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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2019-09-05T15:01:47-07:00

Have a question about PARTNER or Visible Network Labs? 

 

You are in the right place!

 

We’ve broken up the most frequently asked questions into a few different sections based on the different aspects of PARTNER.

 

If you do not see your question below, send us an email at partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com.

 

Q: Is there a cost involved in using PARTNER?

A: You have access to the data uploader, data visualizer, our recorded webinars and demos, and access to the community forum for free. Every user has access to one free survey builder survey and access the Social Determinants of Health survey with the PCN App for three respondents. To purchase the survey builder ($50/survey), respondents for the PCN App ($40/20 respondents), data dashboards ($15/month) and reports ($5 an image). 

 

Purchase items here: https://visiblenetworklabs.com/pricing/If you have specific pricing questions, please feel free to contact the PARTNER team at partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com. We will be happy to talk to you about your specific pricing questions.

 

Disclaimer: The fee charged is to get access to use PARTNER. No additional TA is provided except the consult provided in your subscription or assistance with technical issues related to using PARTNER (for example, but not limited to, user/respondent log in issues, respondent upload issues, survey functioning issues, data upload issues, etc.). For any additional TA requested by the user, standard hourly rates apply, email partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com for more information.

 

Q: If we wanted specific technical support from the Visible Network Labs team can we pay for those expert services?

A: Yes, email partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com to get a quote for specific TA services.

Technical Support Services include: Hourly TA-Implementing PARTNER, Hourly TA-Quality Improvement, 1.5 hour Online Webinar for your group, In-Person ½ Day Training, In-Person Full Day Training, Administering the PARTNER survey. If you have other specific needs, please email the PARTNER team at partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com to discuss.

 

Q: Can we hire the Visible Network Labs team to do our evaluation for us?

A: Yes, you can hire the Visible Network Labs team to implement PARTNER in your Community (start to finish). Please email partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com to for more information on scoping out the project and related work.

 

Q: Where can I find Visible Networks Lab’s policies around user agreements, privacy, and security?

A: Yes, you can find our End User License Agreement here, our privacy policy here and our security policy here.

 

Q: We paid to attend an in-person training, but can no longer attend, can I get a refund?

A: If you cancel your registration at least three weeks before the event, $50 will be deducted from your refund amount to cover processing fees. If you cancel your registration within three weeks of the event, $150 will be deducted from your refund amount to cover administrative and deposit costs. You must submit your cancellation notice via email to learning@visiblenetworklabs.com.

 

Q: We paid to attend an in-person training, but can no longer attend, can I transfer my registration to someone else?

A: Yes, you can transfer your registration to someone else. Send a registration transfer notice via email to learning@visiblenetworklabs.com.

Q: Is there a way to change the manager of the account?

A: Yes, you can change the manager information under Update Profile within Project Manager. You will not be able to change the email associated with that account here only the information within the profile. If you need to close your account and transfer surveys or data into another account to another please email partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com.  

 

Q: How can I change or reset my password?

A:  You can change the password under Account Settings within Project Manager. You can also reset your password here or email us at partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com and we can reset the password for you.

 

Q: How can I set my PIN for the PCN App?

A:  You can add the PIN for the PCN App under Account Settings within Project Manager.

 

Q: I have tried logging in, but my password is not accepted, what can I do?

A: Make sure that you have verified your email address by confirming the email sent to you after you registered on the platform. If you cannot find that email or have verified the email and it still will not let you log in email us at partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com. Also try resetting password your here.

 

Q: During this preliminary study phase we do not plan to utilize the robust capabilities of the platform. Is this permissible and do you foresee any issues with this approach? 

A: You should feel free to use whatever portion of PARTNER that will help you in your project. When people have used the PARTNER Default Survey for research, or parts of it, we only ask that you cite PARTNER in anything you present or publish and/or explicitly mention that you used parts of the PARTNER survey in your manuscript (this contributes to the validation of the tool and allows our funders to understand how people are using it).

 

Q: How do I cite the PARTNER Platform?

A: Visible Network Labs. PARTNER (Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships). ©Visible Network Labs 2018, accessed athttps://www.visiblenetworklabs.com/partnertool/.

 

Q: Is there a list of publications authored by the Visible Network Labs team?

A: Under publications there list of all the peer-reviewed publications authored by the Visible Network Labs team.

 

Q: Is the PARTNER Platform compatible with all web browsers?

