Is LimeSurvey for me?

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1 month 1 week ago - 1 month 1 week ago #172399 by omniscitoad
omniscitoad created the topic: Is LimeSurvey for me?
Hello!

I am investigating different survey tool options for a non-profit project that I am working on. The project is a tracker that users fill out. Users are given a "score" calculated from certain metrics in the tracker. Users can update their scores by filling out the survey again. The agregate data is then being graphed and used to show trends in a given region. All of this is pretty standard, think, but the difficulty I'm running into is in the details

- *users need to be able to take the survey multiple times, but the old entries should remain so we can look at their change over time
- *a new survey should pre-fill with the last survey's data so that people can just go in and make minor tweaks (the survey is quite long)
- user score should be listed in the landing page for that user so they can always see it when they log in.
- user should be able to share their score on social media (primarily Facebook)
- * need advanced survey tools like conditionals, skipping, form validation, etc.
-[edit:added] in-survey calculation would be nice too, although not a deal-breaker as long as I can pull data afterwards to calculate and display to the user (for their score)

The ability to track user's surveys over time, and have previous results carry forward the next time the user takes the survey are the big two.

I'm currently using Drupal Webform, and I know there is a Drupal integration module for Limesurvey, so I'm guessing dealing with displaying the scores might be able to be done through that integration (not sure how deep it goes, and how much calculation I can do on specific data points within Drupal and Views). Webform is actually working pretty well for a lot of the project, but I've been running into some roadblocks (esp. where form validation, conditionals, and skipping are concerned, aggregating only latest results per users, and performing calculations on the data)

So I guess my question is if Limesurvey can help me tackle some of the areas that have been limited by using Drupal Webform (advanced conditionals, skipping, robust reports, etc.), while still keeping the flexibility that I currently enjoy (tracking progress over time, pre-filling surveys, and displaying current score on a landing page)

[edit: project details]
Thought I would just add a little info about what we are actually doing to put it in perspective. We are tracking biodiversity through native plant and wildlife gardens. The tracker lets users update us on their progress towards a "greener" garden over time, which helps us monitor the effectiveness of programs targeting gardeners in different regions. The survey helps users by giving them a goal to work towards (high scores) and an idea of how to get there through the questions asked (ex. I know my score will go up if I enlarge the area of my wildlife garden). There are of coarse other resources available as well, but the tracker/survey is the center piece.
Last Edit: 1 month 1 week ago by omniscitoad. Reason: adding more detailed information

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1 month 1 week ago #172409 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Is LimeSurvey for me?
What Drupal version is used? Webform seems to be more suitable than LimeSurvey for your purpose.
www.drupal.org/node/2837024
What things are not working/missing when it comes to form validation or skip logic?

Are you a student conducting a survey? If yes, tell me why you use LimeSurvey?
www.limesurvey.org/forum/development/116...y-you-use-limesurvey

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1 month 5 days ago #172677 by omniscitoad
omniscitoad replied the topic: Is LimeSurvey for me?
Thanks for your reply!

We are on Drupal 7. As far as what is lacking in Webform, here are some examples:
- the ability to skip whole pages is still missing
- when using conditionals and validation together, a 'skipped' field with validation still demands fulfillment. The example here is that I can't by default allow a user to skip a more advanced section of the tracker because it needs validation (i.e. they are listing the % of their property that fits in each of five categories, and all five together have to add up to 100%)
- would be nice to have some better reporting tools out of the box instead of having to build them all with views or download to spreadsheet software. I've also run into some issues with the fact that the default assumption is that someone will use the tracker multiple times, as some of the views aggregation and math modules don't play nice together (averaging a column in a table of results aggregated to only the most recent result for each user still counts every result for all users since the aggregation is really only cosmetic, and the math is still working on the entire result set)
- ideally, I would also like to be able to key submissions to an address so that users can essentially enter more than one property. Even better would be a way to show all previous properties, and to load the results of a past submission based on the property picked. I already use webform replay, which sort of does this, although doesn't work with the multiple addresses model.

Actually, the more I think and research towards my end goal, the more I wonder if survey software isn't going to be a good fit at all. The base assumption being that users can keep filling out the tracker over and over to track their progress over time seems to be a sticking point. Sure, this should be fairly standard practice with surveys, but the self-service nature of it makes it more difficult to find something that is flexible enough - I want to be entering data into the same survey as often as they like, as I just analyse their latest entry for each year that they participate in order to show change over time. This has actually worked pretty well in Webform, other than with these few sticking points.

