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Response Import & Export Automations

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About Response Import & Export Automations

Response automations can be used to automatically export data from Qualtrics on a regular schedule, or import data into Qualtrics on a regular schedule. Response automations allow you to create, configure, update, test, and review your own automation jobs. The responses are delivered via a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). This means Qualtrics and your SFTP server establish a link to pass the responses between each other.

Setting Up Response Export Automations

Response export automations automatically export responses from Qualtrics and send them to your SFTP server. You can choose how often the responses are exported as well as what data is exported.

Attention: The creator of the response automation must be the one to make edits or updates.

Qtip: When copying a survey that has a response export automation on it, the new copy of the survey will carry over the automation. If the user copying the survey is not the creator of the automation, the automation will carry over with all data except for SFTP credentials.

Qtip: When setting up an SFTP connection, we recommend your IT team Allowlist the Qualtrics IP Ranges. Use the following IP Ranges to Allowlist:

    • EMEA and Asia Pacific: 139.60.152.0/22
    • All other regions: 162.247.216.0/22
Qtip: If your account is within our FedRAMP environment, the IP addresses for allowlisting differ from those found on this page. To securely access your IP address information, please login to your FedRAMP Support Portal.
  1. Make sure you’re in the Data section of the Data & Analysis tab of your survey.
    the response export automation option in the export & import menu in data and analysis
  2. Click Export & Import.
  3. Choose Response Export Automation.
  4. Click Create.
    the create button in the automations window
  5. Click Start next to the SFTP Settings.
    the automation setup screen. click start on a section to begin setting it up
  6. Enter the server’s Host name. This is the URL of the SFTP server.
    image of the sftp setup for an automation

    Qtip: The URL usually resembles sftp.example.com.
  7. Enter the Port for your server. Usually, this is 22.
  8. Enter the Username of the user you’ve set up on your SFTP server for Qualtrics to authenticate into.
    Qtip: We suggest creating a unique set of credentials for Qualtrics use only.
  9. Enter the Password of the user.
  10. Type a prefix to be prepended to the file name.
    Qtip: A timestamp of when the file was exported will automatically be added to the end of the file name in the format of YYYY-MM-DD_hhmmss. For example, a file exported on Jan 1, 2020 at 8 AM would have “2020-01-01_080000” added to the file name.
    Example: For example, you could put the survey name as the prefix so you can easily identify your survey’s data files in your SFTP server.
  11. Enter the directory path of where the file should be deposited on your SFTP server, e.g. Central Folder/Survey Responses 2020.
    Qtip: This directory path is case sensitive. This must be an existing folder, or the automation will fail. The folder path should also be relative to the default directory of the SFTP server.
  12. Type an email address to receive an email once the automation completes.
    Qtip: At this time, you can only enter one email to receive notifications. If you enter multiple email addresses or an invalid address, the notification email will fail. However, your data will still export as intended.
  13. Click Save.
  14. Click Start next to the Schedule settings.
    click start next to schedule settings to begin editing
  15. Choose the Frequency of when the automation will run. You may choose Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.
    use the frequency and time dropdowns to determine when the automation will run

    Qtip: If you choose Weekly or Monthly, a second option will appear to let you select what day of the week or day of the month, respectively, the automation will run.
  16. Select the time of day the automation will run.
    Qtip: Make sure to check the time zone! It will be the same as your account’s time zone in the user settings.
  17. Click Save.
  18. Click Edit next to the Export Options.
    click edit next to export options to edit them
  19. If desired, add a filter to the data that is exported. You can choose any of your previously saved filters for the survey.
    the export options for an automation
  20. Choose the File format of the exported file. You may choose CSV, TSV, SPSS, JSON, NDJSON, or XML
  21. Enable additional export options based on your preferences. These include:
    • Instead of exporting the recode value for the answer choice, export the text of the answer choice: This option exports your data as the text of the selected answer choice as opposed to the recode value of the answer choice.
    • Include display order information in your export. Useful for surveys with randomization: This option will include additional information in your data export about the order in which respondents saw randomized questions. For help interpreting this data, read this support page.
    • Split multi-value fields into columns: Certain question types allow for multiple answer choices to be selected for a single question. This option splits each possible answer to the question into a unique column, rather than combining every chosen answer into a single column.
    • Use a comma as a decimal separator instead of a period: This option lets you use a comma as a decimal point for numbers.
      Attention: If you enable this option, do not export your file as a CSV.
    • Use this value as the newline delimiter for the export: This option is rarely needed. It allows you to specify a certain character that will act as the newline character in your exported data file. Newline characters indicate that a new line of text has started, usually by starting a new paragraph by pressing the Enter or Return key on your keyboard.
    • Recode seen but unanswered questions with this value: This option allows you to assign a numeric value to questions that respondents saw but chose not to answer. By default, unanswered questions are empty in your data file. This helps you distinguish between unanswered questions from questions the respondent didn’t see
    • Recode seen but answered questions for multi-select questions: This option is similar to the “recode seen but answered questions with this value” option. You should only enable this option if Split multi-value fields into columns is also selected.
  22. Click Save.
  23. Give your automation a name.
    the automation editing screen. give the automation a name and enable it
  24. Enable the automation so it begins running.
  25. Click Close. 
Qtip: You can repeat these steps to create multiple automations. You can have up to 50 export automations per survey.
Attention: When the automation runs, only new responses collected after the previous automation run will be included in the export. Responses collected up to one hour before the automation runs will not be included in the export.