A: The PARTNER Platform is compatible with most web browsers including: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. The PARTNER Platform is NOT compatible with Internet Explorer or Mozilla. Please email partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com for options for the respondents who cannot access a compatible browser.

Q: I am part of a Collaborative/Network/Coalition.  Would the PARTNER Survey and Analysis Tool be appropriate for assessing the network’s effectiveness? 

A: PARTNER is a great tool to measure a network’s effectiveness.  The first set of questions  within the default survey ask respondents to reflect on the network and then next set of questions ask respondents to select their specific partners within the network and answer 8 questions about those relationships. PARTNER can be used as a baseline and can be re-administered easily for a multiple points in time. You can introduce PARTNER at a network meeting, getting buy-in and letting people know when to expect a survey. See our 2 pager and our methods brief on PARTNER: A Tool for Measuring Network Effectiveness which can be helpful to give your members an idea of what PARTNER can measure. This webinar will give you an overview of all you’ll need to know to get started on the tool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E48V_i5D0M8&feature=youtu.be.  And you can also view our pre-recorded demo from September 2015 here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsmT2J59Y0w.

 

Q: Has PARTNER been used to conduct community needs assessments?

A: Yes, you can easily include any CHNA questions in the PARTNER survey, and also use the network data to assess needs, if you wanted to use it that way.  And our roots in building PARTNER was in mapping systems within communities so that has become a pretty common way we use the tool.

 

Q: Can I use PARTNER if we are just forming as a network?

A: Yes, this is a great time to use PARTNER to help with strategizing. You can use your data as a benchmark for any future evaluation. You do not have to be a formal network to use PARTNER.

 

Q: It seems like some of the default survey questions are not applicable at baseline. To what degree can these be removed/eliminated? 

A: We recommend not removing those questions but instead asking about the potential people can contribute resources or what outcomes they expect can be achieved. When you modify the language to capture expectations or potential then you can use that data as a baseline when you capture new data about the network at other points in time. When you go to measure the network again you can report back on if those expectations were met. A lot of users use the survey in this way to gather baseline data and use that data to compare with their Time 2 data to show what has changed over time.

 

 Q: Can PARTNER be used for other domains outside of Public Health or is PARTNER public health specific?

A: PARTNER is not public health specific. It can be used in any context. The default PARTNER survey questions work best for community collaboratives, but some people also use it to collect information on individual connections. If you have specific questions if PARTNER is the right fit email: partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com.

 

Q: Can PARTNER be used to evaluate ego centric networks?

A: The Survey Builder measures whole networks and the PCN App measures ego centric networks.

 

Q: Can I use PARTNER to evaluate relationships within my organization?

A: Yes. There might be a few things that are different for using PARTNER within an organization that might make some of the survey questions different, and we can help you think that through. Just send us an email at partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com.

 

Q: Is PARTNER used only by individual coalition/networks or can it be used on a national level to analyze the data from multiple networks?

A: Yes, you can use PARTNER with one network or with multiple networks across a region, country, or world. We have experience analyzing data across multiple networks for different projects we have worked on. If you are going to be analyzing multiple networks email us at partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com so we can talk about different templates available for purchase to analyze across sites.

 

Q: What is the estimated number of hours that will be required by my team to use PARTNER start to finish for an evaluation project?

A: Different agencies have a wide variety of experiences in terms of how much time it takes. We have some PARTNER users who have a very good understanding of who is in their network and what topics they want to evaluate, others have more thinking and planning to do before they can get started on the Platform. These aspects could have a big impact on how much time would be involved. The actual PARTNER Survey Builder data collection and Data Dashboards are designed to be quick and simple for the user. Once the preparation (e.g. identifying respondents and customizing questions) is complete, the next few steps should take less than an hour to complete. The planning and preparation are the most time consuming pieces. We typically open surveys for a period of 2 weeks, then follow that up with a one week extension. Once you have data collected, you can immediately analyze it and visualize it in the dashboards (included in all subscriptions*)

 

*You will need a subscription to view your date in the Data Dashboards.

 

Q: Do we need to go through an IRB to use PARTNER?

A: Educational intuitions wanting to use PARTNER typically go through their institution’s IRB process. In the past we used IRB on our projects that we wanted to publish about after the evaluation because those were treated more as a research project. When we went through IRB, we typically received exemption every time as quality improvement and the subjects are organizations and not people  .  

