Learning patterns/Qualtrics survey tool

Qualtrics survey tool
problemYou want to run a survey for your project. Free online survey tools usually only provide limited functionality, and better tools usually cost money.
solutionUse Qualtrics, a powerful and secure online survey tool used by the Wikimedia Foundation, to design, deploy and analyze your surveys.
creatorJmorgan (WMF)
created on12 December, 2013
status:in progress
As of 2024, an official LimeSurvey instance is available to use instead of Qualtrics.

What problem does this solve?


There is plenty of good online survey software out there, but most of the free options have limitations that make them unsuitable for larger or more sophisticated surveys. SurveyMonkey, for example, only allows a maximum of 10 questions and 100 participants per free survey. Google Forms has no such maximum thresholds, but offers a much more limited set of survey design and data analysis tools. Free survey sites also vary in their policies for how they will store the data you collect (how long, and how securely), and who owns the data.

What is the solution?


The Wikimedia Foundation has an institutional subscription to Qualtrics.com, a web platform that provides a flexible toolkit for building surveys, deploying them electronically, and analyzing their data. Qualtrics also offers several important legal and technical safeguards to help keep survey data secure. If you would like to use Qualtrics for your own survey, contact the Global Data & Insights team via surveys (at) wikimedia (dot) org to get started.

General considerations

  • Qualtrics can be used to run multilingual surveys - you can deploy 1 survey with questions translated into several languages, and then slice answers by language or aggregate them all back together again at the end.[1] However, there doesn't seem to be an option to import translations from a standard format, hence additional conversion steps are necessary to use modern tools (like the Translate extension) for producing the translations.
  • If you choose the "distribution by email" with personalised links, it's important to warn recipients that the survey will not be anonymous, because the answer will be matched to their email address (via an answer ID). Anonymous responses are impossible even if Survey options > Anonymize response is selected: this option only hides some personal information like the IP address of the respondent.
  • Privacy considerations are important: Qualtrics is based in the USA (European privacy laws may be stricter), but its privacy policy and terms of use have been vetted by the WMF Legal team.

When to use

  • Post-event surveys
  • Gender gap research
  • Wikimedia Chapter membership surveys
  • Collecting input/data from community for use in grant or other project reports[2][3]
  • Any other surveys of Wikimedians



See also


Free Software alternatives