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Decipher Essentials Training Series

Welcome to the Decipher Essentials Training Series.

This training series is designed to teach you survey basics. Each tutorial provides basic knowledge with the ability to do it yourself! As you get further along in the series, the tasks will get more complex. All levels of users will benefit from practice and reviewing the basic functionality. After each section, there will be an exercise to complete. It's important to go in order as each exercise builds on top of the previous.

During this training series, you will learn how to program a simple survey, apply logic, create your own look & feel, run simulated data and analyze your data.

Live Q&A Sessions (Monthly)

We all have questions and it’s nice to have an expert to talk to. Each month, Decipher will have live Q&A sessions for each of the sections trained on. Users are encouraged to write questions as they go through the digital content so they can later ask them during the Q&A session. These are 2 hour sessions that consist of the trainer going through the section exercise followed up by any questions users may have pertaining to the exercise or digital content. Check out the Decipher Training - Onboard Calendar for more information.

For each task, don't be afraid to try it yourself. You'll be surprised at how easy it is.

Let's get started

Section I

1.1:  Getting Started

This video provides a general introduction to the Research Hub, where you can create, access, organize and share project, and much more.

Watch the Overview of the Research Hub Video
Duration: 3 minutes

Deeper Understanding 

When creating a new project, you can either start from scratch or you can start by importing a questionnaire into the Survey Editor. In this training, we'll take a quick look at accessing the survey editor and starting your first project.

Watch the Creating a New Project Video
Duration: 1 minute

The Survey Editor workspace is split into three distinct sections. The question tree displays all of the survey elements in the project in a linear order. The stage allows us to update question text and answer options. The right options panel allows us to manage advanced settings for questions and answer options.

Watch the Survey Editor Workspace Video
Duration: 3 minute

Reference Materials

1.2:  Basic Question Types

In this training, we will learn how to program basic question types.

Basic question types include:

  • Single select:  Allows respondents to select one answer in a list of options.
  • Single Select Grid:  Allows the respondent to select buttons in a 2-dimensional grid layout. 
  • Multi-select:  Allows respondents to check multiple answers from a list of options.
  • Dropdown Menu:  Allows respondents to select answers from a dropdown menu of options.
  • Number:  Allows respondents to enter a number in an answer field.
  • Text:  Allows respondents to enter a text answer or description in an open-ended field.
  • Essay:  Allows respondents to enter text answer or description into a large open-ended field than the traditional text element. 
  • Descriptive Content:  Displays text and/or multimedia to the respondents without requiring interaction.

After learning how to add each of the above survey elements, we will also learn how to add in page breaks, move questions around in the question tree and access the options panel on the right side of the screen. At the end of this task, you should be able to program a simple survey with the basic survey elements.

Deeper Understanding

Basic question types can be equated to the way data is stored in the system. These basic types of questions (single, multi, text, etc.) refer to the underlying structure of the data. We then use these basic types for all sorts of data collection needs. They can be modified in infinite ways to create the specific or unique question you want to ask your respondent. With these few basic data types, you can ask your respondents questions in hundreds of ways (grids, scales, sliders, cardsorts, etc).

Watch the Basic Question Types Training
Duration: 6 minutes

Reference Materials

1.3:  Adding Logic

In this training, we will learn how to add logic to our questionnaire.

Logic components include:

  • Terminates
  • Filters
  • Row conditions
  • Adding elements to the library
  • Utilizing elements from the library

First, we will learn how to add terminates to our survey. Adding terminates will screen out respondents based on their responses. This element will not show up to respondents who are taking the survey. Then, we will apply filters to our questions to only allow "certain" people to access these questions. Once we’ve applied these filters, we will learn how to add row conditions allowing only rows chosen in a previous question to show up in the next question. Lastly, we will save our answers to our question library and reuse our answer list in later questions. At the end of this task, you should be able to add survey logic to your questionnaire.

Deeper Understanding

Applying logic to your survey can improve the quality of the data collected. For example, placing a condition on a question will ensure that "only" those people who fulfill that condition will get that question leading to more accurate data.