 

Q: I understand that there is a disclaimer that this survey is ‘low risk’ for respondents.  How have you felt that participants responded to the question about partners’ reliability, power/influence, and the other trust and value questions?

A: Yes, PARTNER is considered “low risk” for respondents. We have not had any issues for the reliability question, power/influence question, or any of the trust/value questions.  Since PARTNER is mainly used for organizational networks, answering those questions is not as personal as answering about a specific person. The only time we got feedback about these questions is when one of our users put last names with the organization name, for example Visible Network Labs-Sprong vs. just Visible Network Labs. That user reported to us that their respondents did feel a little uncomfortable answering those questions about specific people.

 

Q: Do you have any resources I can share with my committee to demonstrate PARTNER and what the tool can do?

A: On the PARTNER website under the “Resources” tab you will find a PARTNER tool brief which is a 2-page document on the Survey Builder. You can also run the simulation (also found under “Resources”) or have them play around with the Sandbox Data.

 

Q: Do you provide demos on the use of PARTNER?

A: Yes we offer LIVE demos and in person trainings frequently and the schedule of those is posted on the website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and LinkedIn page. You can request a private demonstration either online or in person for your team just email us at partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com.

Q: Is the PARTNER Platform compatible with all web browsers?

A: The PARTNER Platform is compatible with most web browsers including: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. The PARTNER Platform is NOT compatible with Internet Explorer or Mozilla but will be coming in the next few months.  An option for the respondents who cannot access a compatible browser is to give them a paper survey to fill out. Once the respondent(s) sends you their paper survey back, log in as that respondent and transfer their responses online. To get to a paper version of your survey, go to the Print Friendly View when you are in the survey customizer window. Print that survey and send to your respondents who need a paper version.

 

Q: Can I use snowball sampling with the PARTNER tool?

A: No, you cannot use snowball sampling or other name generator surveys with PARTNER Survey Builder or PCN App. PARTNER’s Survey Builder and PCN App only use a bounded list. This requires that you have a list of the people you want to survey before you collect data. You can include an open-ended question at the end of your survey that asks people to list partners that were missing in the survey, but that would not allow you to ask all the relational questions about those added partners. Adding this type of question can inform which partners were missing from your survey, should you decide to do it again in the future. When/if you go to re-administer the survey be sure to include those that were named by respondents and analyze how the network has grown over that time.

 

Q: Is there a way to a supplemental list and have respondents choose from that list instead of the respondent list?

A: No, PARTNER is not set up to analyze a bi-modal network analysis. PARTNER utilizes a bounded network list provided by the network manager before survey launch.

 

Q: How can I pilot my survey before sending to my respondents?

A: You get a practice survey in your account.  We use that to send the survey out to a test group and have them pilot the survey questions before launch.  If they have feedback on question wording or response options, you can make those changes and then send out the actual survey with those changes. 

 

Q: How can we close a survey once we have gathered our responses?

A: The survey never officially closes, and you can download your data and or analyze it in the Data Dashboards at any point after you have launched your survey. We do recommend that you give respondents a deadline so they’ll complete it in time, if you’d like to tell them it will close by a certain date that is okay.

 

Q: How do I rename my survey?

A: You can change the name of your survey at any time. There is a button “Rename Network” on the Survey Builder Homepage to the right of the current survey name.

 

Q: Can I use the PARTNER Survey Builder/PCN App more than once?

A: Yes, you can use the PARTNER Survey or the PCN App to collect data as many times as you desire. Simply wait add additional surveys/respondents into your account.

 

Q: I want to send a second iteration of the same survey out; may I just resend my same survey, or do I have to copy and paste into a new project and upload the same respondent list from the first administration?

A: You will have to upload a “new” respondent list into an unused project. Even if all the organizations and contacts remain the same. Next you can easily transfer the previous survey into that current project simply by selecting the name of the survey you want to use in the dropdown under Select Survey to Use. There you can select which survey you would like to copy into this project. Then click ok to confirm your transfer.

Q: Who should I include in the Respondent Information Worksheet?

A: The organizations, agencies, departments, programs, and initiatives you choose to include as you bound your network will be the entities that will show up in the network maps representing the system in your community or state, and the specific contacts at each organization will be the ones who are responding to the survey answering on behalf of their organization. You will want to include specific contacts who have “sat at the table” and can answer the survey which could include questions around the network itself, as well as questions about the specific partnerships their organization maintains with other organizations in the network. There may be some organizations for whom you do not already have an established contact possessing the high-level perspective needed to participate in the survey on behalf of their organization. Should cases like this arise, seek input from your partners on the best-suited individual from those organizations to participate. If there is no contact, you don’t have to send the survey to everyone. You can assign your name and email address to those organizations without a specific contact.

