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Dashboard Data (EX)

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Qtip: This page describes functionality available to Engagement, Lifecycle, Ad Hoc Employee Research, and 360 projects. For more details on each, see Types of Employee Experience Projects.

About Dashboard Data

The Dashboard Data tab consists of all the fields (questions and metadata) available in your dashboard. It tells the dashboard what format these fields should be in so that they are compatible with the correct widgets. This is also where you can add additional sources to include in your dashboard.

You can access Dashboard Data by opening your dashboard, going to the Settings, and selecting Dashboard Data.

Button that says Settings and has a gear icon

image of the dashboard data tab

Mapping Fields

Whenever you create a new dashboard, many of your fields will be automatically mapped for you. However, when you add variables or metadata to your project after the dashboard has been generated, these fields are not automatically added to the dashboard data, so you will need to map these fields manually.

Attention: If you edit a question in your survey after mapping your fields, the edits will not automatically appear in the dashboard. You will need to remap your field. Be careful when editing existing questions as it’s possible to invalidate collected data. To see what changes are allowed, read our testing/editing active surveys page.
  1. In your dashboard’s Settings tab, go to the Dashboard Data.
    image of how to add a field
  2. Click Add Field.
    Qtip: Updating the field’s name will not affect your survey and will only be visible within the dashboard.
  3. Type a name for your field. This can match the question or metadata name exactly, or be something totally different.
    Field Name, Field Type, and Mapping columns/fields of the Project Mapper
  4. Select a field type. This will determine what kind of widgets are compatible with the data, so read the linked support page carefully!
  5. Click Not Mapped and select the field you want to map from the dropdown.
    Qtip: If you’re not seeing the field you wish to map, try clicking Show All.
  6. If you don’t like the field you mapped and want to start over, click the X to the right of the field to unmap the field.
    Icons for reordering, deleting, and un-mapping fields. Save button on bottom-right.
  7. To reorder a field, hover over the field, click the reorder icon, and drag the field to the desired spot.
  8. To mark a field as sensitive, check the box.
    Qtip: Fields marked as sensitive will be hidden to dashboard viewers, unless the participant has special permission to view sensitive fields. See our Permissions section for more details on how to enable or disable these permissions.
  9. Once you are satisfied with your changes, click Save.

Deleting Fields

Warning: Once you delete a field, the action cannot be undone. Additionally, deleting fields can break widgets that are using the field you wish to delete. Proceed with caution.
  1. In your dashboard’s Settings tab, go to Dashboard Data.
    image of how to delete a field
  2. Hover over the field you want to delete, then click the X.
  3. Confirm that you want to delete the field by selecting Yes.
    Deletion confirmation window

    Qtip: If you’re deleting a lot of fields and don’t want to be warned every time, select Disable warnings on subsequent actions. This warning will come back if you leave the dashboard data and return.
  4. Click Save before leaving your dashboard data.

Recoding Fields

If your data isn’t populating in the widgets the way you want it to, you can recode values in the dashboard. Recoding allows you to group data or change how it appears in widgets – for example, by conveniently shortening how choices are labeled, and changing text to numbers. Only Text Set, Multi-Answer Text Set, and Number Set field types can be recoded.

Qtip: If you’re looking to change the coded values for responses exports, check out the recode values feature in the Survey tab rather than the dashboard. The linked support page is for the Survey Platform, but functionality is the same in EmployeeXM .

Recoding Fields

  1. In your dashboard’s Settings tab, go to Dashboard Data.
    image of accessing the recode editor
  2. Click on the field settings icons next to the field whose recode values you want to change.
  3. Change the recode values for any of the labels. This may be an open field, or a dropdown menu.
    Recode Editor window with fields filled out

    Qtip: Note that the recode values are limited to the field type that you have designated. For example, if you want to recode a 7 point agreement scale into 2 agreement “groups” (e.g. Agree or Disagree), the field type must be Text Set or Multi-Answer Text Set instead of a Number Set, because the recoded values will be text instead of numbers.
    Attention: Fields mapped as a Number Set may only be recoded in whole integers, i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Click Save before leaving the dashboard data.
Qtip: For Number Set fields, a color will appear in between the Label and Recode columns. These colors are determined by the Scales settings.

Qtip: If you have multiple sources mapped in your dashboard, and would like the change you’re making to be applied to the field across all dashboard sources, you can select Apply All before you save. For example, you’d like to exclude the Department “Sales” from analysis. Apply All ensures that for the “Department” field in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 projects mapped in the dashboard, Sales is excluded from analysis.

Apply All checkbox in upper-right

“Apply All” only works for changes made in that session. If you saved, forgot to apply all, and then went back and applied all, your previous change won’t be pushed to the other dashboard sources. Only new changes you make will be applied.

