Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses

More
8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #150240 by driz
driz created the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
Hi all,

I have been using LS for a couple of months now and I absolutely love the software. It is a great tool for me with so many possibilities. I am running a number of surveys in it and have had no issues making the surveys look and work the way I need to.

I am now looking at options to provide access to the results for my client, however want to give them a dashboard that will display the data in the charts that I need, without any other access to LS. I also need to do calculations on the data rather than simply displaying the "raw" results in a chart. E.g. for some questions I need to calculate an index number and display that in a chart, and for other questions I need to merge categories before displaying them.

After hours of looking, I believe the only way to achieve what I have described above is to build something myself. Is this correct? If it is, what options are there? I have experience building dynamic database driven websites in PHP + MySQL. I looked into the API, however I don't think that provides me with a lot of reporting options other than exporting the data. I looked at accessing the data directly from the database, but I could not find the right table where the results would be. Then i had a look at the Expression Manager and I think it can help me do the calculations I need, however I would then like to use that in a reporting page, and not the actual survey. I don't think that is possible?

I tried to find plugins, but I could not find any that would help me with this. I would love to help build a plugin however I am not a professional programmer and I don't think I could contribute any code to the standard that I have seen in LS.

A few threads in the forum talk about displaying the results in a dashboard - so I hope that someone can help me in the right direction. If I can get some guidance, or a simple example of how to access the data, that would be awesome!
Last Edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by driz.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150241 by gabrieljenik
gabrieljenik replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
Hi !

I have built many custom dashboards in the past.
If you are interested, let me know and I may be able to provide a quotation.

Thanks!

Gabriel

Cheers,
Gabriel - www.Encuesta.Biz - Authorized Partner

Solutions, code and workarounds presented in these forums are given without any warranty, implied or otherwise.
Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core developpement are on my free time (Say thanks ?)....[img]

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150242 by driz
driz replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
Great! Are you able to give me some pointers on how to get started with this myself? How do you access the data?

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150245 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses

driz wrote: A few threads in the forum talk about displaying the results in a dashboard - so I hope that someone can help me in the right direction.

After reading these threads what is your conclusion?

I see three ways of accessing data

a) Direct access of the database
b) Indirect acceess via plugIn
c) Indirect acccess via API


A dashboard can be everything from a static display to a strong analytic toolbox.

Depending on your needs and budget you could choose a dashboard tool.
From open-source to commercial there are a lot of tools. But all come with there own requirements for being used as a web-based service. Most are not based on PHP, so you would need additional software to run the show. Often the user management is only available in the commercial tools.
What are you able to maintain? Java, Python and third party libraries might need to be installed and updated. With many dashboards you end up with a complex toolchain to keep running.

I would search and test dashboards without thinking about LimeSurvey first.
Access of data is a secondary issue. Your primary issue is to maintain the dashboard on a server.
Or you might outsource the dashboard and use a SaaS tool.

There is currently no gold standard for external reporting/dashboard with LimeSurvey.

Personally I'm looking for a way to access LimeSurvey via the API via R.
I'm looking for dashboards which can run R and allow having a usermanagement.
E.g. Shiny is offering something in that direction
shiny.rstudio.com/
But the user management is only available on the commercial server offering.
Which is currently at $9,995 per year.

The combination of HTML with R our Python in "notebooks" looks quite promising.
E.g. IPython notebooks like this:
nbviewer.jupyter.org/github/lightning-vi...b/master/index.ipynb

If you want code some PHP you might try the Reportico component with this plugin to get something out of LimeSurvey.
www.limesurvey.org/de/foren/plugins/1077...ts-within-limesurvey

It all depends on your budget in time and money you want and can invest. If you know R, Python etc you have more options to choose from. If you stick to PHP and MySQL, you might need to do it on your own. If your clients needs a solution next week, you might have to hire a coder to create a special dashboard for one survey.

I'm not convinced about the dashboard hype at all. Often a good PDF report is doing the trick. That could be done with R via LimeSurvey API. The PDF would be recreated every 5 min and then uploaded somewhere on the web.
The following user(s) said Thank You: gabrieljenik

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150263 by holch
holch replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
I am also baffled by the fee for the Shiny server. Basically $10.000 per year. One can ony afford that when you have a lot of usage for this. Definitely not a solution for a few custom reports and dashboards per year for some surveys. I guess it is rather targeted towards the internal reporting of KPIs in big corporations, continously.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150264 by driz
driz replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
I had looked at Reportico, but wasn't impressed by the looks, and I am afraid it will limit me in making it look good. I also considered it risky to connect two open source systems - what if one makes changes and the other doesn't have the resources to align their software quickly. I had consider R and Shiny in the past, and can't justify the licence fee considering my client isn't paying for the dashboard.

Due to all of this my conclusion was that it would be safest if I build and maintain something myself with PHP. I am more than happy to document my work so it can be added to the manual if it helps others do the same. Anyone with experience in this who is happy to help me take the first steps?

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150267 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses

holch wrote: Basically $10.000 per year. One can ony afford that when you have a lot of usage for this. Definitely not a solution for a few custom reports and dashboards per year for some surveys.