 

Q: Do I have to fill out all the columns in the Respondent Information Worksheet?

A: At a minimum, you will need to include at least organization name, map label name, org group type, first name, last name, and email (Columns A-F). Address, country, city, state/province, postal code, organization sector, and primary org function (Columns H-N) are not required to send a survey but will be required to access certain functionality coming soon in our Dashboards. For example, GIS mapping is a feature coming soon and that requires an address from each organization.

 

Q: Can I list more than one representative from the same organization or list the organization multiple times in the respondent list?

A: If multiple people from an organization are members of the network, choose one person who will best represent that organization to include as the survey respondent. DO NOT duplicate organization names (long names or map label names). If you have more than one contact within the same organization or more than one person from the same entity, you will need to distinguish their organization name so that respondents to the survey will can make a distinction between them on a list. An option is to list an organization and include different programs/departments within the organization as different entries.

 

Think about if the multiple contacts represent the organization the SAME way at the table to other network partners or if they represent the organization in UNIQUE ways at the table. It is also important to note that each organization listed becomes its own node in the network maps. For example, Hospital A has two contacts at the table, one represents Emergency Services and one represents Administration. Those contacts are representing the Hospital in unique ways and should show up as separate nodes for Hospital A because network partners connect to them differently. If the contacts are representing the Hospital in the same way at the table, then the hospital should only be one node in the network maps because partners connect to those contacts the same.

The map label name should be as concise as possible to make the network graph legible (approximately 2-5 characters). Should it better serve your purposes, you may want to discretely code these map label names in order to maintain anonymity of the respondents in the network maps. Alternatively, you may prefer to utilize established and well-known acronyms for the various organizations, so they may be easily recognizable in the map visuals included in your report.  

 

Tip: Do not include multiple people from the same organization, but rather have them work together to answer the survey. If you do include multiple contacts from the same organization, you will need to add a department or a title at the end of the organization name and map label name because PARTNER will not accept redundant names (e.g., Child Learning Center-Director (CLC:D) and Child Learning Center: Teacher (CLC:T)).

 

Q: Why do I need to assign an organization group type to each respondent?

A: You need to fill in an org group type for each respondent even if it is the same grouping for each. The system needs to know how to define the organizations in the network visualizations. You can have up to 13 groups maximum, used to identify a “characteristic” or “attribute” for each organization/individual. The org group type should be chosen based on what makes sense to each network. For example, you can define groups based on type of agency (e.g. health care, faith based, business), a workgroup or type of role in the network (e.g. outreach committee, data committee), or even by another characteristic like size of budget (e.g. low, medium, high) or region served. To define groups, decide on group categories and then type the group type name for each organization/individual in the “Org Group Type” column (Column C) in the respondent information worksheet.

 

Q: Is there a minimum number of respondents needed to effectively use the instrument? Are there a maximum number of respondents that can be included?

A: While there is no minimum number of respondents, for the study to be considered a network analysis over a dyad analysis is you have to have at least 3 members. Small networks (3-5 organizations) could be too few to do the analysis in terms of learning things that the group doesn’t already know, but the bigger concern is that you are unlikely to see any variance in the relationships. That said, it might be worth it to administer the survey and see if you do see any differences or learn something new. 

 

While there is not necessarily a limit on the number of respondents you include, having a large list can create burden on your respondents when they answer relational questions, because they will have to answer each of those questions for every organization, they choose in the Network Member Selection question. We have had managers upload lists of up to 200 respondents, but we have not had much experience collecting data via a survey with networks larger than that. We don’t recommend much more than 100 respondents or things become unmanageable in the analysis.

 

Q: Can I upload more respondents after I’ve loaded my initial list?

A: Yes, you can add respondents at any time. We recommend add the new respondents to a clean, unused Respondent Information Worksheet. You can also add respondents online under Step 1: Enter Respondent (Network Members) Information; Edit Respondent Information. Then click Add Respondent.

*Note: Before you send out your survey invitations make sure that you have all respondents uploaded.