Setting Up Response Import Automations

Response import automations are used to import data into Qualtrics from your SFTP server on a regular schedule.

Qtip: When setting up an SFTP connection, we recommend your IT team Allowlist the Qualtrics IP Ranges. Use the following IP Ranges to Allowlist:

  • EMEA and Asia Pacific: 139.60.152.0/22
  • All other regions: 162.247.216.0/22
Qtip: If your account is within our FedRAMP environment, the IP addresses for allowlisting differ from those found on this page. To securely access your IP address information, please login to your FedRAMP Support Portal.
  1. Make sure you’re in the Data section of the Data & Analysis tab of your survey.
    the data & analysis tab. click the export & import button to find the response import automation
  2. Click Export & Import.
  3. Select Response Import Automation.
  4. Click Start next to SFTP Settings.
    setting up a response import automation. click start next to sftp settings
  5. Enter the server’s Host name. This is the URL of the SFTP server.
    setting up a response import automation. on this screen, enter all of the specified SFTP server information

    Qtip: The URL usually resembles sftp.example.com.
  6. Enter the Port for your server.
  7. Enter the Username of the user you’ve set up on your SFTP server for Qualtrics to authenticate into.
    Qtip: We suggest creating a unique set of credentials for Qualtrics use only.
  8. Enter the Password of the user.
  9. Enter the prefix that will identify files to be imported by Qualtrics.
    Example: Since SFTP servers can contain many files, we only want to import our survey data file into Qualtrics. We decide to add “Qualtrics” to the beginning of each file name to be imported and enter that as the prefix when setting up the automation. For example, one file name could be “Qualtrics_Survey2_Data”. Since the prefix of our file matches the prefix entered here, this file will be imported. Be careful about what files are being imported! Any file in your pickup directory with the specified prefix will be imported.
  10. Enter the Pickup Directory, or the directory path, of where the file should be located on your SFTP server, e.g., Central Folder/Survey Responses 2020.
    Qtip: This directory path is case sensitive. This must be an existing folder, or the automation will fail. The folder path should also be relative to the default directory of the SFTP server.
  11. Type an email address to receive an email once the automation completes.
  12. Click Save.
  13. Click Start next to Schedule settings.
    setting up a response import automation. click start next to schedule settings
  14. Choose the Frequency that the automation runs on. You can choose daily, weekly, or monthly.
    setting up the frequency for a response import automation. this automation is set to run weekly on sundays at 8AM GMT
  15. If you selected weekly or monthly, you will also need to choose what day of the week or day of the month, respectively, the automation runs on.
  16. Select the time of day that the automation will run.
    Qtip: The time zone is based on your account’s time zone. You can change your time zone in your account settings.
  17. Click Save.
  18. Click Start next to Response mapping.
    creating a response import automation. click start next to response mapping
  19. In this step, you need to upload a sample file that has the same headers and formatting of the files the automation will import. Click Browse to select a file.
    the upload sample response set screen. click browse to upload a file and use the delimiter dropdown to select your file delimiter

    Qtip: Need help making an example file? You can export the data from your survey (make sure to generate at least one test response first) and use the exported file as your sample file.
  20. Choose your file’s delimiter. Select comma if using a CSV file, or select tab if using a TSV file.
  21. Click Upload.
  22. Map the fields from your file to the fields in your survey. For more information on mapping your responses for import, check out Configuring Your Import.
    mapping the fields from the sample file to fields in the survey

    Qtip: If you’re running into trouble importing your file, check out our CSV/TSV Upload Issues page.
    Qtip: Click More Options to see additional options for the importer. This includes choosing which row in your file the responses start on, selecting the format and time zone of dates, and the saving the import settings so you can reuse them in the future.
    the more options when mapping your fields. here you can choose the timezone, date format, and what row of the file your responses begin on
  23. Click Save Settings.
  24. Give your automation a name.
    setting up a response import automation. the automation is enabled
  25. Enable the automation. Once enabled, the automation will run per the scheduled settings.
  26. Click Close.
Qtip: You can only have one import automation per survey.

