The aim of these tips is to give you some step-by-step tips for creating your first survey project using the Spark Chart survey software.
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“To help people, teams and organizations rapidly develop ideas, get answers and learn through surveys and feedback.”
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Please get in touch with any questions. We are also very interested in your suggestions and ideas as well as requests for new features. So, if you think of anything, please let us know.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Start by watching this short "Getting Started" video (2 minutes)
Step # 1: Start Planning a Small Pilot Survey Project
Now, let’s consider what type of project to run first.
Start with a small survey of people you know well
We recommend that you start with a small project involving people you know well, and treat it like a pilot. Perhaps choose some of your leaders or employees, or maybe some friends. Don’t start with a big customer survey. Before sending any survey, you should always conduct a pilot. Even if the only person in the pilot is you. A pilot gives you an opportunity to identify any issues and fix them before proceeding to send the survey to all participants.
What project will you choose?
So, what would be a useful project for you to start with? The answer will depend upon many factors, including the size of your organization, the current environment, decisions you need to make or the issues you may be facing.
Plan the project
Start planning your survey project. What are your goals? What information do you need? Who are you going to ask? What is the time frame for your project? Here is an article about survey goals and objectives that may be useful.
Step # 2: Build a Survey
After deciding on the goals of your project, the next step is to start designing your survey.
Start building your survey
Go to the Spark Chart Dashboard and the BUILD Surveys menu. Create a survey by selecting + New Survey. After creating your survey, select the “Content” button to begin adding content like instructions, survey questions and page breaks. Here are some tips for designing your survey.
We can provide a survey template
Spark Chart comes with a range of survey templates. If you like, let us know your thoughts about the project you are considering and your objectives. We will make some suggestions and provide you with some templates to get you started. You can use the survey template without changes, or you can customize it.
Step # 3: Set up Mail Templates
For your first project, more than likely, you are going to distribute surveys via email. In Spark Chart you can create and store Mail Templates ready to be used to send survey instructions or to send messages to project participants.
Create a Survey Invitation Mail Template
To create a new Mail Template, go to the BUILD Mail Templates menu and click on the “+ New Mail Template” button at the top of the page. Enter the Mail template details and save. Remember, you need to engage people and make them want to complete the survey. So, choose you wording and structure your email to make it inviting and easy to follow. Here are some tips for survey communications.
Create a Survey Reminder Mail Template
In most projects you will need to follow up people to remind them to complete the survey. Make sure the email reminder is friendly and takes account of the fact that that people lead busy lives. When you have the opportunity to personalise an email, do it! Wherever possible, include the person’s name in the body of your email. This can have a big impact on your response rates.
Step # 4: Add Your Contacts
You can add and store contacts in Spark Chart. Contacts can be added individually, or you can upload a list. Later on, when you create and launch a survey project, you can easily choose from your contacts and add them to your project as participants.
Add some contacts individually
To add contacts individually, go to the PEOPLE Contacts menu in the Dashboard and select + New Contact from the top menu.
Import a list of Contacts
To import multiple people, go to the Contacts menu and select the Import CSV button at the top of the page. CSV stands for Comma Separated Value. A CSV is a simple file format used to store tabular data. CSV files are commonly used and many programs have an option to export data into a CSV format.
Step # 5: Set up and Launch a Survey Project
Now that you have built a survey, customised your email templates and added your contacts, you should be ready to create a project. From there, you can launch the project ready to conduct a pilot and deploy surveys. A project is the place where all elements of a survey project are brought together, including the survey, the introductory messages and the participants in the project.
Create a survey project
To create a project, go to the LAUNCH Projects menu in the Dashboard and select the + New Project button in the top menu bar. The Project details tab contains essential information about the project including the Project Name, Project Description, the Survey to be used, project logo, the email sender and any Tags for the project.
The survey may be edited at any stage up until project Launch but must be finalised and added to the project before launch. When a project is launched, a copy of the entire survey, including the content, rating scales, answer lists and themes is created. Editing or deleting the Survey, Rating Scales, Answer Lists or Themes will not change the survey in a launched project.