 

Q: If we have defined our bounded network, but are not yet sure of the contacts per organization, can we just preload the organizations in and then periodically add the respondents in? And, can we send the survey on a staggered basis?

A: We recommend doing it all at once (uploading a completed list and then sending out) just because sometimes doing multiple edits can create issues. And, methodologically it is not ok to send the invite email staggered, unless you have the full list of organizations already in it. You just want to be sure that you give everyone the opportunity to answer all questions about everyone. To be sure it works as it should, we recommend holding off sending survey invites until you have a complete respondent list loaded online.

 

Q: When I upload my respondent list, I get the following error message: “Validation failed: orgs already exist”, what does that mean?

A: This means that you are trying to upload respondents with the same organization name or the same map label name. The system will not accept redundant organization or map label names. You will need to modify your respondent list so that you are either using one contact per organization or you are differentiating by program/department/name, etc. in the organization name and map label name. Other common errors include not all the required columns were filled in, or specific values in the Country, Org Sector, and Primary Org Function columns were not used.

 

Q: My respondent list is not uploading correctly; I am not sure what is happening?

A: When you go to upload your list, you are taken to a screen that shows all the information in the respondent list and asks you to submit. If the information doesn’t look right on that screen click your back button. Go back to the file you uploaded and make any corrections and upload it again. Once it all looks the way it should on that screen click submit then. Also make sure you are using the most updated Respondent Information Worksheet provided on your project home screen within the platform or on the resources page.

 

Q: Our respondent list changed and there are individuals I do not want to send the survey to. Can I delete them after they have been uploaded? Can I delete them after the survey invite has gone out?

A: Yes, you can delete a respondent at any point once they have been created. Just remember, if you delete an organization that has data associated with it, you will also be deleting that data completely from our database.

 

Q: Can I add new organizations after I send the survey to the network members?

A: We recommend not adding organizations after you have sent the survey invitation to network members and some have started to respond. You just want to be sure that you give everyone the opportunity to answer all questions about everyone. If you need to add an organization, you can add them, send their invite and reach out to those who have submitted their survey to inform them of the new addition(s). You would need those respondents to log back in and complete any relational questions about the additional organization(s) if they partner with them.

*Note: Be sure your respondent list is complete and accurate before you send out the survey to network members to avoid any issues.

Q: How do I transfer a survey from one of my projects to another one of my projects?

A: Under Step 2: Modify Survey, simply select the name of the survey you want to use in the dropdown under Select Survey to Use. There you can select which survey you would like to copy into this project.

 

Q: Where can I find information on how the PARTNER default survey questions were developed?

A: Under publications there list of all the peer-reviewed publications authored by the Visible Network Labs team. Specially, The Core Dimensions of Connectivity in Public Health Collaboratives and Data-Driven Management Strategies in Public

Health Collaboratives are useful articles to highlight information on the PARTNER default survey questions. There are also other useful articles on networks here.

 

Q: Is the PARTNER default survey modifiable?

A: Yes, you can completely modify the PARTNER default survey or create a survey from scratch. If you modify the PARTNER default survey beyond text changes to questions or response options, the data export will no longer be able to load into the PARTNER Legacy Tool. If you want to use the legacy tool in Excel, you cannot delete any question before Q19 and can only modify the question/response text for questions.

 

Q: How can I delete a question in my survey?

A: You can delete a question in the survey by clicking on the little trash can icon on the bottom right within the question box located next to the copy question icon.

 

Q: How can I move a question in my survey?

A: You can move a question in the survey by clicking and holding the six dots located in the middle top of the question box.

 

Q: How can I copy a question in my survey?

A: You can copy a question in the survey by clicking on the little copy icon on the bottom right within the question box located next to the trash can icon.

 

Q: Can I add a text box to a response option? For example: Other, please specify_________

A: There not a way to add a text box to any response option. You can still include “Other” as a response option, then ask an open-ended question immediately following asking: “If you selected “Other” in the previous questions, please explain or specify your answer here. If you did not select other, please click Next Question and move on to the next question.

Q: I sent out my invites to take the survey and noticed that I had the wrong email address for some of the participants, I updated the information, but how can I send out the survey to them at the new email address?

