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Survey Analysis Done Right: Use Filters to Become a Data Detective

Survey Analysis Done Right: Use Filters to Become a Data Detective

Survey DetectiveWhen it comes to survey data, a bit of focus can totally change how you view a situation.

There are several easy-to-use tools in Analyze that let you take a closer look at your data, and sometimes they’ll show you trends you didn’t know were there.

One such tool is Filter, which allows you to hone down your survey data in order to look at only a specific piece of it.

You could look at only the responses from people who got your survey by email and filter out the people who followed a link to your survey from your social media account.

While there are a ton of ways to filter your survey results, the Question and Answer filter can often be the most informative for survey analysis.

This type of filter allows you to look only at the respondents who answered questions in a certain way (e.g. look at responses from only those who chose answer option A, or look only at responses from those who DIDN’T choose answer option A).

Got it? Good. Let’s look at how it works in real life.

Using Filter to become a real-life data detective

Let’s say you’re an HR manager who wants to gauge how happy employees are with their jobs. With help from SurveyMonkey’s Employee Engagement Survey Template, you get a list of relevant questions that happen to be certified by expert survey scientists to prevent bias.

And since you’re a savvy survey maker (and regular reader of the SurveyMonkey blog), you know how useful it is to add a versatile and easily benchmarkable Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS) question to the survey. You send it out to all departments and hungrily await your results.Filter_NPS_score

After doing a survey analysis, you find your NPS is 45, a little lower than it was a year ago but pretty close with industry Benchmarks for employee satisfaction.

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Close enough. Pat yourself on the back and go get a donut. WAIT! Don’t you want to dive deeper in the data? There might be something interesting there for you.

Let’s use a Filter to track down why your NPS dropped, even if it’s just by a few points. Hit the +Filter button in the top left of Analyze and select Question and Answer. Let’s set the filter to screen out anyone who gave an NPS of more than 7.Filter_detractors

This Filter allows us to look only at those employees who said they’d be unlikely to recommend your company to someone else. Let’s see which departments answered this way the most.


Bingo. 70% of those who gave an NPS of less than 7 worked in engineering. So what’s driving this? Let’s poke around the data from other questions a little bit to find out.

A few more employees than normal answered this question negatively.


Let’s set up a different filter to see if we can find any patterns. By using the Question and Answer Filter again, we can see which department had the most negative answers to this question. Let’s use filter to look at all those who responded negatively or neutrally to this question.


Ah-ha. It looks like engineers in particular would like a better idea of how their work impacts business goals. Although, it appears that this would be an issue that’s worth addressing companywide, as well.

This is the perfect type of insight to inform some strategic moves to make your employees happier and more productive.

Pretty much any customer can use Filter to find insights lurking under the surface of their data. But customers with certain paid plans can dive even deeper into the data by setting up multiple filters.

When you combine multiple filters, SurveyMonkey uses AND logic, which means the tool will show only the results that fit into ALL of the filters you’ve chosen. That way, you can home in on the most minuscule detail.

There are a ton of applications in practically any industry for SurveyMonkey’s survey analysis tools. With a little know-how, you can become the go-to survey data detective at your office.

Got a clever way to use filters in a different context? Let us know in the comments below.

Net Promoter Score is a service mark of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld

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