There are circumstances where you may wish to collect data via a survey and have some of that data be anonymous.
On the face of it, this sounds contradictory and impossible, but there are a number of possible applications.
The most obvious is an anonymous feedback survey where we also want to offer a prize incentive. In order to offer the prize incentive, we need to collect contact information, so a winner can be identified, which would mean the survey would no longer be anonymous, so how do we solve this?
The answer is that we can use two separate surveys that are set up to display to the user as a single survey.
For the purposes of this guide, we’ll follow the given example, but the basic principles will apply to any situation where you want two surveys with differing settings to work like a single one.
Because you’ll be working in two surveys it makes a lot of sense to work out which parts of the overall survey belong in which section – anonymous or non-anonymous. It will be much easier to then create the surveys with this worked out than trying to move questions between the two surveys.
Create the two surveys as normal, as separate surveys in SmartSurvey. So, we would have the first survey (the feedback survey in our example), which would be set to anonymous. In addition to this, we would have the second survey where the contact data is collected.
Once both surveys are complete, they can then be made to work together. this is done by making the survey-end redirect for the first survey be the tracking link for the second.
- On the collect tab of the contact survey, open the survey, then copy the tracking link URL.
- Now, open the feedback survey, go to the survey settings, and open the “finish” page.
- Click to enable “Auto Redirect” and paste the tracking link into the “Address (URL):” box. Make sure that “jump after” is set to 0 seconds.
- Now, click “Appearance” options that are also in the Survey Settings.
- Untick “Show question numbers” and “Show page numbers”.
- In the “button text” area, change the “Finish button” text to read “Next Page”.
Now, when you test the survey, you should be taken straight from the feedback survey to the contact survey.
The feedback survey will collect all the anonymous data you need, and the contact survey will let people leave details after completing the survey, but those details wont; be linked to any feedback survey response.
General other tips
It’s a good idea to also remove the progress bar from both surveys (otherwise it will move “backwards”).
If you want to keep question numbering, you can do this by adding, (and then hiding via CSS), dummy questions to the contact survey.
This method of splitting a survey into multiple surveys has other applications as well. Another example might be where a survey is collecting data about various topics, some more sensitive than others. Because survey sharing, and permissions, work on a per-survey basis, this would allow some parts of a survey project to be share with other and not the whole thing.
This can also help with GDPR requirements around the retention of personal data. By separating personal data into its own survey, then this data could be deleted separately from the rest of the survey data which, if it is not personal data, would not be subject to the same requirements.