What happens when I modify a questionnaire with existing responses?

Modified on Tue, 18 May 2021 at 09:03 AM

It is possible to modify a questionnaire even when responses have been submitted for that questionnaire. When doing so, you'll receive a message like this:

There are several valid reasons for modifying an existing questionnaire:

  • Typo in a question or section
  • Question is not clear and there are many requests for clarification
  • Re-ordering certain questions or sections
  • Re-phrasing a question
In any way you modify a questionnaire, when there are answers already collected, you run the risk of invalidating the responses. For instance, if you had a response for a rated question, with a value of 6 (Strongly Agree) and then you modify the question to mean something quite different, the response value might not make sense or could be completely invalid.

All of the following actions will not cause any of the data already collected to be deleted:
  • Modifying the contents of an existing question (using the edit button)
  • Moving a question from one section to another, or re-ordering the question within the same section
  • Adding a new question (although in this case, the responses already collected will have no responses for this new question)

Taking these risks into consideration, you can still make any sort of modification without losing responses.

Warning about deleting questions
In the case that you choose to delete a section or question with the delete button as shown below:

You will receive an additional warning as you will definitely be losing the data collected. Be careful when performing this operation on a survey with responses. There are still situations that you might consider OK in losing the information collected, but there could be cases where you might not want to remove a given question from a questionnaire that already has responses attached to it.

Best practices when using questionnaires 

Please keep in mind the best practices when using questionnaires.  Using different questionnaires will not allow you to use the comparison functionality of the application, as explained in this article.

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