Watch the Adding Logic Training
Duration: 6 minutes

Reference Materials

1.4:  Advanced Options

In this training, we'll cover how to create a randomly assigned quota to assign 2 concepts at random. Then, we will learn how to create an autofill question (i.e., hidden question) and store the randomly assigned concept in this autofilled question. Lastly, we will use the piping tool to "pipe" the randomly assigned concept into future questions throughout the survey.

Additional Options

This tutorial will also teach how to upload images and use the block element to group questions together. The block element allows you to apply logic to the actual block itself, rather than applying logic to each individual question.

Deeper Understanding

In order for a pipe to function it needs to know what text to insert, therefore, the autofill element must appear before the question with the pipe. We can then use the piping tool to pipe the text from the autofill question into future questions.

Watch the Advanced Features Training
Duration: 12 minutes

Reference Materials

1.5:  Style Editor

The survey editor allows you to configure the display settings for most basic and interactive elements. In this training we'll quickly adjust some configurations for a basic and dynamic question in our test survey.   

The options available for any given question may vary due to survey layout or question setup. 

Watch the Style Editor Training
Duration: 2.4 minutes

Reference Materials

1.6:  Data Verifiers

In this training we will learn about adding data verifiers to your survey. A data verifier is an attribute which can be used on a text, essay or number element to restrict answer responses to a particular format. You can access the following built-in "verify" attributes in the survey editor:

  • Digits: The data entered must be a number, using only roman digits 0 - 9 (e.g. 1, 123, 9001).
  • Email: The data entered must resemble an email address. In short, it should contain the @ symbol followed by a dot and ending with 2 - 4 characters.
  • Number: The data entered must be a number, integer or decimal (e.g. 100, 10.0, $10, 10.00, 1,000).
  • US Phone Number: The data entered must be a 10-digit US phone number (e.g. 559123456)
  • US Zip Code: The data entered must be 5 digits long (e.g. 93722).
  • US Zip Code w/ Extension: The data entered must be 5 digits immediately followed with a hyphen and 4 digits (e.g. 93722-1234).

Deeper Understanding

Data Verifiers can be applied to particular answer options or to the question as a whole. If applied at the question level, the responses for each input will be checked against the regular expressions and must match in order to be accepted.

Watch the Data Verifiers Training
Duration: 2.5 minutes

Reference Materials

1.7:  Adding Blocks

In this training we're going over adding Blocks to your survey. The block element can be used for element based randomization and restricting logic. A block will not show to respondents taking your survey.

Deeper Understanding

You can nest a block, like any other survey element, within other blocks. Setting up nested blocks allows you to randomize the items in the sub-block as a group and shuffle multiple nested items in the parent block with each other (if selected under "shuffle").

Watch the Adding Blocks Training
Duration: 5 minutes

Reference Materials

1.8:  Adding Loops

In this training, we will learn about adding a loop to your survey. The loop element allows you to take a set of questions and repeat them for a respondent.

In the video example, we're interested in asking respondents from which of the listed stores they bought the fruit selected in q1. Rather than spend time re-creating this question manually, we can add a loop element to automatically repeat one question or a series of questions for each fruit selected in q1.

Watch the Adding Loops Training
Duration: 3 minutes

Reference Materials

1.9:  Adding Skips

In this training, we'll go over adding a skip to your survey. The skip element can be used to jump respondents from one question of your survey to a target question defined further in your survey.

In this practice survey, we want respondents who qualify as frequent fliers to see questions 2 and 3, and the rest should skip to question 4.

Watch the Adding Skips Training
Duration: 3 minute

Reference Materials

1.10:  The Autofill Element

In this training, we'll program three different autofill elements in our "Small Pet Survey." The autofill element is a hidden element and it can be used to create hidden segments, for auto-punching or advanced piping.

Watch the Autofill Element Training
Duration: 7 minutes

Reference Materials

1.11:  Adding Quotas

In our first quota training video, we will learn how to add quick quotas from our questionnaire. Quick quotas enable you to select 1-dimensional questions in your survey. Quota groups are then created for each answer option in the question selected. When finished, we will look at the "Quotas" tab in the field report.