Compared to other solutions the price is not that high. To high for us to justify exploring the stuff. SaaS via www.shinyapps.io/ would be 99 USD per month. That is cheapest with user authentication.

There are some other ideas around opensource shiny and thirdparty user-management.
www.r-bloggers.com/password-protect-shiny-apps/

I would like to see a addon for e.g.NextCloud to integrate Shiny. You have the usermanagement, you can offer up/downloads and with an additional click you could offer some shinyapps.

Plan B is leveraging on the upcoming notebook concept (R,Python) which is one file containing the data and the code. Still issues with encrypting data and a way to use live data. But for many applications you don't need data on respondent level.

@driz: You might be able to cosponsor a plugin or share the coding effort.
www.limesurvey.org/forum/plugins/108530-...vot-table-and-charts
Since Gabriel already open for quotation and Denis announced a open source plugin, you might ask for some insight where you could support the effort via money or code to get a dashboard.

It all depends on the budget you want to spent (money and time).

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150438 by driz
driz replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
Thanks guys. I have offered Denis my help with his work. I have no budget or paying client for this, but I can see the potential of this functionality for LS.

@jelo - dashboards are hyped in some areas, but in others they serve a real purpose, and make the results of surveys actionable and accessible to a whole organisation. To get a larger organisation to use the results to make improvements, a dashboard often is a lot more effective than static reporting.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150439 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses

driz wrote: To get a larger organisation to use the results to make improvements, a dashboard often is a lot more effective than static reporting.

So you got a larger organization as a client and you need a dashboard for them. Without any budget?

In larger organizations I would expect a reporting platform like Qlik or Tableu. As long as Windows is available they often have a SQL Server and SQL Server Reporting Services.

I hope we will see some more input here about how and what a data dashboard should look like in connection with LimeSurvey.

If you want to stay close to MySQL and PHP you might check out small commercial packages like
dbface www.dbface.com/documents/ which is available for PHP. Not Opensource.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150441 by driz
driz replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
Sorry I wasn't clear. My client isn't a large organisation and has no immediate need for a dashboard. However I know there many large organisations out there that spend lots of money on dashboards for surveys, and that do not use the kind of systems you mention.

I am directly involved with a tracker survey for customer experience (not my client) for which the ongoing costs are way more than the annual licence of R Shiny. It is a very straight forward and short survey, and a fairly simple dashboard.

With the amount of dashboard tools out there, I am not sure whether LS needs to provide this functionality. But it would be great if we can make the data accessible to programmers who then can build a dashboard on top of LS. Which brings me back to my original question - people are already building dashboards on LS, I would like to do the same but need to know how to access the data.

Thanks for pointing me towards dbface - has anyone used this successfully with LS? Before I dive in and buy a licence, it would be great to know which tables to point the software to.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150628 by DenisChenu
DenisChenu replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
RStudio Server - Open Source License, and you have Shiny R inside ....

GPL / AGPL don't mean Free like a beer, but like a speech ......

Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core development are on my free time.
I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member, professional service on demand (or search sondages pro).
An error happen ? Before make a new topic : remind the Debug mode .

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150825 by gabrieljenik
gabrieljenik replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
@jelo has done a great explanation.
If you are going to be working on the same server, I think direct DB access is a good choice.
Like a separate application that uses the Limesurvey DB as a data source.

Cheers,
Gabriel - www.Encuesta.Biz - Authorized Partner

Solutions, code and workarounds presented in these forums are given without any warranty, implied or otherwise.
Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core developpement are on my free time (Say thanks ?)....[img]

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150828 by DenisChenu
DenisChenu replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
Don't remind who, but i see a really good dashboard using shiny/R-studio own server.

Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core development are on my free time.
I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member, professional service on demand (or search sondages pro).
An error happen ? Before make a new topic : remind the Debug mode .

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150831 by Ben_V
Ben_V replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
Hi,

a clean & quite easy way to provide charts is to use chart.js library ( chartjs.org )...
Note that all the features of this library are also available via clouflare's cdn:
cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/Chart.js/2.3.0/Chart.bundle.js

Benoît

EM Variables => bit.ly/1TKQyNu | EM Roadmap => bit.ly/1UTrOB4
Last Releases => 2.6x.x goo.gl/ztWfIV | 2.06/2.6.x => bit.ly/1Qv44A1
Demo Surveys => goo.gl/HuR6Xe (already included in /docs/demosurveys)

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
8 months 3 weeks ago #150974 by holch
holch replied the topic: Guidance on building a dashboard for one survey - how to access responses
I think today Limesurvey has everything that you need when you want to create your own dashboard. With access to the database you can basically do whatever you want with the data.
The problem with dashboards today, especially for market research and here especially in the adhoc area is, that you need to be able to create dashboards relatively simple and quick. If you have a continous survey over many years with no or little changes custom development might be an option. But I can't really start to create custom dashboards for each adhoc study.
If the costs of a dashboard is a lot higher than what the tools mentioned here cost, then the client should think about changing providers. Of course, if you need something really, really specific, then there is probably no way around custom creating a dashboard. But otherwise I would always go for one of those tools. The cost money, yes. But the developer also costs money and I assume that those plattforms are usually more robust than custom development.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Start now!

Just create your account and start using Limesurvey today.

Register now
Join our Newsletter!