How to implement Piping within your customer survey questions


This video demonstrates how piping can be applied to various customer survey questions. Piping inserts text blocks from previous survey question responses into subsequent questions or response scales.


Hello, in this tutorial we're going to talk a little bit about piping. Piping, in a nutshell, is a way in which you can insert or pipe text from previous questions, responses into subsequent questions or subsequent question response scales. Now, a picture's worth a thousand words, so why don't we just jump into some examples.

I've created a survey here called Survey With Piping. It just has a very basic design with some obvious illustrative examples. I've created a seven question survey, but the first three questions are relevant to piping. Here I have question one. Please select your favorite sport. Football, baseball, basketball, tennis or soccer. Then the next question is, what type of X organizations do you follow? I just put X there as a placeholder, so that's where we'll pipe whatever response from question they select.

You can also use piping with close-ended or open-ended questions. In question three it's an open-ended and we can insert or pipe from question one whatever response they select by, please tell us which are your favorite X teams. So, favorite baseball teams or football teams and as with any of our features they apply across the board since we're a multi-modality system and across platform system. All of our features apply to whether you're doing an online survey or a mobile web survey or even our offline survey apps like, for the Apple iPad or Andoid or even Windows mobile or kiosk apps. So, just to want to make sure that's clear.

I'm going to jump in to question two and go to define piping. The reason I'm going to question two is you need a question before the question you're working with in order to pipe from. You can never pipe from question one. I'm going to click go and the first thing it's going to ask me for is to set my question identifier and I'm using question one here. I'm going just say use the sport. You can put anything you want in here. It's just a placeholder label, but sport seems intuitive since I'm asking you to select your favorite sport.

We'll go ahead and do that and save. Now, this piping wizard as it says allows you to prepare your question or option text based on the previous questions response scale. To use it you can drag and drop. I'm going to go ahead and drag this into each response and I'll put a little space there and drag this in here and I'll put a little space and drag that in there. In this particular case, yeah, that will work and I'm going to put that in there.

I actually also was going to insert it as a question, so you can insert it into your response scales and or your question as well. Let's go back into define piping because I forgot to drag that over into my... and it automatically puts it right at the end, so I'm going to cut that and paste it in here. Clean that up a little bit. Drop my question and so, "What type of sport organizations do you follow?" Great. Let's save that.

You can see we don't include an icon like we do with advanced branching or simple branching adjacent to each question where you've applied that technique because you do have these distinct symbols indicating, okay, we have piping applied to this question too. Let's go ahead and add some piping to question three. This is an open-ended question, so it's a little bit different. We'll go ahead and just drag this in here and I will cut and paste that into here and I... There we go. I accidentally deleted that, so I'm going to add my colon in. There. That looks good. Let's save that.

Now we should see piping from whatever in question one we have selected. The response selected by the respondent piped into question two and three. Why don't we take a quick preview. This is an online survey for simple previewing purposes, but like I say, we could distribute this to any device as well. I'm going to go ahead and enter the survey and let's say, I'm going to select baseball as question one that should be piped to question two, what type of baseball organizations do you follow? College baseball? Professional baseball or college and professional? I actually follow college, I'm sorry professional baseball.

So, and then question three it should also pipe. "Please tell us which are your favorite baseball teams." So it knew to pipe baseball not only in question two in the question text, but in each of the response options for question two as well as the question text for the open-ended question number three. That's a quick example of how piping can be used within your survey instrument design process and have fun with this one. It can really save you a lot of time instead of having to repeat your subsequent question saying, "Well in previous question if you answered baseball, which are your favorite baseball teams?" It gets a little awkward having to do that and this allows you to avoid it.

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