Launch the project
To launch a project, go to the LAUNCH Projects menu and select the Launch button alongside the project. Launching a project is very simple. Click the “Start” button and the project will quickly be readied and a dedicated project “Mission Control” will be prepared.
About the Project Mission Control
The project Mission Control is a dedicated menu for the project. The project Mission Control is where you will plan and manage the mission. In the Mission you can add participants, deploy the surveys, and analyze and share results.
Step # 6: Add Participants & Send Surveys
After launching your project you will be ready to review your project settings, add participants and distribute surveys in the survey project’s dedicated Mission Control. The Mission Control can be accessed in several ways. Your launched project will show on the Dashboard where you can click on the Mission Control button.
Review the Project Settings
The Project Settings in the Spark Chart survey software contains the information that was entered when the project was set up and launched. The project Settings can be edited at any time in a live project. Edits will instantly change the visible project details for survey participants.
To add participants to a project, go to the DISTRIBUTE Participants menu in Mission Control and select the + Add Participants button in the top menu. You will have various options to to add participants, individually, and from Contacts or Participant Lists.
Create a Pilot Group.
Distribute Surveys to the Pilot Participants
Before distributing surveys in any project, we recommend that you pilot the survey first. You should let the pilot group know about their role and get their agreement before sending them the survey. Documentation for emailing participants is in the Spark Chart survey software Help Manual. To deploy surveys to the pilot group, go to the DISTRIBUTE Participants menu and select the pilot participants. Then click the “Selected” button at the top of the page and choose Email. In the Mail Settings tab, select the Mail Template to use. The subject and message may be edited without affecting the Mail Template. Click Send.
You can track the progress of surveys in several places, including the MANAGE Progress menu and the DISTRIBUTE Participants menu. You can also see an overview in the Mission Overview as well as on the Spark Chart survey software Dashboard.
Step # 7: Analyze Survey Results & Create Sparks
After you have received the desired responses to your survey, the next step is to start analyzing the results. Results are updated, and can be viewed, instantly as surveys are completed.
A Spark is customised view of the survey results. A Spark can contain all the survey results or it may contain edited views of the survey results. Messages and recommendations can be added to Sparks. To create a Spark, go to the Sparks menu and select the + New Spark button in the top menu. Edit the Spark name and description and then click Save.
You can create as many Sparks as you wish.
Select the Spark Respondents
Sparks may contain results for all participants or for selected participants. By default, all respondents are included. Choose the Respondents button if you wish to select the respondents to include.
Customize the Spark Layout
To edit the Layout of a Spark, go to the Sparks menu and choose the Layout button. In the Spark Layout, the presentation of the results may be customised. Later, when the Spark is “Shared” and “Viewed”, the customised presentation will visible. Customising options include filtering results, changing the graph type, hiding or showing specific questions and responses, hiding or showing elements like additional comments, response rates, themes and more. Key messages and recommendations can also be added.
You are now ready to share your results using the Shares feature.
Step # 8: Share Survey Results
The Shares feature in the Spark Chart survey software provides an easy way to share and present survey results (the Sparks). Shares can be customised for different audiences.
Create a Share
To add a Share, go to the Shares menu and select the + New Share button in the top menu. To edit a Share, select the Edit button alongside the Share.
Customize the Share for the Target Audience
Select the Sparks to include in the Share. Add a title of the Share and the Welcome text. The Welcome Text is displayed when someone accesses the link to the share on the web.
Review your Share
To obtain a Share link, and view its contents, select the Link button alongside the Share. Review the presentation and then make refinements to the Sparks and Shares as necessary.
If you need Help, Ask a Survey Expert
We have now covered the main steps to plan a project, create a survey, launch a project, distribute surveys and analyze and share results.
We are here to help so please let us know if you need anything. Stay tuned and look out for our regular webinars.