Data Manager Surveys

Within the Data Manager, you are able to view survey performance, set quotas, manage data, and export into a file ready for analysis. Read this guide to become more familiar with the Data Manager.

1.Viewing Survey Status

The General tab of the Survey page includes information about your survey’s response rate, including:


  • The number of completed surveys. These are surveys that have been submitted (i.e. the participant reached the end of the survey and clicked the Submit button).
  • The number of partial surveys. These have some answers, but are incomplete (the participant did not click the Submit button at the end of the survey).
  • The number of surveys not started. This is the number of participants invited to the survey who have not yet started the survey.
  • The total number of participants invited to take the survey.



The bar graph to the right of the response summary data provides a visual representation of the same information. The dark color indicates the number of completed surveys. The light color indicates the number of active surveys, and white indicates the number of inactive surveys. The total of the three is equal to the number of invited participants.

Note: it is possible to change participant lists while a survey is actively collecting responses. When this happens, the number Not Started and Total categories may change. For example, your survey begins with 100 participants, and 90 respond. The survey status shows 90 completed surveys and 10 not started, for a total of 100. Then you delete the original participant list and replace it with a new list of 500 participants. The survey status now shows 90 completed surveys, 500 not started (because no one from the new list has responded) and 590 total. If you want accurate statistics about response rates, don’t delete participants from the participant list(s) associated with your survey.


Time Period

The submission data in the General tab always represents submissions for the time period displayed in the Time Period list. Time periods are generally used in longitudinal studies in which each participant is asked to fill out a survey several times.

Choose a different time period to see submission info for that period. See the Time Period article for a general discussion of time periods.

Response History

The bars below the submission summary show your survey’s day by day response history. See Response History for details.


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2.Viewing your Survey

To view your survey, click the View Survey tab of the Survey page. This provides the following links:


  • View Live Survey – If the survey is currently running, the View Live Survey link will appear. Click this link to see the live survey in a separate browser window. The live survey is the most recent published version of the survey: the one that participants log into and submit.


  • View Test Survey – If the survey has test publishing turned on, the View Test Survey link will appear. Click this link to see the latest test-published version of the survey. The test survey is the latest check-in version of the survey, and may include edits that do not appear on the live version. Test surveys are generally meant for internal users to test.

It is possible to safely submit a test survey without affecting data submitted by actual participants. Test survey data are stored separately from actual survey data. Because the test survey may include questions that do not exist in the live survey, test survey submissions are stored in a separate table. Illume may automatically delete data from the test-published version of a survey if the survey changes substantially from one revision to the next.

  • View Test Survey Layout – Click this to see the entire test survey on one long scrolling page. The test survey appears in a separate window, and shows all items in the survey that are not disabled. This view also shows the show-if logic attached to questions, collections and text/HTML items. This link appears only if the survey has been test-published.


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3.Viewing Response History

The General tab of the Survey page includes a daily breakdown of completed surveys. The number of days on which surveys were submitted appears in parentheses in bold red text. Below that is a list of dates, with a colored bar representing the number of surveys submitted on that date.



Summary of daily responses

These bars appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent date on top. Click on any date or bar to see the actual list of participant responses for that day.


NOTE:Test data is not displayed in the Response History. Only data that were generated from actual participants are counted in the daily totals.


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4.Downloading Data

The Data Download tab of the survey page enables you to download survey data in a variety of formats. Note, however, that downloading data from the survey page means downloading all of the data that your survey has collected. If you want to download only a subset of the data returned by a query, see Downloading Results.


Downloading Data

To download data:

  1. Click the Download Data tab on the Survey page.
  2. Choose the type of data to download. Summary data includes only statistics about the results, such as counts and percentages. Raw data includes all of the actual responses that participants have submitted.
  3. Choose a file format. These are explained in more detail below.
  4. Choose the time period. Most surveys have only one time period. Longitudinal surveys, which may be administered to a population repeatedly over time, include multiple time periods.
  5. Click Download Data.

File Formats

A number of different file formats are available. SPSS and SAS data can be viewed in the raw data format only. Summary data are not available for SPSS and SAS. Data can be downloaded raw or summary data in Excel, HTML, Tab Delimited text, or XML.


  • HTML – This is suitable for formatted display in most current browsers, including Internet Explorer and MozillaFirefox.
  • XML – This is suitable for applications that can manipulate XML.
  • SPSS (.sav) – This format will import the scale code and label for questions with text datatype/scale codes. There is no limit to the length of the scale code.  The maximum length of text data is 32767.
  • SPSS Syntax – This is suitable for import into newer versions of SPSS.
  • SPSS (Short Names) – This is suitable for import into newer or older versions of SPSS.
  • SAS (zip) –  The ZIP file contains a syntax or program file and a separate data files. Contains all the features outlined in the SAS download section. The separate data file allows text data to be as long as 32760 characters. The data file is encoded using UTF-8 (Unicode) so non-ASCII chars are preserved.
  • SAS (raw data only) – This is suitable for import into SAS.
  • Double quote values (“) are preserved in text values.
  • The pipe character (|) is replaced by an asterisk (*) in text values.
  • Have output formats for date (DATE9), time (TIME8), and date/time (DATETIME18) data types.  Without an output format, these values display as a numeric value which is not very human readable.
  • The text “informat” length is calculated and based on the maximum length contained in the data set for each specific text property.
  • Text data is truncated at 958 characters.
  • Tab Delimited – This is suitable for unformatted viewing in Microsoft Excel or in any text editor. In addition,many SQL databases will import data from tab-delimited text files.
  • Excel – This is suitable for formatted display in Microsoft Excel.
  • MS SQL – This produces a SQL script that will
      1. Create the necessary tables in SQL server
      2. Insert data into the tables.