Reusing Your Response Mapping Settings

You can save and reuse the settings from your response mapping to quickly set up future automations. This is especially useful if you’re running multiple surveys that are similar, or are copying the same survey to use multiple times.

Qtip: Before saving your settings, make sure you completely map your responses.
  1. After mapping your responses, click Download Settings in the response mapping window. Do not modify the downloaded file in any way.
    reusing mapping settings. click download settings to save the settings
  2. To import your settings, click More Options in the response mapping window.
    click more options to load your response mapping settings
  3. Click Load Settings and then select the settings file on your computer.
    importing mapping settings. click load settings to use your previous settings

Editing Automations

  1. Make sure you’re in the Data section of the Data & Analysis tab of your survey.
    the data & analysis tab. the import & export button has been selected to then choose an automation
  2. Click Export & Import.
  3. Choose the automation you’d like to edit.
  4. Click Edit next to the settings you want to change and make any associated edits.
    a fully configured automation. the edit button on each section is highlighted for editing details of the automation

Pausing & Deleting Automations

  1. Make sure you’re in the Data section of the Data & Analysis tab of your survey.
    the data & analysis tab. the import & export button has been selected to then choose an automation
  2. Click Export & Import.
  3. Choose the automation you’d like to pause or delete.
  4. Temporarily pause the automation by disabling the Enable automation option.
    the enable automation toggle and the delete automation button
  5. Click Delete automation to permanently delete the automation. You’ll be asked to confirm the deletion before the automation is deleted.

Viewing Automation Run History

The Run History of your automations contains information about each time your automation executed. You can view a specific automation run to see more details about it.

  1. Make sure you’re in the Data section of the Data & Analysis tab of your survey.
    the view automation history option in the export & import menu
  2. Click Export & Import.
  3. Choose View Automation History.

You’ll see a table with information about the Name, Status, and Completion Time of each automation run, along with the ability to View more information about the run.
a list of completed automation runs in automation history

  1. Automation name: This is the name of automation that was completed.
  2. Status: This indicates the status of the automation. Values include
    • Complete: The automation was completed.
    • Failed: The automation attempted to run but failed and could not complete.
    • Timed Out: The automation timed out. Oftentimes this means the Qualtrics server didn’t receive a response from the server. Automations that time out are retried 5 times with each attempt happening every 5 minutes. If the automation continues to time out after retrying, it will fail.
  3. Completion Time: The time and date that the automation was completed.

Click View on an individual entry to see more information about that automation run.
a report of a successful automation run

This window shows you various pieces of information about the run including how long it took to complete, how many responses were exported, the name of the file that was exported, and who received the confirmation email for the automation.

If your automation fails or times out, this window is particularly useful for troubleshooting why the automation could not complete.

Troubleshooting Response Import & Export Automations

If your automation fails, the first thing you should do is look at the Run History of your automation to see if there is a specific error message explaining why the automation failed. If you’re running into trouble getting your automation to run successfully, try the following:

  1. Ensure the URL you entered for the SFTP server is a valid SFTP host and can be reached at the specified port.
  2. Ensure the username and password credentials are valid.
  3. Ensure the SFTP server is not behind a firewall or that the appropriate Qualtrics IP addresses are allowlisted. The SFTP server’s network firewall should have the following Qualtrics IP Addresses allowlisted: 162.247.216.0/22 and 139.60.152.0/22.
    Qtip: If your account is within our FedRAMP environment, the IP addresses for allowlisting differ from those found on this page. To securely access your IP address information, please login to your FedRAMP Support Portal.
  4. Ensure the SFTP server is configured to use one of our supported encryption ciphers. Our SFTP client supports the following ciphers: aes128-gcm@openssh.com, chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com, aes128-ctr, aes192-ctr, and aes256-ctr.
  5. Ensure that Qualtrics is allowed to execute commands on your SFTP server. Specifically, the SFTP user you set up for Qualtrics needs to have the cp and ls permissions on your SFTP server.
  6. See SFTP Troubleshooting for additional tips.

If you follow these steps and are still running into trouble with your automation, contact Qualtrics Support.