In our second training, we'll take a look at the three different quota types available in the survey editor:

  • Quick Answers (quick quotas):  Enable you to select 1-dimensional questions in your survey. Quota groups are then created for each answer option in the question selected.
  • Logic Conditions:  Allows you to select from existing logic conditions or create new conditions for the quota cells.
  • Randomly Assign Quotas (+quotas):  Allows you to enter quota cells that respondents will be randomly assigned to.

Deeper Understanding

Adding quotas to your survey will restrict the number of respondents allowed through the survey. This will prevent you from going overquota. For example, if you only want to collect 250 male completes and 250 female completes, you can set up a quick quota off of the gender question resulting in a total of 500 completes. If a respondent tries to get into the survey when the quota is filled, they will receive an overquota message and can be redirected to another link. Quota statements are often placed after the last screener question and respondents must pass through the quota element in order to be counted in the quota.

Watch the Adding Quotas Training
Duration: 2 minutes

Watch the Quotas Overview Training
Duration: 6 minutes

Reference Materials

1.12:  Adding Sample Sources

In this training, we will learn how to add sample sources from our questionnaire. A sample source is simply the method for defining how a respondent gets to and from a survey, such as purchased panel sample, private panel, direct email send, intercept from website, etc. The sample source defines any variable information that should be gathered, stored or passed back to the exit page or URL. When setting up your sample sources, you can set up a pre-programmed sample source which already has the URL variables and exit links configured for each vendor. You can customize the variables, add new variables or add a custom exit page for the sample source you are adding.

Topics include:

  • Sample sources
  • Custom sample sources
  • Exit pages

Deeper Understanding

When you first create your survey, the question tree will include a "Sample Sources" element. The sample will be defined as "open" so that anyone can take the survey.  Once you setup your own sample sources, you’ll have the option to disallow the open survey.

Watch the Adding Sample Sources Training
Duration: 4 minutes

Reference Materials

1.13:  Adding & Managing Languages

In this training, we will learn how to use the Language Manager to add and manage languages in Decipher. The Language Manager allows users to manage multiple languages from a single application. Translating survey content uses a text overlay to make it easy to manage multiple languages. Translation files can be exported, sent to translators, and imported back into the survey to translate survey content for each language. The status of translations can be monitored from within the Language Manager to bring attention to any resources that need updating. If necessary, translations can be reviewed and edited from within the application. Finally, survey language is controlled by the decLang variable. Survey links can be updated with the appropriate decLang variable from within the Project Summary.

Watch the Language Manager Training
Duration: 4:26 minutes

Reference Materials

1.14:  Section I Exercise

Let’s put your knowledge to the test. Use the following exercise materials to create your first survey!

Be sure to write down any questions you have and check out our live Q&A sessions to get them answered by our trainers.

Essentials Section I Exercise Materials

Watch the Essentials Section I Solution Video
Duration: 44 minutes

Essentials Section I Solution Materials

To check your answers using the Solution Materials, download and extract the files using the link above. First upload the quota.xls file to a new project as a System Root File. Then upload the survey.xml file to the same project, also as a System Root File.

Section II

2.1:  Running Simulated Data

In this training, we will learn how to run simulated data to ensure that our survey logic is working correctly. When running simulated data, it will attempt to run random cases through the survey to fill the database. Each time it will run 200 qualified completes. To increase this number, you can adjust the configure simulation settings.

If you’ve made a change to your survey, the simulated data will automatically clear and it will create a new data set for you. If you haven’t made a change to your data, it will append or stack the data together. You can manually clear simulated data by clicking the "Clear Test Data" link at the bottom of the simulated data window.

Depending on the length and complexity of your survey, the process could take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. A blue progress bar will increment at the top of the window showing you the status of the testing process. If the test results contain errors, you may click on "View Test Data History" for information about the errors.

Deeper Understanding

Running simulated data is an important part in the testing process. This process is developed to find potential errors in survey logic and survey flow. Once simulated data is collected, you can run Crosstabs to check the skip logic is working correctly.

Watch the Running Simulated Data Training
Duration: 3 minutes

Reference Materials

2.2:  Testing Environment

In this training, we will learn how to test our survey using survey tools. These tools will help ensure that our skip patterns are working correctly and lets us review each question for errors before it goes live.

