid data.

Changing/deleting options to dropdown and multiple choice questions

Changing or removing an option to a dropdown question will delete any of the responses for the option that was changed/removed; other responses will be unaffected.

Example

You have a question asking for someone's preferred colour with dropdown options of: 'Red', 'Blue' and 'Yello'

Having realised that 'Yello' should have been 'Yellow', you remove the option 'Yello' and replace it with 'Yellow' .

The data for all respondents is retained, but those who answered 'Yello' will have a blank answer for that question.

The difference with multiple choice questions (which use radio buttons rather than a droplist) is that changing the text of an answer won't delete respondent data; it will change the response to the edited answer. Removing an option will delete respondent data, as with multiple choice questions.

Adding options to dropdown and multiple choice questions won't affect data from existing respondents.

Adding/deleting/reordering questions

Adding questions before, after or in between existing questions won't affect existing data; new questions can be added at any point.

Deleting a question will delete all existing answers to that question; answers to all other questions will be retained.

Reordering questions by dragging and dropping them around a survey page won't affect existing data; all existing answers will be retained and attributed to the right question.

However, cutting and pasting a question (within a page, or between pages) will result in all answers to that question being deleted.

Changes to page order and branching

Changes to page order and branching won't affect existing data.

However, as mentioned above, cutting and pasting individual questions between pages or within a page will result in all answers to that question being deleted.

Changes to address books and the assigning of questions to contact data fields

Data already written to the application won't be affected; changes to the assigning of questions to contact data fields can be made without any loss of existing data.

Be careful that your changes don't break contact data field assignment for future respondents (for example, by deleting and re-adding the email address question).

Be very careful!

Data lost through making changes to a live survey can't be undeleted and our support team won't be able to assist with any data loss as a result of changes made.
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