If you have multiple copies of the same question and would like to aggregate the responses to summarize results, or if you'd like to ask demographic questions a little differently but still leverage PublicInput.com's census data integrations, the new Response Mapping tool can help.

Response mapping automatically connects responses to one question to an option on another question. It can be set up in advance, during data collection, or after a question has closed - the system will automatically bring overall mapped responses every 15 minutes.

Here's an example use case and walkthrough of how to use this function:

In the example above, we'll take a look at a custom demographic question that is not connected to the demographic input on the PublicInput database. Let’s connect the responses to this custom question to the default demographic question on the PublicInput server.

To get started, go to the question whose responses you wish to connect and click Edit. In this example, we have selected a custom What is your age? question, perhaps one you custom-designed for a specific survey.

This feature is a mapping tool. It offers two ways of mapping: manual mapping and auto-mapping. We'll take a look at both.

Click the dropdown arrow for one of the response options (next to the Cog icon) and select Associate with another option.

Note: You need to set this up for each response option. The system will connect (i.e. map) all the responses for the response option selected to another question (which we will select last in this process) in the PublicInput database.

Next, you need to choose the project with the question to which you want to map these responses.

Click on the Select Project dropdown arrow and scroll through the list for the project with the question you wish to map to. Let’s select the project Demographics (Census).

Now you can select the associated question.

Tip: Use the search boxes to quickly find your project and questions. Let’s select the question What is your age?

Manual mapping

Choose whichever response options you wish to map to your custom question responses.

In this example, we’re mapping the responses from people who are Under 18 in our custom question to the Under 18 responses in the question we selected to edit. Click Map Responses. Remember, if we want to map all the responses, we need to do this for each one. But, if you only wish to map responses from under-18s or over-50s, that's fine too.

The system will confirm the mapping has been done. You can edit the mapping or delete it at any time.


If you have a huge number of responses to map, you can auto-map questions.

How does this work? Instead of going through each and every response manually, the auto-mapping feature attempts to do the mapping for you by scanning the text responses for both questions and matching them.

To do this, go back to the question to which you want to link responses. Click the dropdown arrow for one of the response options (next to the Cog icon) and select Associate with another option.

Now, click Attempt auto-mapping.

After you click Attempt auto-mapping, the system will match as many questions as it can. You need to review the matches in case some haven’t been mapped. This could happen, for instance, if the creators of the questions typed similar but different responses, or didn't include a particular response. The system algorithm works on matching more than 50 percent of the text to avoid false positives.

In this example, the system managed to map all the responses except Over 75.

Unfortunately, you will have to map this response manually, but it still saves a lot of time if there are numerous response options.

Let’s take a look at how this works in practice. Go back to your question and click Add Question.

In the Create new question dialog, in the Demographic section, select a new Age question from the default questions.

Back on your questions page, you can scroll through your questions and confirm that the number of responses from your custom question is the same as the number from the default question.

We hope this helps you to get more insights from your data across all your surveys!

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