Changing Labels

You can change the way values are labeled for Text Set and Multi-Answer Text Set fields. Click Manage Labels in the lower-left of the recode editor.

Manage Labels button in white lower-left of Recode Editor window

Once opened, you have the freedom to change spelling, capitalization, and/or wording of how these values will appear when loaded into your dashboard’s widgets.

Window called Manage Labels over Recode Editor window. Open ended fields with names of the options, Strongly agree, Somewhat agree, etc. Each field has an X next to it. There's an Add button at the center-bottom

You can add additional labels by clicking Add, or remove labels by clicking X.

Recoding Fields with Metadata, Embedded Data, or Text Entry Sources

Some fields have an infinite set of values, such as location or age. Metadata, embedded data, and text entry questions can be seen as having infinite values, because they are open-ended. When these kinds of fields are set to Text Set, Multi-Answer Text Set, or Number Set, the recode editor will look a little different than described above. The mapper recognizes data as it is pulled into the source survey and does not list every choice, so you don’t have to worry about listing all the possible answers. However, if there are changes you want to make to labeling, just type the field you want to change on the left, and you’ll be able to add a correction on the right.

Recode Editor where there are open-ended fields on the source and recode columns

Qtip: You can exclude values from analysis. Just type the label you want to exclude on the left, and leave the right side blank.

On the left it says Email, and on the right in gray it says Excluded from Analysis

Importing Recode Values

If your field has many values you need to edit, you can choose to import an Excel spreadsheet saved as a CSV with your recode values, instead of typing each one manually.

Qtip: A field can have a maximum of 5000 recode values. The maximum file size is 260KB.
  1. Click Import Recodes.
    Import Recodes button on lower-left
  2. Download the Example CSV. This file contains the current recode values for your field.
    Import Recodes window opened
  3. In your CSV, the Source column will list all the possible values of your field. In the Recode column, enter the recode you want for each value.
  4. Click Browse files to upload your CSV.
    Import recodes window
  5. Click Apply.

Cleaning Up Data

Another use case for recoding values is for cleaning up and consolidating inconsistent data. For example, if some of your values for a single metadata field are “US,” some are “USA,” and some are “United States,” Qualtrics  will interpret these as 3 different values. You can correct or group these inconsistent values by recoding them all to one value, like “US.”

Recode Editor with US, U.S., USA, and United States set to the same value of US.

Alternatively, if your metadata field had values of “US,” “UK,” and “SK,”, you may want to recode them to be “United States,” “United Kingdom,” and “South Korea” to make them more understandable when they display on the widgets.

This is also very useful when mapping multiple years’ projects together if your metadata values change from one year to the next.

Recode Editor Error Messages & Troubleshooting

You may encounter a few different error messages when recoding your fields. These errors are built to preserve your data’s integrity and prevent incorrect analysis of engagement results. Below is a list of common error messages, their causes, and how to fix them.

  • Your recode values aren’t compatible with the scales for this question. This error appears when you are attempting to assign the same recode value to multiple scale points and the scale points are in different favorability categories. To fix this, you’ll either need to assign your scale points different recode values, or change your scale so that the scale points are in the same favorability category.
    the recode editor with the "your recode values aren't compatible with the scales for this question" error
Qtip: This error can also appear when your scale points aren’t recoded as a progressively increasing or decreasing scale. In the below image, 1 and 10 are assigned to unfavorable scale points, 25 is assigned to the neutral scale point, and 15 and 30 are assigned to the favorable scale points. Since these numbers aren’t progressively increasing with favorability, the recodes are invalid. A suggested fix for this situation would be to use 1, 10, 15, 25, 30 as the recode values.
the recode editor for a question on a polarity scale. the recodes aren't in increasing or decreasing order, so an error is displayed

Changing a Field’s Date Format

Qtip: You cannot do this with Qualtrics date fields such as the Start Date and End Date in a survey; these are formatted automatically.
  1. Add a new Date field, or navigate to an existing one that is a Date field type.
    image of mapping a new field
  2. Make sure it is mapped. If not, select where it says Not Mapped and select the corresponding field from your source.
  3. Click on the recode symbol.
  4. Define which Format and Timezone apply to your data.
    Dropdowns on a new window for setting the format
  5. Click Add to add additional formats and timezones.
  6. Click Save.
Qtip: The list of date formats is not all inclusive. If you are using a date format that is not in the list, you’ll need to create a custom date format by following the below steps.

Adding a Custom Date Format

Drop down in date format window has custom option highlighted. Last option in first dropdown

If you select Custom, you can define your own special date format.

