13 February 2015

Use SharePoint Surveys For Polls And Questionnaires

SharePoint icon When you quickly need to collect opinions from a group of people I don't think there is a faster way than to use a SharePoint Survey. It only takes a few minutes to create it, and provided people are logged in and really do answer you can have the result in a few minutes more. You can even get a graphic presentation of the result or export it to Excel!

In a new article in the Tips section I describe step by step how to create a survey in SharePoint 2013. The steps are similar in earlier versions, as this feature has not changed much since SharePoint 2007.

Survey app
SharePoint Survey app iconWhen you create the survey app it looks much like a normal list, but there are some differences. You see one of them when you select answer type for your survey question: the survey list has a rating scale answer type, in addition to choice, single or multiple lines of text, Yes/No and other more common answer types.

The other difference comes when you have entered a question and selected answer type and other settings: there is no OK button like in other lists. Instead you can choose between Next Question and Finish. If you select Next Question, you can add another question with the same or a new answer type.

Survey + Workflow issue
A drawback when you use a survey is that it does not support workflows, and this is something to keep in mind. If you for example want to archive survey results to another SharePoint list, you cannot do it with a workflow.

SP Archive for SharePoint logotype However, for archiving has a better solution: SP Archive. With SP Archive you can send SharePoint list items to an Access or SQL Server database in a customized manner that gives you more influence over the process than you get with a workflow.

Study Group Surveys
Study Manager for SharePoint logotype When I created the Tips article about SharePoint Survey creation I thought about Study Manager, the new SharePoint Solution under development.

Study Manager is installed in its own site collection, one for each subject. In this site collection teachers add the self-study material that Study Manager gives a framework for, but it should also be used for wider cooperation and information on the subject.

All users have access to the Study Manager root site, so here you can gather news feeds, videos, forums and surveys that is interesting for all teachers and students. Each study group or class has its own subsite, which can be used for material of the same kind intended only for the group.

I hope this survey tip will be interesting not only to Study Manager users but to many more. The SharePoint Survey is a convenient tool that should be used more than I think it is.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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