I've thought about maybe switching to entity form or even a content type (and tracking revisions), but I don't think Drupal can reliably handle the numbers of fields that I need.

I think I may be heading into just programming an app from scratch, or extending webform to fill the gaps.

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1 month 5 days ago #172679 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Is LimeSurvey for me?
Interesting list. Did you consider trying Drupal 8 webforms first?
www.drupal.org/docs/8/modules/webform/we...orm-related-projects

Webform for Drupal 8 is different. www.drupal.org/project/webform

There are LimeSurvey heavy users, which create surveys sometimes in Drupal webforms.

Are you a student conducting a survey? If yes, tell me why you use LimeSurvey?
www.limesurvey.org/forum/development/116...y-you-use-limesurvey

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1 month 5 days ago #172697 by LouisGac
LouisGac replied the topic: Is LimeSurvey for me?

omniscitoad wrote:
I've thought about maybe switching to entity form or even a content type (and tracking revisions), but I don't think Drupal can reliably handle the numbers of fields that I need.


Yep, I would not trust Drupal for anything too much complex. Drupal seems nice to build some advanced webapp without coding too much, but as soon as the complexity raises, it just become completely unsuitable. I'd say each time a company seems to need Drupal rather than Joomla or Wordpress, they'd rather move to a real Framework, such as Symfony or Yii.

omniscitoad wrote: I think I may be heading into just programming an app from scratch, or extending webform to fill the gaps.


Well, LimeSurvey is OpenSource, and offers most of the functionalities you're looking for. So you'd rather try to build plugin for it (you can submit PR to our github repo if you need new events inside the code), or even fork it to make a custom version of it.

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1 month 3 days ago #172833 by tammo
tammo replied the topic: Is LimeSurvey for me?
As Jelo said: Webform for Drupal 8 looks very promising, it was built with a much broader scope in mind than webform for Drupal 7.

Having said that, as a heavy Drupal user, for surveys I would still bet more on LimeSurvey than on Drupal 8, especially since Drupal 8 uses a much more difficult (for me...) architecture than Drupal 7.

Your requirement is that (as far as I understand) people can fill in a survey, they must be allowed to fill in again, but their subsequend responses much be comparable.

This is something that is not available right out of the box. I envision a solution where the the most recent result is stored in the current databse (so it is available for a new response by the same person) and after each time the submit button is entered, the result is copied to another table, which is the basis for reporting.

We worked (more or less) like that for the Dutch Decent Work survey ( www.gewoongoedwerkmeter.nl ).

But it will require some programming.

Reporting from LimeSurvey will probably not fit your needs. Reporting will also need programming. We use R for that, both online (immediate reports per user) as well as offline (aggregated reports).

I wish you great success!

greetings from The netherlands,

Tammo ter Hark


Tammo ter Hark at Tools for Research
Proud developers of the TFR Responsive Limesurvey template
toolsforresearch.com/limesurvey-responsive-template
The following user(s) said Thank You: LouisGac

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1 month 1 day ago #172927 by omniscitoad
omniscitoad replied the topic: Is LimeSurvey for me?

LouisGac wrote: I would not trust Drupal for anything too much complex. Drupal seems nice to build some advanced webapp without coding too much, but as soon as the complexity raises, it just become completely unsuitable. I'd say each time a company seems to need Drupal rather than Joomla or Wordpress, they'd rather move to a real Framework, such as Symfony or Yii.


Yeah, I think this is the direction I'm going with for this project eventually. Drupal has honestly been pretty great up till now, especially integrated with CiviCRM - I end up building a lot of different simple apps for a wide variety of projects. With Drupal I find the methodology is based in flexibility, and for just about anything I've wanted to do I've been able to do it either out of the box or with a few community modules to add the functionality I need. It's a pretty great toolbox if you like that sort of thing.

re: Webform Drupal 8
I'm definitely going to have to look into Drupal 8 in the next few years, but for now I'm still very entrenched in 7 (especially since CiviCRM hasn't released for 8 yet). I suppose I could setup a sub domain running D8 if the updated webform fits the bill, but honestly I'm starting to lean towards an entirely separate app. Until then, I'll have to do what I can to adapt what I have as best I can within Webform for D7. It already works pretty well as a Demo, since it can store any number of submissions for each user (and even show them their previous submissions).

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! If I decide to try building a pluggin or forking LimeSurvey, then I'm sure I'll be back to pester you some more

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