A: Unfortunately, once the invites have been released there is no way to re-create a new one. There are three options to get the user the information they need to take they survey: 1) We recommend you CC yourself on all emails going out so you can easily forward any survey emails to respondents. 2) You can send this individual the same text you used in your invitation from your own personal email account and you can provide them with their personalized login link (which is under %Check Response Rate or in Edit Respondent Information). 3) You can send this respondent a “reminder” email with the text you used in your invitation and include this syntax: %login_url for a link that automatically logs respondents into the survey.

 

Q: Do I have to send all my emails from the PARTNER Tool?

A: No. You can send emails to your respondents from your own email by doing a mail merge. Microsoft word along with Outlook and other programs have mail merge features. Using this function, you can send everyone an email with their personalized login link. You can find the login link for each respondent under “Edit Respondent information” or in %Check Response Rate. Download our PARTNER Mail Merge Instructions.

 

Q: Is there a way to see who has not responded to the survey? Can I send reminder emails to each respondent or can I only send it to only those who haven’t responded?

A: Yes, you can see who has not responded under %Check Response Rate under “Step 2: Modify Survey”. Here you can see who has submitted their survey and what percent of the survey they completed. You can also find this information under “Step 3: Send E-Mails to Respondents”, click Send Emails and then click Reminder Email. Here you can also see the status and completion rate of each respondent’s survey. In the Select column you can check any person you want to send the reminder to, but there will not be an option to include respondents who have already submitted their surveys.

The reminder email will not give the respondents their password like the invite did, but there is a way you can include the link for respondents by adding %login_url to your reminder message.

 

Q: How many reminder emails should I send?

A: The Dillman method1 suggests that you can send email reminders up to six times. We recommend that if you know your respondents to use your best judgment. A phone call reminder can also be an effective way to notify some respondents. The best way to encourage people to respond is to emphasize how important their input is to the final evaluation of the network. Sometimes offering an incentive will help encourage participation (does not always have to be a monetary incentive). For example, we will often develop a one page summary of the data we collect to let users know how their answers were analyzed and used in practice. We recommend the following schedule for sending emails.

 

We send the introduction email on a Friday and follow that up with the invitation email on a Monday saying the survey will close after two business weeks. Then over the course of those weeks we send a series of a few reminder emails. On the survey close date, we send a survey extension email saying, “You’re in luck, the survey deadline has been extended by one week!”.

 

We then send two more reminder emails that third week and make a final decision on whether to keep the survey open based on the response rate. If we feel the response rate is still too low, we may do personalized follow up phone calls with respondents who have not submitted their survey.

 

The best way to encourage people to respond is to emphasize how important their input is to the final evaluation of the network. Sometimes offering an incentive will help encourage participation (does not always have to be a monetary incentive). For example, we will often develop a one page summary of the data we collect to let users know how their answers were analyzed and used in practice.

 

1 Hoddinott, Susan N. and Martin J. Bass. (1986). The Dillman total design survey method. Can Fam Physician, 32: 2366–2368.

 

Q: I had people reply to the reminder email that they did not receive the original email. Did something happen to their invite?

A: Most likely their organization has a firewall and the invite message went to their SPAM or Junk Mail folder. You can have them look for the email there or you can send them their personalized login link in an email from your personal/work account.  There is no way to avoid or know if the invite email will go to someone’s SPAM folder. You can send an introduction email to respondents from outside the system to give them the heads up that the invite will be on the way in a couple days and for them to look in their SPAM folders if it does not show up in their inbox. We also recommend you CC yourself on all emails you send from the system so you can easily forward those messages on respondents who did not get the email.

Q: Are respondents able to take a break from the survey and sign-in again to pick up where they left off? Can the respondent break it up and answer in more than one session?

A: Yes, respondents can stop at any point and go back in to finish later. They can log in again with the link sent to them. It will ask prompt them to “start” the survey again but can easily skip ahead to the question they left off at without any issue of overriding their previous responses.

 

Q: Some of my respondents do not have access to a computer or are having trouble accessing the survey. Can I issue them a paper survey?

A: An option for the respondents who cannot access a computer, or the survey is to give them a paper survey to fill out. Once the respondent(s) sends you their paper survey back, log in as that respondent and transfer their responses online. To get to a paper version of your survey, go to the Print Friendly View when you are in the survey customizer window. Print that survey and send to your respondents who need a paper version.

 

Q: Is the PARTNER Survey compatible with all web browsers?

