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Excel Surveys

This post is brought to you by Harrison Gordon, a PM on the Excel Services team.

I love making music. It’s one of my passions, and it’s a passion I know many of my friends share as well. The problem is that it can be challenging to schedule time and get us all together, and what’s worse is I don’t know what instruments everyone plays.

In the past, we’d have long email threads, complicated scheduling tactics, and a lot of headaches. Using Excel surveys, I can easily collect everyone’s info and figure out exactly how to plan out our next jam session.

Creating a survey in SkyDrive

I log into my SkyDrive and click “Create -> Excel survey”:

Create Excel Survey
 
SkyDrive asks me to name my survey, and drops me into the survey designer in Web Excel:

The survey designer in Web Excel


 
The survey designer is a breeze to work with. I can add questions, change the type (text, multiple choice, date, etc), and move them around. I can also show a default answer or make it so a question is required before sending a response to the survey.

The survey designer is a breeze to work with

Once it’s ready, I just click “Share Survey”. I will get a link that I can then email to my friends:

Get a link that you can use to email friends
 
When they click on the link, they don’t have to sign in – they just go straight to my survey:

Filling out the survey
 
Getting Results

Now comes the best part – when you create a survey in Web Excel, we automatically generate a table to store all of your results. Here’s what it looks like:

A table to store all of your results
 
As my friends fill out the survey, I can watch the results show up in real time in Web Excel:

Results start appearing in Excel
 
Once everyone has responded, I can quickly make sense of the data. From the table above, I can already tell that 12/1 is going to be the best day to get everyone together. For further analysis, I can use the full power of Excel to learn more about the responses. A handy feature is “Recommended Charts” (find it under the Insert tab). It will recommend useful visualizations of your data.


 
 I’m a bit of a data nerd, so I went ahead and made a few more charts to get a better understanding of the data:

Understanding the data
 
Now I can see that we have a few guitar players amongst my friends! Perfect, one can play lead and the other can play rhythm. I can also see that 12/1 works for most people, so I can go ahead and send an invite to everyone for 12/1.

How else can I use Surveys?

The possibilities are endless, but here’s a small list of things you can do with Excel surveys:

  1. Plan out when your friends are free for a vacation (or if they’re free to just grab food downtown).
  2. Quickly poll your coworkers about who they want to win the Super Bowl (and don’t invite the ones rooting for the other team to your party).
  3. Help arrange ride sharing so you can take advantage of carpool lanes (and save the environment, of course).

To recap:

  1. Create surveys directly in Web Excel, with results stored inside a table in the workbook.
  2. Share your survey with anyone – no Microsoft Account required.
  3. Your surveys will always look sleek, modern, and professional.
  4. See survey responses added to the workbook in real time.
  5. Use the full power of Excel on the desktop to analyze and chart your new data once it’s all there.

Let us know what you think!

We’ve only just scratched the surface with what our new survey feature can do, and we’d love to hear what you think!
And while you’re at it – care to fill out my survey? Let me know what you thought of this post and Excel surveys!

Harrison Gordon
Program Manager, Excel Services

Join the conversation

14 comments
  1. This really is great stuff and fantastic application!
    Question: How could I create a "Multiple Choice" question / answer or rating & ranking questions?
    Thanks a lot for an idea!!

  2. I have been trying to do that for about a week now, but the process stops at "saving survey" , with the progress indicator spinning indefinitely, and does not proceed any further. Looks to be a fantastic feature, if it does work!

  3. Well, seems to be incompletely rolled out at this point, I also do not have the recommended chart feature enabled. (I am in India)

  4. For those still looking for this to go live, in my account the option does not show in the ‘Create’ dropdown, however the survey button has gone live in the Excel web app and I can create them from here.

    Here’s the problem for me though – The submitted entries do not auto create a date for each entry as is the case in Google docs. I find this feature really handy for my particular use and sadly miss it from the new additional to Excel Web. Any chance of it coming soon?

  5. Well still not appeared in my skydrive selection in the UK.

  6. Its a good start! The UI is pretty and I love how nicely the results are presented for viewing and analysis. But…

    There doesn’t look like there is IP address checking to prevent multiple submissions from one person. For example, I’ve created a survey for people visiting my website to vote for which window 8 tablet they plan to get. Some overly zealous fan could easily submit their choice as many times a they like… I know I tried it. This makes public surveys untrustworthy, and thus unusable.

    Also, there should be an option for submitter to also see the results if the creator wants them to. Its no fun voting for your favorite win 8 tab if you can’t see what other people are getting too!

    I like that you don’t have to sign in to a microsoft account. Some people would just not submit an answer because of the inconvenience and that would skew the results. Good job on that.

  7. Still not appearing for me and I’m from Canada, I have office 10 pro. I’m just wondering if it is deployed and live for Canadians? Any feedback would be just dandy! Thank you!

  8. This material is fantastic! It’s full of interesting data and sound points. You are a rational thinker with a great deal of writing talent. This is well-written content. Thank you.Friv

    Kizi

  9. Wow, very nice! Must have feature :-)! I’ll try it in future.

  10. Please, MS, give us more of such functionality.

  11. I’m from Australia and when I log into SkyDrive I don’t see the option to CREATE > EXCEL SURVEY. Any ideas why I can’t see it?

  12. I’m like Jay. I do not have the option from my skydrive drop-down as well.

  13. I use Google forms a lot. A couple of things I miss are themes to dress up the forms a little. But most of all, Google will automatically create the graphic illustrations of the data so that with one click I see a graphical representation of the data where applicable. That is really helpful when time is of the essence.

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