survey data security

There’s a lot of business intelligence to be gathered through survey data. In fact, surveying your internal and external customers is a smart way to keep your business growing in a profitable and productive direction.

Yet not all survey software gives you the control you need to collect and share survey data with confidence and confidentiality. Too many survey solutions provide an all-or-nothing sharing option that doesn’t allow you to filter information access.

To speed information gathering and decision making using survey data, you should be able to provide the right access to the right stakeholders—at the right time. So what are the dos and don’ts for successful survey collaboration and sharing?

DO control survey data access based on roles.

Be sure your online survey software has survey permissions that let you manage who can access surveys, reports and data. Be sure you can set these limits based on user roles and customized user criteria that you can control. The more granular your permissions are, the more confident you can be in the security of your data. You might want to grant full access to respondent data and reports to senior-level decision makers while, at the same time, you may need to prevent access to survey data by certain titles or departments.

DON’T use email to share confidential survey data.

Choose a survey software tool that has sharing options that let you collaborate from within the tool instead of having to rely on external email products. Consider the vulnerabilities that can occur with survey data that’s emailed between users. You can’t control where survey data will end up when it’s passed from inbox to inbox. And depending on the type of data you’re sharing, you could be violating privacy laws with this type of information exchange.

DO use group settings to speed collaboration.

A survey tool that lets you define groups is a great way to set permissions for an entire audience to expedite access to survey information such as style sheets, libraries and more. Use groups to share libraries of frequently used survey items with a specified group of survey creators or to share survey styles with a division of your organization. Have a large HR department? Set them up as a group to share survey questions to take the work out of employee surveys.

DON’T overshare with your respondents.

Choose a survey tool that provides a secure location for respondents to access only the surveys made available to them. And seek out a survey tool that lets you password-protect surveys for complete assurance that only those invited to participate in your survey are responding.