Gathering insights isn’t as easy as simply blasting the world with another survey. Believe me. So, you need to employ some tips and tricks every now and then to enhance the survey experience, delight your respondents and help to yield better insights. One feature that can help you do just this is Piped Text.


Eliminate the Unnecessary 

How does it feel when someone you know asks you your name? Not too good, right? Now imagine that you just told them your name and minutes later, they ask you again. Ouch!

When it happens once, probably forgivable, any more than that and it damages the relationship. Talk about a social no-no!

The same thing happens when a company asks you where you work, what your age is, or where you live when you know you’ve already told them. Piped text to the rescue! See, piped text makes it possible to eliminate the unnecessary and ask only relevant, targeted questions. This feature lets you pull in information from a multitude of sources so that you can eliminate redundant data collection and drill deeper into the data that matter most.

Let’s discuss a few common ways that piped text is used within a survey.

3 Quick Examples

Piped text allows you to pipe in (hence the term ‘piped’) the selected answer choice of a previous question. For example, imagine that you have a survey question asking you to pick your favorite NFL team. Later in the survey, you have a question that asks why the person chose the team that they chose. Now you could create a generic question (e.g. Why did you choose the NFL team that you did?), but wouldn’t it be better if you asked the respondent about the specific team that they selected? Of course, it would! Still begging for more? See Piped Text in action in this short example video.

Another example combines the power of piped text with embedded data. I know you’re on the edge of your seat, so I’ll get right to it. Generally, you already have some basic information about your survey audience. So, it stands to reason that asking for information that you already know lengthens the survey and diminishes the respondent experience. To alleviate this, the “Panels” tab in Qualtrics allows you to build a panel (or list of email addresses) and include known information for each respondent. Let’s say that you know which state each respondent is from, and you want to ask specifics about that state. Piped text will allow respondents to have a unique survey experience based on the state he or she is from. Cool, right? Want more? This video gives a basic overview of how it works.

Now to drive this home, with one final example that deals with piped text and custom validation. Sometime you’ll want to set up custom validation for a question based on how a respondent answered a previous question. So, using validation means that the respondent must respond in a way that makes sense based on previous responses. Case in point, a client recently used this feature by asking each respondent, “How many hours do you work each week?” The following question asked, “Out of the hours that you work per week, how many hours do you spend doing the following activities?” As you can see, the second question was a constant sum question that needed to total the amount previously given by the respondent. The “Must Total” validation amount was dependent on how they answered the first question. The survey builder achieved the required validation by setting up a constant sum question like this.

Better Insights

We collect data because we need insights, right? Let’s face it, respondents want to give us insights but only on their terms. Because of this, it’s important that everything possible is done to enhance the respondent experience and effectively minimize the number of questions. That’s why we love piped text! Using this feature is one of the best ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of any given survey easily, while still delivering the insights that you need. Now get to surveying!