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Are Qualtrics surveys really anonymous – oh, Yes very much.

With massive automation and digitalization there are ever-growing touchpoints from where experiences can be gathered – be it for products, from customers, from employees or for brands. In the light of GDPR compliance and other industry specific privacy norms like HIPAA, HITECH Act, etc. it becomes momentous that any data capturing, and processing tool should have robust data security and isolation features. It should be able to support distribution and storage of anonymous feedback.

In this article, I will demonstrate how to achieve same in the Qualtrics Experience Management Platform.

  1. Steps to create an Anonymous survey.
  2. Steps to gather Anonymous feedback.
  3. Compare results between anonymous feedback and non-anonymous feedback for any survey.

Let’s delve deeper.

  1. Steps to create an Anonymous survey.

Anonymous surveys are created by generating an anonymous link. Anybody having that link can take part in the survey. There is no authentication and authorization. Distribute the highlighted link to gather feedback.

Detailed steps are available in the Qualtrics support documentation –

https://www.qualtrics.com/support/survey-platform/distributions-module/web-distribution/anonymous-link/

2. Steps to gather Anonymous feedback.

Technically this option is known as creating Anonymizing Responses. It is not available by default for any account. To enable this option, we need some specific privileges which we need to ask from the account administrators.

Before –

After –

Detailed steps are available in the Qualtrics support documentation –

https://www.qualtrics.com/support/survey-platform/survey-module/survey-options/survey-termination/#AnonymizingResponses

Tip: There is another feature which is handy in case you want to gather Anonymous yet unique response from each participant. This is known as enabling the prevention of ballot box stuffing.

Details are –

https://www.qualtrics.com/support/survey-platform/survey-module/survey-options/survey-protection/#PreventingRespondentsFromTakingYourSurveyMoreThanOnce

  1. Compare results between anonymous feedback and non-anonymous feedback for any survey.

This was an experiment which I carried out to answer the question how anonymous are Qualtrics surveys. I used the same survey and captured feedback as anonymous responses and as non-anonymous responses. The difference I noticed was in case of anonymous responses below seven implicit fields are removed from the responses captured. These fields contain the information to identify the person, machine and location which are omitted ensuring anonymity of responses.

  • IPAddress
  • RecipientLastName
  • RecipientFirstName
  • RecipientEmail
  • ExternalReference
  • LocationLatitude
  • LocationLongitude

Happy to hear your feedback.

2 Comments
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  • Real anonymous surveys are really key for customers or employees to provide an honest feedback. Especially for the Employee Experience, it is important for the leadership/ HR teams to broadcast this information and build the trust within their employees about the anonymity of the responses. The employees need to feel empowered to provide their responses without being concerned about any retaliation.

    Thanks for the blog!

    Prateek

    • Indeed Prateek, that was one of the motivations to publish this blog in public domain that Qulatrics guarantees complete anonymity for such use cases.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Best Regards.