Last week, we looked at the new Page Skip Logic feature in FormsCentral. Today, let’s examine another new addition to the service: Summary reports. These beauties are now built into your forms once data starts flowing in; without exporting any data or fussing around with other spreadsheet programs, you can view your form’s responses graphically. Today, we’ll go through the details of what these summaries can do for you in FormsCentral.
Now, one of the great joys of collecting data (if you ask some people) is the thrill of the analysis: Who’s saying what? Where does the data skew? How many people prefer cats to dogs? Apples to oranges? One of the quickest and easiest ways to get answers to these kinds of questions is to create a chart or aninfographic so you can simply glance at the overview without needing to do too much intellectual legwork. Recent updates to FormsCentral have provided you with an automatic way to create these charts for your data with Summary Reports; without doing a thing, you can view your data as appealingly colorful charts. These charts are generated automatically and update as new responses come in from your open form. Here are a few highlights of what you can do with these charts:
1. Customize the layout
When you open up the “Summary Report” tab in a form file, you’ll immediately see automatically-generated charts of all of the questions in your form. You can add or remove these report tiles by deleting them (notice that little trash can icon)…
…and adding in specific chart pods by going to “Insert” > “Individual report tiles” and choosing the question for which you want to display data.
2. Customize data view
When you’re ready to get more granular, click on the gear icon in one of the individual charts; you’ll get a fly-out menu that will let you determine exactly what kind of labeling and data you want visible in a given chart. You can choose between seeing a percentage marking, a response count, or both; you can choose whether or not to include a caption; you can even add a footer to summarize the source data. The chart’s data display is entirely under your control.
3. Choose the type of chart displayed
As though it weren’t enough to play with labels, you can also determine the nature of the chart itself. It’ll automatically be a horizontal bar graph, but (depending on the type of question) you may also be able to choose to view the number of responses (how many people responded to a question) or the average and sum of the responses (for obvious reasons, this works best for numerical content).
4. Export each chart to an image file
Finally, when you’ve gotten as many responses back as you require, and you’ve customized each chart to the extent that you want to, you can simply export the charts as images (PNG files, to be exact) for inclusion in presentations or dossiers.To export all tiles at once, you can do so by saving them to a ZIP file containing each tile as a PNG. If you prefer, just save your charts as a PDF file for simple sharing. (Remember, by using the “Share” button in the lower left corner, you can still share your form files with coworkers and colleagues and let them play with the charts without exporting anything at all.)
These summary reports apply to all your old forms as well, so you can go check out some charts for any forms you’ve created thus far in your FormsCentral tenure. Go take a look at what you can do, or create your first form now.