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Sample Sources

 

1:  About Sample Sources

Sample sources determine how respondents get to the survey and where they are directed at survey completion. 

New projects default to an Open Survey, which generates a static link to the survey allowing anyone with the survey link to access and take the survey. 

A custom or pre-programmed sample source is necessary when you want to customize exit messages or exit links, add extra variables to the data that are collected via the URL, or lock down the survey to unique respondents.

Sample sources can be customized to meet the needs of the current project with the necessary Sample Source Name, URL variables, and exit pages.

Each sample source generates its own survey link that respondents from each source of sample will use to enter the survey.

2: Open Survey

The default Sample Source in any new project is an Open Survey. An Open Survey provides a static link to the survey allowing anyone with the survey link to take the survey. The default settings for an Open Survey sample source are provided below.

Without modification, an Open Survey includes default exit pages and does not include variable tracking or locking the survey to unique respondents. The Open Survey sample source can be modified to include all or some these feature, if desired, but if the survey will not have open sample it is recommended that it is removed.

3: Adding Sample Sources

When creating a new project, the first element in the question tree will always be the project’s Sample Sources. Sample sources can be added to the project by selecting the Sample Source element in the question tree and clicking “+Add New Sample Source”.

When adding a new sample source, you will be able to choose between several Pre-Programmed Sample Sources or a Custom Sample Source.

3.1: Pre-Programmed Sample Source

Decipher includes several pre-programmed samples sources from commonly used sample providers, configured to the needs of the particular vendor, including the required variables and exit pages. To add a pre-programmed sample source, select from one of the available sample providers and click insert.

After adding a new pre-programmed sample source, you’ll be asked whether you would like to remove the Open Survey Sample to lock the survey. Removing the open sample will restrict entry to the survey to respondents in the new pre-programmed sample source or any other added sample sources.

Once the pre-programmed sample source is added to the project, it will display in the question tree and, when selected, detailed information will be visible in the stage, as shown below.

Pre-programmed sample sources can be customized to meet the needs of the specific projects, but changes are usually not required as the sample source is built with the necessary URL variables and exit pages for the selected provider.

3.2: Custom Sample Source

A Custom Sample Source can be added to a project to include an internal sample or a sample provider that is not included as a pre-programmed sample provide in Decipher. Custom Sample Sources can be customized to include the desired URL variables and exit pages for the current project. To add a Custom Sample Source, select Custom Sample Source and click Insert.

As with a pre-programmed sample source, if the Open Survey is still present you’ll be asked whether you would like to remove it to lock the survey after adding a new custom sample source. Removing the open sample will restrict entry to the survey to respondents in the new custom sample source or any other added sample sources.

Once the custom sample source is added to the project, it will display in the question tree and, when selected, detailed information will be visible in the stage, as shown below.

Custom sample sources should be customized to meet the needs of the specific projects, making no changes to the custom sample source leaves the sample open. URL variables and exit pages can be modified for the selected sample source in the stage. 

4: Customizing a Sample Source

Selecting a sample source in the question tree allows you to make edits to the sample source name, URL variables, and exit pages.

4.1: Sample Source Name

The Sample Source Name is used for organizational and reporting purposes only. This name will appear in the Project Summary along with the corresponding survey links, as well as in the Field Report and Crosstabs reporting tools.

4.2: URL Variables

Variables can be passed through the survey link by adding URL Variables to the sample source. To add a URL variable, click “+Variable”.

After clicking “+Variable”, a window will appear to set the specifics of the added variable.

Var Name: The variable that's appended to the URL for this sample provider.

Requirement: Allows you to specify if the variable is optional, required or unique.

  • Optional: The variable does not have to be included in the URL for the respondent to take the survey.
  • Required: The variable must be included in the URL for the respondent to be able to take the survey.
  • Unique: The variable must be included in the URL for the respondent to be able to take the survey, and it must contain a unique value as tracked by the survey system.

Authentication: Allows you to specify how you would like to validate the variable.

  • If the Requirement is set to "Optional", No Authentication can be specified.
  • If the Requirement is set to "Required", No Authentication or Value List can be specified: 
    • No Authentication: the variable is required in the URL but can be anything
    • Value List: the variable is required and must be one of the specified values
  • If the requirement is set to "Unique" No Authentication or File can be specified: 
    • No Authentication: the variable is required in the URL but can be anything value that was not previously used by another respondent. 
    • File: the variable is required and must be one of the values specified in a plain text (.txt) file. The file must contain one column with each valid value on its own line. 

The result of adding two variable is shown below. The “seg” variable has its Requirement set to Required and has a defined Value List. The “myID” variable has its Requirement set to unique and a Value List was uploaded for Authentication.

4.3: Exit Pages

Exit pages can be configured for Terminated, Over-Quota, and Qualified respondents in the form of a either Message or Redirect. 

  • If Message is selected, the specified message will display for the respondent upon survey completion.
  • If Redirect is selected, the respondent will be sent to the specified URL upon survey completion.
    • URL variables can be passed through the Redirect link using the syntax ‘variableName=${variableName}’. 
    • Additional variables passed through the Redirect should be separated by an ampersand (&).

In the example below, a custom message will display for Qualified respondents. Terminated and Over-Quota respondents will be sent to the specified web page with the respondents unique myID value passed through to the exit link.

Custom exit pages can be included to display a specific Message or Redirect link for respondents that fulfill the added logic conditions.
Learn More: Adding Logic

To add a custom exit page, select +Add Custom Exit Page then set up the logic conditions by clicking the pencil icon and update the exit Message or Redirect. The result of specifying a custom exit page for respondents under 18 years old that terminated is shown below.

4.4: Saving a Sample Source

If the same sample source will be used in future projects, it can be saved to easily add to new surveys moving forward. After customization of the sample source is complete, click Save Custom Sample Source.

In the window that appears a Sample Source Name and Description can be set. The saved sample source can be made available to either only the user that customized it or share with all users in the company.

After the sample source is saved, it will be visible when adding a sample to all users it was made available to along with the other pre-programmed sample sources.

5: Sample Source Survey Links

If multiple sample sources are added to a project, each sample source will have its own survey link. With the exception of the Open Survey, each sample source will have the “list” variable added to the survey link to capture and track the source of sample. Any variables added to the URL Variables will also be present in the survey link.

To access the survey links, select Project Summary from the Test menu. An example of the project summary is below that shows 3 sample sources setup.