The survey testing toolbar consists of:

  • Tasks:  Assign and resolve tasks making it easier to work in a collaborative setting. 
  • Edit:  Directly edit your questions without having to go back to the survey to make changes.
  • Recorder:  Records the path you took in the survey so you don’t have to remember your precise answers when trying to test a specific section. 
  • QA Codes:  Includes question labels, settings and conditions on each question making the it easier to test the survey.
  • One Page:  Enables you to see the entire survey in one page. If making edits, you can make all your edits at one time.
  • Actions:  Allows you to manage your languages, view your change history and access the Video Library and the Knowledge Base.
  • Quick Links:  Access other areas of your project whether you are building, testing, distributing or running reports.

Watch the Survey Testing Environment Video
Duration: 2 minutes

Deeper Understanding

The survey testing toolbar was designed to help making the testing process easier in preparation for launching your survey. When testing your survey, it is best to your survey printed and use it side by side as you test your survey.

Watch the Testing Environment Training
Duration: 5 minutes

Reference Materials

2.3:  Customizing Look & Feel

In this training we'll learn how to customize the look and feel of your survey by adding a logo and theme to your project. Utilize the project display settings to access the theme editor, making your project more engaging and ADA compliant.

Watch the Customizing Look & Feel Training
Duration: 6 minutes

Reference Materials

2.4:  Launching Your Survey

In this training, we will learn how to launch our survey and take it live. Launching the survey will clear out the simulated data, open the survey and enable you to begin collecting responses. You can launch your survey by selecting "Launch Survey" under the "Distribute" menu.

When launching your survey, it will check for open or unresolved tasks. If there are tasks that are unresolved, you will be able to review them and make changes before actually launching your survey.

The launch process will also verify that the survey content is compatible with the mobile device settings. Mobile warnings may appear based on the mobile settings in the survey.

Prior to launching, the process will automatically run simulated data through the survey to check for errors. If no errors are found, then the survey will go live.

Deeper Understanding

The launch process performs several checks to ensure your survey is in good shape and ready to go live. Once the survey goes live, the status of the project in the project menu bar will indicate that the survey is live and no longer in testing mode.

Watch the Launching Your Survey Training
Duration: 1:18 minutes

Reference Materials

2.5:  Email Campaign Manager

The Email Campaign Manager in Decipher allows users to distribute survey links to a list of email addresses.

2.5.1:  Email Campaign Manager Overview

In this training, we will cover a basic overview of the Email Campaign Manager in Decipher.

Watch the Email Campaign Manager Training
Duration: 1:37 minutes

2.5.2:  Creating an Email Campaign

In this training, we will learn how to create a new email send, update the email body and subject line, change the look and feel, and modify the sender settings to prepare our Email Campaign for launch.

Watch the Creating an Email Campaign Training
Duration: 3:56 minutes

2.5.3:  Uploading a Recipient List

Recipient lists can be uploaded as an Excel file or tab-delimited text file. In this training, we will cover the formatting of the recipient list, the upload process, as well as implementing a Field Merge and modifying the Survey URL.

Watch the Uploading a Recipient List Training
Duration: 3:45 minutes

2.5.4:  Launching an Email Campaign

Now that our email campaign has been created and our recipient list is uploaded, it’s time to launch! In this training, we’ll learn how to set up and schedule the launch of our email campaign.

Watch the Launching an Email Campaign Training
Duration: 4:57 minutes

2.5.5:  Sending Reminders

Reminder emails can be sent only to those respondents who have not yet taken our survey. In this training, we’ll learn about the process of configuring and sending reminder emails.

Watch the Sending Reminders Training
Duration: 2:15 minutes

Reference Materials

2.6:  Making Edits to Your Live Survey

In this training, we will learn how to make edits to our survey after it has gone LIVE and is already collecting data. A temporary version of the LIVE survey gets created and will allow you to make the appropriate edits without affecting respondents taking the survey. During this process, the original survey link will be maintained as well as the data collected.

Once you’ve made all of your edits, you will need to relaunch the survey to copy your changes from the temporary survey into the LIVE survey.

