Embedded Data - Qualtrics Support

Embedded Data


Embedded Data is any extra information you would like recorded in addition to the question responses. It can be used to store information such as

  • The social media site a respondent has come from
  • The condition a respondent was assigned to in a research study
  • Previously gathered information from a contact list so that data will be available for analysis.

Embedded Data consists of a field and a value. The field is the name of your variable (e.g., Gender, State, Status).

The value is what your field will be set to in your data. Just as one question can have multiple answers, an Embedded Data field can have multiple values (e.g., a field called Status might have a value of either Screened Out, or Good Complete).

In this example, respondents who reach this point in the Survey Flow will have their response flagged with an Embedded Data field called Status set to a value of Screened Out depending on their answer to the screener question.

The value for your Embedded Data field can be pulled from data that you have uploaded into a contact list, appended to the respondent’s survey link, or (as seen above) set in the Survey Flow.

Using Embedded Data in Your Survey

Once Embedded Data has been added to your survey, it can be used in a number of ways, including:

  • Piped Text to display Embedded Data in your survey questions.
  • Branch Logic to determine what sections of a survey your respondent should take.
  • Display Logic to determine whether a respondent should see a question.
  • Quotas to determine whether someone meets the conditions required to increment them.
  • Email Triggers to determine whether an email should be automatically sent upon completion of a survey.
  • Contact List Triggers to determine whether a survey taker should be added to a contact list.
  • Salesforce Integration to help the system decide what to communicate with Salesforce.
  • Data & Analysis and Reports as part of your analysis.

Creating an Embedded Data Element

  1. Select Survey Flow, located in the Survey module.image11
  2. Click Add a New Element Here or Add Below.image07
  3. Choose Embedded Data.
  4. Click Enter Embedded Data Field Name Here… and type your field name.image03
  5. If desired, set a value by clicking on the blue Set A Value Now text.image02
  6. If desired, click Add a New Field to add multiple fields to the element.image08

Setting Values in the Survey Flow

Often the value of your Embedded Data is stored outside the survey, such as in a Contacts List or appended to the end of the respondent’s survey link. However, you can also set the value manually in the Survey Flow.

Every respondent who meets this branch condition will have their response flagged with an Embedded Data field called “Status” set to a value of “Screened Out”.

To set a value in the Survey Flow

  1. Add an Embedded Data element to your Survey Flow.image12
  2. Click Enter Embedded Data Field Name Here… and type your field name.image23
  3. Click Set a Value Now.image02
  4. Enter the appropriate value or click the blue dropdown to insert Piped Text.image17
    Qtip: Using Piped Text as your Embedded Data value allows that value to dynamically change for each respondent based on their question responses or other criteria.
  5. Click Save Flow when you’re finished.


Setting Values from a Contact List

A contact list is a mailing list used for distributing surveys through the Qualtrics Mailer. In addition to including names and email addresses for each recipient on this list, you can include any Embedded Data you’d like saved with their response.

In addition to name and email, this contact list includes Embedded Data fields Position, State, and Gender.

By adding an Embedded Data element in your Survey Flow, you can have this information saved in your results for use in your analysis.

To include information from your contact list in your results

  1. Add an Embedded Data element to your Survey Flow.image20
    Qtip: Though this element can be placed anywhere in the Survey Flow, it is best practice to put these Embedded Data elements at the beginning of your survey so that you can use them in your survey blocks as Piped Text and as conditions in Branches.
  2. Click Add From Contacts.image05
  3. Select the contact list you’d like to pull Embedded Data from and click OK.image22
  4. Add any other Embedded Data fields by clicking Add a New Field and typing your field name.image18
Qtip: Forgot to follow these steps before launching your study? No worries! For Embedded Data from a contact list, you can retroactively add fields to the Survey Flow after the survey is finished.

Setting Values from the Survey URL

If you’re not distributing your survey to a contact list, you can still bring Embedded Data into the survey for each respondent by adding your Embedded Data field names and values to the end of the survey link.

In this text editor, we are preparing two versions of our Anonymous Link: one that indicates the respondent’s Source is Facebook and one that indicates Twitter. These two links will be posted on their respective social sites. When a respondent accesses the survey link, Qualtrics will read their survey link and know which “Source” the respondent came from.

To append Embedded Data to a survey link

  1. Copy the survey link and paste it into a text editor such as Word or Notepad.image15
  2. Add a question mark to the end of the link.image21

    Qtip: If your survey link already has a question mark (?) in it, you’ll need to add an ampersand (&) first instead of a question mark (?).

  3. Type the name of the Embedded Data field, such as Source or Condition.image06
  4. Type an equal sign (=), followed by the value of the field.image13
    Qtip: You can add multiple fields to the same link by adding another ampersand (&) and following steps 3–4.
  5. Repeat the process to create multiple links.image19
  6. Add your Embedded Data field to the Survey Flow, making sure to give the new field the exact same name as your link Embedded Data (note the value of this Embedded Data element will be set automatically as described by the Value will be set from Panel or URL text).image04

Setting Values from Other Sources

In addition to using Embedded Data from a contact list or in the survey link URL, you can also pull Embedded Data from other sources.

Embedded Data in a Web Service

A Web Service allows you to pull data from an external website into your survey. For example, you might want to pull in today’s top headline from CNN or customer details from your own internal database. Information drawn from a Web Service is saved as Embedded Data. For an in-depth look at using a Web Service to draw Embedded Data from another website, refer to our Web Service page.

Embedded Data with Salesforce

If your Qualtrics account includes Salesforce Integration, you can pull Embedded Data into your survey from Salesforce using the Email and Trigger Survey feature.

Built-in Embedded Data Fields

In addition to creating your own Embedded Data variables or pulling them in from other sources, you also have access to some built-in variables that Qualtrics records for every response. These elements can be added to the Survey Flow before or after you have collected responses by using the steps described in the Creating an Embedded Data Element section.

The following built-in Embedded Data fields can be added for your survey:

Field Name
This element allows you to track which language a respondent takes the survey in. This information is reported in the survey data using a two letter language code as discussed here.
This element allows you to see the FirstName field from the contact list. This can be useful if the contact list has been deleted.
This element allows you to see the LastName field from the contact list. This can be useful if the contact list has been deleted.
This element allows you to see the PrimaryEmail field from the contact list. This can be useful if the contact list has been deleted.
This element allows you to see the External Data Reference field from the contact list. This can be useful if the contact list has been deleted.
This element will give you the ID of the contact list (a.k.a. panel) to which each respondent belongs. Matching Panel IDs can be found in the Qualtrics IDs section of Account Settings.
This element provides information about the respondent’s operating system and browser. For an easier-to-read version of this, consider adding a hidden Meta Info question to your survey.
This element allows you to view the URL first used to access the survey. Note that it omits the base URL, showing only the path and extra URL data. This is a useful tool for diagnosing issues where URL parameters are not recorded as expected.
This element shows the page the respondent was on when they clicked the survey link. For most emailed surveys, you will see a URL for the email provider. If the survey is linked to with an automatic redirect, such as a URL redirect at the end of another survey, no value is recorded.
This element allows you to see the total duration of the survey response. This was implemented on July 16, 2012, and is not available for responses recorded before that date.
This element will give you the Response ID that Qualtrics assigned for that response. This ID can be used in Web Services, API calls, and other applications.