Squeeze More Insights from Your Existing Data with Virtual Questions

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Posted Aug 26, 2020
Tiffany Mullin

There are three kinds of people in the world, the ones who give a lemon a good squeeze with their hands; the ones who use a fancy citrus juicer to get out as much juice as they can; and the ones who juice it and save the peel to use for lemon zest.

If you’re someone who wants to squeeze every possible drop of insight out of your data, virtual questions are for you. They help you dive deeper into your existing data, see your data as it fills in a question type, and offer a visual representation of demographic traits.

Let’s take a look at what virtual questions are, and some use cases for putting them to work in your surveys.

What are virtual questions?

Virtual questions allow you to explore your data further by combining the responses to questions you did ask in order to answer questions you didn’t ask in your survey. They don’t produce any new data, but they can lead to new insights into your existing data. 

With virtual questions, you can turn responses into segments and view your entire results through those new lenses. And they help you tell the story of your data right inside the aytm platform – without having to analyze the raw exports offline. 

Virtual questions can be created as data is fielding or once data is done fielding. 

Why use virtual questions?

Let’s say you’re an insights leader within the pet care division of a CPG company and the marketing department needs help trying to decide what types of pet products to feature in a weekly ad to promote your brand. You could survey 1,000 pet owners. 

Specifically, you want to see a comparison in gender between pet owners who own cats vs. dogs. You’ve already created a question in your survey asking pet owners what pet they have but you’re unable to see that as it relates to gender, unless you filter individually. By utilizing a virtual question, you take the data you already have (the demographic data and the question) and plug it into its own question, visualizing the difference in data and allowing you to read the data in a new way.

While you can analyze this data within the question you asked, you may want to take it a step further and combine the top concern among females vs. the bottom concern among females compared to the top and bottom concern among males. Virtual Questions push all the data you want to see into one nifty chart.

Analyzing Data from Virtual Questions

The chart generated will show which questions or answers you were able to combine in a VQ. It will also allow you to see how many respondents were included in the VQ, and the percentage of times the answers were chosen as top two concerns. 

Some of the more advanced things you can do with virtual questions include:

  • Creating custom demographic splits - VQs allow for advanced segmentation, letting you see how specific demographic groups answered certain questions. 
  • Distinguishing respondent personas - VQs take you beyond surface-level targeting and offer deeper insight into your target audience.
  • Filtering and saving reports segmented by VQs - Once you have a virtual question created, you can use it as a filter for the rest of your survey data.
  • Creating banners in crosstabs/significance testing - With VQs, you’re not limited to the typical banners like gender, income, or age. These input variables can be created from any virtual question.
  • Exporting for offline data analysis - Virtual questions automatically become a part of the raw underlying data set, which means it will export the same as any other question for offline data analysis. 
  • Drag and drop across reports - You can drag and drop pinned Virtual Questions between browsers. The VQ will populate in another report as long as the survey structure is a close match.
  • Populate open-ended data in VQs - If there’s a direct reference from the VQ answer logic to a question, sub-item, or answer variant having an open-ended text field, the OE will populate in the virtual question and include a Word Cloud with the answer variant.

Virtual questions can increase your efficiency, decreasing the burden of manual data analysis, while also reducing your time to insight. 

VQs are also great for creating visual charts from combined questions or generating completely new charts for presentations that answer key questions. For example, if you have a question with five answer choices but you only want a chart that shows the results of three answer choices.

Keep in mind, virtual questions are based on data provided by your survey, so you can’t use a VQ to obtain data you don’t already have. 

But, virtual questions have an almost magical ability to squeeze even more insight from your existing data. Whether it’s smarter recommendations or increases in revenue, imagine what a little additional insight could do for your brand.

Give virtual questions a try. Learn how to add them to your next survey.

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