Feb 112008

Google Docs Survey Tool

Google added a survey tool to their Google docs spreadsheet app. Nice email integration, too.

While it has basically the same functionality of a SurveyMonkey or Wufoo, the Google survey tool is already integrated with a spreadsheet program, making analysis easier.

With other web survey tools, the first thing you you do is dump the data to Excel, then you need to keep repulling the data as answers come in.

Google's approach stores your survey responses in the spreadsheet itself, always available, easily shared, and always fresh.

Seth Godin suggests additional features (variable pricing, geo pricing), but even in its current form, the Google Surveys feature is quite useful.

My suggested additional feature: an open API, ala Wufoo's survey API. It seems probable Google will do the same.

Possible uses include:

  • buyer surveys
  • most valuable customer surveys
  • prospect surveys
  • employee surveys

To create a survey, start a new spreadsheet in Google Docs, click "Share" tab on right, name your survey, then check the "fill out a form" option under "Invite people".

Link: Google Docs

google docs survey tool


15 Responses to "Google Docs Survey Tool"
Erica DeWolf says:
Great announcement of this tool! It's the first I heard of it, and your post certainly gave me the gist of it. Thanks!
Hi Alan, Found your blog using "google survey tool" keyword. I just discovered the Presentation feature this week and had heard about the Survey tool, but couldn't recall how to set it up. This was helpful. My readers have been giving me great reviews using the Presentation tool (which is like Power Point). They say it helps them better absorb the training due to the interaction required). You can see how I used tool on my blog at http://davidlovelace.com/online-joint-ventures-explained/ Thanks again, Dave
Hi Dave -- Some the slides on that link were jumbled, with text overlapping text. Just a heads up. Haven't played w/ the presentation tool myself; I'll check it out. Thanks for the comment -- Alan
Naveen says:
Hi, Request you to send me the tool demo or whatever sample which I Can use for my team outing purpose to capture the teams preferances. Thanks & Regards Naveen
Hi Naveen -- Read this page: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2008/02/stop-sharing-spreadsheets-start.html Cheers Alan
Hi Alan, Thanks for the quick overview. Just want to point out that the Wufoo outgoing link actually connects to Survey Monkey. I'm putting together a blog post on survey tools, and will include a link to this post when it is published. Thanks, Debra
Velocipedus says:
Your description is no longer accurate: it is now done as New Document - Form, easy peasy (& free!)
unfortunatelly i have to say that Google tools are the easiest survey web
mt says:
Thanks for this post! I love Google tools but didn't know about surveys until I searched and found this blog. It works great!
eternity says:
Hi! I found your post useful. Thanks. Could you help me dealing with this tool? I'm making my paper to university. My survey is only for police officers, and I do not want to invite anyone to fill the form I made, I simply not allowed, cos the departement want to keep them anonim for me. Is there other way to gather data or only this e-mail invited? Please, help! eternity74@freemail.hu
I'm pretty sure any of the tools mentioned in the post can be used to create anonymous surveys. Somehow, the subjects (police officers in your case) need to get access to the survey link, but that can be done without sending individual emails. Good luck
Jared says:
I think Google docs is a great way to quickly and easily collect data from a variety of sources. It can also be used for basic simple surveys which for most DIY’ers will suffice. Wouldn’t recommend it for business applications though but great for students, community groups or non-for profits. I just had a quick run through so I could get a feel for the process and have documented it here if you want to have a look. http://www.rockresearch.co.nz/blog/2009/09/01/using-google-forms-for-online-market-research/
Tanya says:
Hi Alan, Can some one see who has answered what? I mean the coordinator who has posted this survey, can he/she know who has written what?
Alan, thanks so much for posting this! SUPER helpful!
Aaron says:
I've been doing surveys for ~ 20 years, and one consistent them is that employee engagement survey data tends NOT to be accurate if we ask people to fill in demographics (Location, manager, level, function, etc.), because it sets off the confidentiality alarms. That said, the data is NOT usable without that information. It's interesting, but can't really do anything with it b/c results are usually actionable at the manager, site, function level. Solution - most survey tools now allow you to send a unique link to participants, that takes them to only the main survey items. Their input are automatically liked with demographic information, without them having to enter it. Does Google Survey provide this valuable functionality?

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