After custom is selected, open ended field where you can type out the format according to the attached table

To specify a custom format, please use the following symbolic syntax:

Symbol Meaning Presentation Examples
G era text AD
C century of era (>=0) number 20
Y year of era (>=0) year 1996
x weekyear year 1996
w week of weekyear number 27
e day of week number 2
E day of week text Tuesday; Tue
y year year 1996
D day of year number 189
M month of year month July; Jul; 07
d day of month number 10
a halfday of day text PM
K hour of halfday (0~11) number 0
h clockhour of halfday (1~12) number 12
H hour of day (0~23) number 0
k clockhour of day (1~24) number 24
m minute of hour number 30
s second of minute number 55
S fraction of second number 978
z time zone text Pacific Standard Timee; PST
S time zone offset/id zone 0800; –08:00; America/Los Angeles
, escape for text delimiter
‘ ‘ single quote literal

For example, if you have date and time data in this format: Tue, 10–25–2015, 8:42pm should be presented in the Date Format field as E, MM–dd–yyyy, K:ma.


The timezone is generally set to the timezone of your Qualtrics account. However, it is best practice to verify the correct timezone for the field you are adding.

Adding Additional Sources

If you’ve run multiple EmployeeXM projects of the same type (e.g., multiple engagement surveys), you can compare and contrast their results in the same dashboard. If the surveys contained the same questions or metadata, you can even map over which fields are the same for more dynamic comparisons.

How to Add Sources

  1. Navigate to Dashboard Data in the Settings tab of your dashboard.
    image of adding a new data source
  2. Click Add Source.
  3. Choose the project you’d like to map.
    Qtip: Automatic Mapping will save you time by searching for similar fields and matching them. Be sure to always verify that the mapping was done to your liking and there are no issues.
  4. For fields that haven’t been mapped, click Not Mapped and select the field.
    image of mapping a new field and saving the dashboard data
  5. When satisfied, click Save.
Qtip: You can map as many data sources as you want, but you cannot map the same data source twice.
Qtip: Sometimes when your screen width is too small or your Number of Sources at the bottom of the mapper is set to a lower number, your additional data sources will be hidden. In this case, just click the arrows next to the source names to reveal them.
Arrow to the left of the Add Source button

To merge data into the same field for use in comparisons, map both sources on the same row of the field you want to merge. Make sure that the fields you are merging are extremely similar – for example, be sure that the question type, field type, and number of scale points on the question are the same.

Example: If two surveys use 7-point satisfaction scales, then it is fine to merge both questions in the same field. However, you shouldn’t merge a 7-point satisfaction scale question with a 5-point satisfaction scale.

Interaction Between Sources

There are two ways that multiple sources can be treated in a widget, depending on the type of widget you’ve chosen.

For a majority of widgets, there’s one source specified in their options, meaning that they will only show data for one source at a time, unless a comparison has been added to that widget.

However, some widgets will combine the results of all the sources mapped in the Dashboard Data into the results they show. These widgets include:

  • Gauge chart widget
  • Simple chart widget
  • Number chart widget
  • Pie chart widget
  • Simple table widget

For the widgets listed above, you will need to use a widget-level filter to ensure only one data set source is displayed in the widget. You can even lock this filter, if you don’t want dashboard users to adjust it.

Data set source filter on a widget

Dataset Utilization Limits

Our data platform imposes a limit on the number of times a single data source can be used in active datasets.  Currently, a single data source can only be in 50 active datasets to guarantee timely data processing. For external data, the limit is 5 active datasets. These limits are subject to change over time as our platform and features grow.  If your datasource reaches this utilization limit, an error dialog is displayed while adding the source in the data mapper or copying the dashboard.

the error message received after trying to use a data source in more than 50 active datasets

Qtip: For example, a survey used in two dashboards creates three active datasets (1 for data & analysis in CoreXM, 2 for dashboards EX). An active dataset is a dataset that has been accessed within 30 days.


Multi-Mapping Editor

When you’ve added multiple sources to your dashboard, there is an additional recode editor that makes mapping the same fields across multiple sources much easier.

image of the multi mapping editor

Attention: This editor is only available for Text Sets and Multi-Answer Text Sets.

Field Mapping Tab

Using the blue dropdowns, you can choose the field from each source that should correspond to the same dashboard field.

Field Mapping tab has two blue dropdowns

Qtip: Click the X to remove a mapping.

Recode Tab

Here, you can ensure the recode values are the same for each field being mapped together.

  1. Choose the option you want to edit from the Source section. This is the field value or survey question choice.
    Recode mapper open
  2. For each source, either select the corresponding value, or choose to exclude from analysis.
  3. Click Manage Labels.
  4. Change what the label should be for each available option, or add more labels that can be mapped across your sources.
    Manage labels window over