What’s Safe to Edit

  • Update question text
  • Fix spelling errors
  • Add a new question
  • Add new rows to a question
  • Modify skip patterns

Changes to Avoid

  • Do NOT modify question labels
  • Do NOT delete questions
  • Do NOT delete question options
  • Do NOT change question types
  • Do NOT delete sample sources
  • Do NOT delete named conditions

Watch the Making Edits to Your Live Survey Training
Duration: 3 minutes

Reference Materials

2.7:  Section II Exercise

Here's your next challenge! Use the following exercise materials to build on your section I exercise.

Be sure to write down any questions you have and check out our live Q&A sessions to get them answered by our trainers.

Essentials Section II Exercise Materials 

Note: Changes will be marked in the questionnaire with RED text.

Watch the Essentials Section II Solution Video
Duration: 37 minutes

Essentials Section II Solution Materials

​To check your answers using the Solution Materials, download and extract the files using the link above. First upload the quota.xls file to a new project as a System Root File. Then upload the survey.xml file to the same project, also as a System Root File.

Section III

3.1:  Field Report

In this training, we will learn how to run the field report to check completions, terminates, quotas and drop-outs. The field report will show the health of your survey. This tool gives an overall view of what’s happening with your project. All the data in the field report is real-time and will keep track of who is in the survey.

The number of tabs that will appear in the field report depends on how you’ve set up your survey. For example. every project will have a completions and a drop-outs tab.  The terminates tab and quotas tab will only appear if you’ve programmed your survey to include these questions types. A campaigns tab will only appear if you’ve set up and sent an email campaign.

All tabs in the field report can be emailed, printed or downloaded to Excel. There is also a mobile-optimized web version that can be used to check the status of projects using your smartphone.

Deeper Understanding

The field report can be used to edit your quota values while the survey is live. This testing tool can also be used to check unspecified terminates, monitor the participation rate and the status of your drop-outs.

Watch the Field Report Training
Duration: 4 minutes

Reference Materials

3.2:  Crosstabs

The Crosstabs reporting system by Decipher is designed to improve the speed and ease of crosstab creation. Beyond a modernization of the look & feel, pre-defined tables are generated for all question and answer combinations, allowing users to quickly select the tables they desire by the segments they wish to view. Crosstabs incorporates the main navigation menu that is used throughout the Decipher platform, allowing for quick navigation from building and testing, to reviewing the field report, and downloading your data.

3.2.1:  Crosstabs Overview

In this training, we'll go over the crosstab reporting system, focusing on the landing page, total frequencies crosstab report, and settings. 

Watch the Crosstabs Overview Training
Duration:  6:37 minutes

3.2.2:  Build a Crosstab

The crosstabs reporting tool also allows for the creation of custom segments to quickly dissect the information in your report. Learn how to create a custom crosstab by watching this training.

Watch the Build a Crosstab Training
Duration:  5:41 minutes

3.2.3:  Build & Edit a Crosstab with XML

If you are familiar with coding, then using the XML can be an easy way to edit or modify a crosstab and find errors that are not always visible from the graphical user interface (GUI).

Watch the Build & Edit a Crosstab with XML Training Watch the Edit a Crosstab with XML Training -  Coming soon! 

Duration: 5:07 minutes

3.2.4:  Running a Quick Split

Next, we'll learn how to run a quick split from question logic to quickly create multiple segments in the crosstab report.  We'll also learn how to nest & append segments from multiple questions by using the quick split editor.  

Watch the Running a Quick Split Training
Duration: 5:06 minutes

3.2.5:  View Options in Crosstabs

You can adjust the look and settings for tables in your crosstab report by accessing view options. The following view options are available in Crosstabs:

  • Show/Hide QA codes: Showing will make question and answer labels visible for easier reference and QA codes will display contextually highlighting key programming settings.
  • Hide Tables with No Respondents
  • View Chart Options: Allows you to edit the chart color palette and select the data values. Click here for more information.
  • Show/Hide Download Data Values: Allows you to display/hide the data values in the crosstabs report.
  • Show/Hide Unweighted Total Count:  If you are applying weights, you may choose to show or hide the unweighted total row in your tables.
  • Turn All Grid Tables On/Off:  Allows you to show or hide grid tables 
    (from 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional radio/checkbox/select questions that do not use hottext).

