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Filters: How to use them correctly? (professional user)

Filters can be used at three levels in a survey:

  1. sections
  2. questions
  3. answer options, rows (matrix) and columns (matrix)
Sections

A filter can be applied to a section, if you want to group questions about a certain product or service that should or should not be presented to a participant in accordance with a previously selected answer in a survey question.

Let’s assume that at the beginning of a survey (e.g. in section 1) you ask a participant which of the three products he/she prefers, e.g. product A, product B or product C. Subsequently, you can include several questions for each of these products:

  • put the questions related to product A in section A,
  • put the questions related to product B in section B,
  • put the questions related to product C in section C.

Next, you can set a filter for each section. As an example we will take Filter for section A

  • Show this element, i.e. show all questions in section A
  • IF – Question – q1 Which of the following 3 products do your prefer? – Product A – selected

After you have set the filters in all sections and activated the survey, the participants who upon answering the question Which of the following 3 products do you prefer?

  • have selected product A, will see all questions from section A. They will not be shown the questions from sections B and C.
  • have selected product B, will see all questions from section B. They will not be shown the questions from sections A and C.
  • have selected product C, will see all questions from section C. They will not be shown the questions from sections A and B.

Questions

A filter can be applied to a question, if you want to have an explanation of a previously supplied answer.

Suppose you ask a participant how he/she would rate product B. Among the possible answer options, you indicate Poor, Fair, Average, Good and Excellent. When any participant attributes an excellent rating to product B, for example, you might want to know the underlying reason for this rating.

After the rating question in the survey, you can then include an open question with the title Why does product B get an excellent rating from you?. In this open question, you can subsequently set a filter, such as:

  • Show this element, i.e. show question q4
  • IF – Question – q3 How would you rate product B? – Excellent – selected

After you have set the filter in the question and activated the survey, the participants who have selected the Excellent option in question q3 How would you rate product B? will also be presented with question q4 requesting them to provide an explanation.

Answer options/Rows/Columns

You can also set a filter for answer options, rows (matrix) and columns (matrix).

Suppose you first ask a participant by means of a multiple response question which of the four services he/she frequently uses. Next, you want to have this participant rate the frequently used services in a matrix question. You can then apply a filter to each row of the matrix question (see image below).

You can set filters for Service A to Service D at the rows in a matrix question (q6). For one row, this approximately looks like this:

  • Show this element, i.e. show row with Service A
  • IF – Question – q5 Which of the following services do you use frequently? – Service A – selected

The other 3 filters for service B to service D can be set up in a similar way.

After you have set up the filters in the rows and activated the survey, the participants will only have to rate the services they have ticked in the multiple response question Which of the following services do you use frequently?

Boolean operators

Two Boolean operators AND and OR are used to combine conditions. The AND operator binds stronger than the OR operator. To understand what this means, take a look at the diagram below:

So basically, when combining conditions with the AND operator, a combined condition is created. When combining conditions with an OR operator, the conditions are dealt with individually.

Practical examples

Suppose you have set up the filter above for the question How meaningful is your work?, then the following participants will be shown the question:

  • The participants who have selected the option Female in the question What is your gender? AND the option Under 25 in the question What is your age category?
  • All participants who have selected the option From 25 to 40 years in the question What is your age category?

By adding a new filter condition, the number of participants who are shown the question How meaningful is your work? will be affected. Based on the filter above, this question will be shown to the following participants:

  • The participants who have selected the option Female in the question What is your gender? AND the option Under 25 in the question What is your age category?
  • The participants who have selected the option Female in the question What is your gender? AND the option From 25 to 40 years in the question What is your age category?

Filter elements

Filters can be applied to the following elements: Question, Sample/Panel, Device, URL variable, Calculation, Interview and Custom variable.

A question-based filter allows you to design conditions based on answers provided by the participant preceding the question element to which the filter is linked to.

For question types like the multiple response and matrix question, you also have, in addition to the specific, predefined answer options for a question, the Number of selected options option, which can be used to set the number of selected answer options for that question.

Assume that in a multiple response question, Which cities did you visit in the last 5 years? you ask the participants to select up to 3 cities from the displayed answer options. If a participant selects more than 3 cities, a message should appear reminding him/her to adjust his/her selection before proceeding with the survey.

To do this, you include a validation element under the multiple response question in the survey, where you can set up a filter using the Number of selected options option. For more information, please refer to the Validation topic.

A sample or panel filter can be used when the participant is an identified sample or panel member. All variables in the sample/panel can be used as filter conditions.

Note: Each datatype in the sample/panel is handled differently. See also the Data types topic.

A device-based filter allows you to show or hide elements depending on the device used. The system can distinguish between desktop and mobile devices (smartphone, tablet).

In Survalyzer there is a set of 20 URL variables. These can be set by adding them to the survey URL.

Various conditions can be applied in a calculation. It´s possible to use the following operations: (*) Multiplication, (/) Division, (+) Addition, (-) Subtraction, (%) Modulo.

Information on the correct use of variable names in a calculation can be found in this topic.

A language-based filter can be used to show or hide questions based on the language of the participant.

In Survalyzer you also have the option to create custom variables by using the Value assignment element within a survey. You can set conditions based on these variables.

Note: Each datatype in the custom variables is handled differently. See also the Data types topic.

Updated on February 24, 2022

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