Charting Results with Survey Software
Once you get the answers to your questions, you’ll want to see the results and often share them with others. The most sophisticated survey software offers many options on reporting your results, but most survey programs only offer basic reporting. These latter programs make you export the data to another program to produce reports.
A comprehensive report will often include both tables and charts. Tables can show more information than charts, but usually have less impact. So many reports use charts for their top line results and tables for presenting details. In addition, many researchers use charts in live presentations.
The most capable programs can produce charts both on the desktop and online. You need to be able to produce reports on the desktop to make it easy to include them in reports. You need to able to produce reports online for quick analysis and to let your clients be able to produce their own charts. Capable programs let people customize their charts in a variety of ways. Firstly, you should be able to determine the type of chart. The most common types are pie charts and bar charts. Some programs use the name column chart for vertical bar charts, in which the bars are oriented up-and-down, rather than horizontally. There are a number of other kinds of charts which can be nice to have in certain situations, but
You should be able to control colors, fonts and backgrounds. You should also be able to determine whether legends appear and whether charts are presented in 2-D or 3-D form. Another option you should have is whether or not to show numbers on the pie slices or bars. You should also be able to determine whether charts show just answers from your whole sample or show different groups of people side-by-side, so you and your clients can compare their answers. If your solution is able to show different groups of people, you should be able to choose between multiple pie charts (one for each group) and stacked or clustered bar charts. If you use an online portal, it should let the user choose which groups to compare. For example, you should be able to select gender and age breakdowns as well as others.