The SPSS (Short Names) format limits all variable names to eight characters, to comply with naming restrictions in older versions of SPSS. The other SPSS format leaves your survey variable names intact, and is compatible with newer versions of SPSS.

If you want to import data into a SQL database other than Microsoft SQL Server, you may download the MS SQL format and run the CREATE TABLE statements in the file. You can then import the data by removing or replacing the GO statements, or by downloading the tab-delimited data and import that into the newly created database tables.

Summary Data Format

The summary data format displays the aggregate values that can be calculated from the participant data (Count, Percent, Max, Min, Mean, etc). With summary data it is easy to see the breakdown of responses for a particular question. With questions that allow for free-form text responses, such as comments, aggregate values cannot be calculated. Only the number of the responses can be calculated. If you would like to view text-items in a list instead of viewing only the number of responses to this type of question, choose the “list text items” option. This will provide an overall report that includes summary data for questions with scale values and raw data for text-entry questions. Please note, if there are a large number of responses, there may be a long list of comments in the report.

Raw Data Format

The raw data format displays questions in a large table. This is your standard spreadsheet layout where each column is a question, and each row is a participant’s response. Each cell of the table is a participant’s response to a particular question. If you plan to run your own reports, download the raw data and import them into your favorite statistical package.


SAS and SPSS download formats may include only raw data. The options to List Text Items and Include Value Labels do not apply to these formats. Because these formats can only include raw data, the text items are always part of the download. In addition, the downloads include not only the data, but a data dictionary SAS and SPSS automatically import. This means that the value labels always come with the SAS and SPSS downloads and will be present when you import the data into SAS or SPSS.  There are 2 different formats to download SAS and 3 formats for SPSS.

List Text Items Option

Summary results include no useful information about text items. Because text questions are open-ended, permitting an almost unlimited range of responses, Illume does not calculate counts, percentages, or other statistics for these questions.

When you check the List Text Items option, your download will include raw data for each of the text questions in your survey. For example, if 100 participants typed in their first names, the download will include all 100 first names.

Include Value Labels Option

The Include Value Labels option adds value labels next to the value codes in the data you download. For example, a question called GENDER may have two response options: 1 = Male and 2 = Female. When you download the raw data, the GENDER column will be a list of 1’s and 2’s.

When you check Include Value Labels, each entry in the GENDER column will be either 1:Male or 2:Female.

This option makes the data more readable to humans, but it hinders applications such as Excel from processing the data in a purely numeric way.

The Include Value Labels option applies only to Raw data in formats other than SAS and SPSS.

Time Periods

When a survey is stopped and restarted, there is an option to create a new time period. Time periods allow a convenient way to group participant responses and query the data.


The General tab of the Survey page displays the response rate and history for a single time period. By default, this is the current or most recent time period. To display the response history for another time period, simply choose the desired period from the Time Period list.

When downloading data, you have the option to download all the survey data or only data belonging to a specific time period. By default, the time period is set to the current or most recent time period. You may download data for any time period by selected the period under the Data Download tab.

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5.Managing Test Data

Illume can generate random test data for a survey. This is useful for testing queries.


Adding Test Data

To add test data to your survey:

  1. Click the Test Data tab on the Survey page.
  2. Type the number of rows of test data you want to create in the Number of rows field.
  3. Click Add Rows.

Illume creates the test data a few rows at a time while a progress bar displays the number of rows created.

Removing Test Data

To remove test data:

  1. Click the Test Data tab on the Survey page.
  2. Click Delete Rows.

When test data is removed from a survey, Illume deletes all participant responses that have the “test data” flag set to true. This includes test data that were submitted by any Testers. Please see Adding Participant List Members to learn more about creating Testers.

Populating Preload Variables with Test Data

Test data can be generated for preloaded questions (i.e. hidden questions that have a user name assigned to them). Please note that test data is still not able to be generated for hidden questions whose values are not preloaded from a participant list.


  1. Create a participant list that contains 1 or more test participants.

NOTE: This participant list should contain test participants that contain user data fields and values that are used by preloaded questions in the survey.

  1. Associate the list to a Published or Test Published Survey
  2. Add up to 100 rows of test data, must be no more that the list of test participants
  3. Query using the Test Data check box in the Queries Properties


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6.Unsubmitting and Deleting Results


Buttons to delete or unsubmit single or multiple survey sessions appear on the Participant Results page if the User has Administrator role for this survey.

Deleting a submission to the survey will completely erase any history of this participant taking this survey. All responses will be lost and will not be recoverable.

Unsubmitting a submission will retain all survey data but will change the submission status from “Submitted” to “Partial” allowing them to modify their responses if necessary.

Steps for Unsubmitting/Deleting a Single Response

  1. In the Data Manager
  2. Navigate to the appropriate survey
  3. Select the date that the participant took the survey
  4. Choose the submission id by clicking on the number under the Row ID column
  5. The Unsubmit and Delete Buttons will be in the upper right corner of the Participant Results page



Steps Unsubmitting/Deleting Multiple Responses

  1. In the Data Manager
  2. Navigate to the appropriate survey
  3. Select the date where the unsubmits are to take place
  4. Choose the submission id’s of the responses to Unsubmit or Delete by checking the box in each row
  5. The Unsubmit and Delete Buttons will be in the upper right corner of the Participant Results page



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7.Quota Management

There is a tab in the Data Manager at the survey level that will display the Quota Group Objects and Quotas created in a survey.  This display shows the names of the Quota Group and Quota Objects as well as the Quota Description, Quota Condition, the number of participants meeting the Quota condition (Current), the specified quota limit (Limit), and the percentage full (Current divided by Limit).

Quota statistics for test data can be viewed by clicking the Show Test Data Quotas button.  After showing the Test Data Quota statistics, they can be hidden by clicking the Hide Test Data Quotas button.


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