Watch the View Options Training
Duration: 2:01 minutes

3.2.6:  Create a Table Set

You can quickly create a table set to limit the number of tables shown in a crosstab report. The table set can be applied to the total frequencies crosstab, custom crosstabs, and quick splits. Learn how to add, remove, and edit table sets in crosstabs by watching this next training.

Watch the Create a Table Set Training
Duration: 2:14 minutes

3.2.7:  Edit a Table in Crosstabs

Next, we'll learn about editing a table in Crosstabs. The table editor offers a number of modifiable features including:

  •     Updating Question & Answer Option text
  •     Show/Hide answer options
  •     Adding Nets
  •     Editing Stat Values
  •     Including answer options in the base for the table
  •     Adding statistics
  •     Applying a custom filter

Watch the Editing Tables in Crosstabs Training
Duration: 6:06 minutes

3.2.8:  Add/Edit Charts in Crosstabs

Get more from Crosstabs by adding charts to interactively display the information in your report. 

Watch the Add/Edit Charts in Crosstabs Training
Duration:  1:09 minutes

3.2.9:  Create a Table in Crosstabs

Next, we'll learn how to add a new table to the end of your crosstab report. Creating a new table allows you to quickly reference your now saved answer options when creating custom crosstabs or running quick splits.

Watch the Create a Table in Crosstabs Training
Duration:  1:04 minutes

3.2.10:  Create a Saved Report

In this training, we'll learn how to create a saved report. A "saved report" is a custom collection of tables and charts that you create, using the tables you pinned to your whiteboard from Crosstabs. You can choose to share your reports publicly or keep them private.

Watch the Create a Saved Report Training
Duration: 2:42 minutes

3.2.11:  Crosstabs Permissions

In this final training, we'll learn about permissions in crosstabs. The crosstabs landing page will display all crosstabs that you have permission to view or edit. The following permissions can be assigned when saving a crosstab or quick split report:

  • Private: Only you (the owner) can use/edit this crosstab.
  • Editable: Any logged-in user can edit this crosstab.
  • View Only: Any logged-in user can view this crosstab. Only the owner can edit or delete. 

Watch the Crosstabs Permissions Training 
Duration: 4:41 minutes

Reference Materials

3.3:  Export Crosstabs

In this training we learn how to export a crosstabs report to different formats. We also take a look at customizing the preset preferences for each export format in Crosstabs.

Data exports include:

  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • PowerPoint (with charts)
  • PDF

Watch the Export Crosstabs Training
Duration: 6:04 minutes

Reference Materials

3.4:  Data Downloads

In this training we learn how to access the data downloads available in Crosstabs. You can select a data download after running a standard or custom report in Crosstabs to view all of the raw data for each respondent in your project.

The download format you select will also reflect the same base as the report you ran. If you have various segments with various base amounts in your report, then our system will create multiple files for you to download. By default, if no report is applied then the data download format selected will automatically apply the base for all qualified respondents.

Overview of Data Downloads available:

  • Most Popular: Quick links to the most popular downloads we offer. The downloads listed in this section are repeated in other categories. For example, the Excel download option listed within the "most popular" section is exactly the same as the Excel download listed in the "vendor-specific" section.
  • Open Formats: Downloads offering the complete, raw data in various open formats.
  • Vendor-specific: Downloads in specific data program formats.
  • Open Ended Responses: Downloads tailored for reports with open-ended content.
  • Tracking files: Downloads with stored information incremented by your survey.
  • Direct to Browser: Instead of downloading a separate file, these downloads will generate directly in a new browser tab.

Watch the Data Downloads in Crosstabs Training
Duration: 6 minutes

Reference Materials

3.5:  Section III Exercise

Now that your survey has been tested, it's time to look at the report! Use the following exercise to get familiar with the reporting tools in Decipher.

Be sure to write down any questions you have and check out our live Q&A sessions to get them answered by our trainers.

Section III Exercise

Watch the Essentials Section III Solution Video
Duration: 34 minutes