Using Merging techniques to enhance Survey Reporting for Property Inspection

We’ve recently discovered a powerful technique for building comprehensive survey reports using Word’s Mail Merge feature. This approach is especially useful for mobile surveys containing qualitative data such as comments and/or media. Our partners in the Netherlands are using this technique when building reports for their property inspection and property management clients (http://www.opinionmeter.nl/toepassingen/inspectie/). In addition to the closed-ended questions, property inspection surveys require the collection of photographs, comments and even digital signatures, all of which can be accomplished through the TouchPoint Mobile survey app. In the past, property managers needed to record their survey comments in paper form and the photographs documenting property damage, etc. in a separate medium. Now all the data, including images and video, can be captured in one place and reports customized to integrate the data and media in one Word or PDF document. This is where the mail merge technique comes into play. Here’s how it works…

Using Opinionmeter’s market research software, users will first create their survey instrument in the web-based survey software. The survey is then downloaded to the TouchPoint Mobile survey app and inspectors begin to capture data in the field. The survey data, including photographs and digital signatures are captured and transmitted in real-time to the web-based survey platform where reports can be scheduled or generated on-demand. In this case, users can also export the survey data and merge that data with a Word template generating a custom report. The beauty of using the mail-merge techniques is the report will pull the open-ended comments, photographs and digital signatures from each survey record and populate the Word template, automating the report generation process. All the client needs to do is set up their Word template once and then merge the exported survey data file from the SurveyManager.

Pictures are always easier than explaining in words, so we’ve created the following document which illustrates in a step by step fashion how you can create your Word template and merge it with your survey data file. Click here to learn how to set up your Word template for merging survey data.

 

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