A: The PARTNER Platform is compatible with most web browsers including: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. The PARTNER Platform is NOT compatible with Internet Explorer or Mozilla but will be coming in the next few months.  An option for the respondents who cannot access a compatible browser is to give them a paper survey to fill out. Once the respondent(s) sends you their paper survey back, log in as that respondent and transfer their responses online. To get to a paper version of your survey, go to the Print Friendly View when you are in the survey customizer window. Print that survey and send to your respondents who need a paper version.

 

Q: I have a respondent who is reporting an issue accessing the survey via the link or that the survey is kicking them out/the system is timing out?

A: The first thing to do is check if the link works for you or if you can access the survey. If you are able to login as this respondent and click through the survey the issue is most likely an internet stability issue with the respondents’ browser. I would recommend that user try to access the survey at a different point in time or with another more stable internet connection (if they continue to get kicked out). If you are encountering the same issue as the respondent, please send us a detailed email with information about the issue to partnertool@visiblenetworklabs.com.

 

Q: My respondent encountered an error part way through taking the survey. Do they have to start from the beginning?

A: The system saves answers until the respondent leaves it. They can log in again with the link sent to them. It will prompt them to “start” the survey again, but they can easily skip ahead to the question they left off at without any issue of overriding their previous responses

 

Q: Respondents are reporting that their organization is not showing up in their list of network partners, how can I reassure them their organization is included in the list?

A: Respondents cannot see their organization listed in the network members selection question because they are representing that organization in the survey currently. Methodologically a respondent cannot choose their own organization as a partner and proceed to rate themselves. You can assure the respondent that other respondents see their organization listed. You can let them know that the survey uses a bounded network approach. So, since they received the survey, their organization is listed within this bounded network.

 

Q: What type of response rate do I need for an accurate reflection of my network?

A: The higher the response rate the better. It is important to have as many respondents as possible, particularly in evaluating a network. However, at times it is just not possible to get a 100% response rate so there are a few things you can keep in mind. Managers rarely get 100% response rate, but the closer you can get to that, the better. If you get at least 60% response rate you can feel good about it and 80% or more is really the best. What we’ve seen in the literature is that 75% or higher is really the best but sometimes that’s not realistic for managers.

 

If we consider each person as providing accurate information, then you might assume that even those that did not respond would have reported similar relationships, so there is a chance that you get a pretty complete picture even without everyone’s responses. Also, keep in mind that whatever feedback you get is more than they had before. Ultimately, this can be a problem with all survey research and a particular problem with social network surveys and therefore response rate should be reported (perhaps as a strength or a limitation) when reporting the results. We recommend reporting initial findings back to your network at various intervals as a method to encourage them to participate.

Q: Now I have data, what do I do next?

A: To begin analyzing your data go to the Data Dashboards (available with an active subscription) and begin visualizing your data. Within the Data Dashboard, select the question in the dropdown under “Pick which question you want to visualize/analyze”. Single choice and multiple choice questions will show up as either a bar, column, or pie chart. Open-ended questions show up in a table. Relational questions show up as network maps. You can layer on the responses from single and multiple choice questions on top of a network map.

 

PARTNER network data are meant to be used as a Quality Improvement process, focused on strategic planning (to steer decision-making). To do this you will need to identify your goals (plan), implement your collaborative activities (do), gather PARTNER data (study), and develop action steps to get you from where you “are” to where your goals indicate you “should be” (act). For further resources, see this article on Data Driven Management Strategies (Varda, 2011).

 

Q: Can we roll up/combine the data from multiple respondents into one node?

A: There is not a way to combine nodes into one because if Org A selected the same partners as Org B, but rated those partners differently than Org B, you cannot average the score for frequency, type of activities, trust and value.  You can do maps of only specific groups which will cut down the number of nodes in the map, but not a way to combine nodes into one. 

 

Q: How do I save a visualization in the Data Dashboards?

A: Once you have visualized a data point, click on the +  sign that visualization will be added to the purple bar below the dashboard screen. You can move items from this saved area into the Report Builder area to the right.  

 

Q: How do I get all my nodes to show in the maps, some are off screen?

A: Go into Map Controls Section of popup box once you select to draw maps.

Make these changes:

1) Change the Force to a smaller digit. Start by dropping to 3000, did that help? If not, keep going smaller.

2) Click to enable Move/Zoom Controls. This then allows you to use the + and – or your mouse toggle to zoom in and out. You can place your mouse over the map, click,  and move it more center if you would like.

3) Click the Show Isolated Nodes? Off, so that you are NOT showing isolates (which in your network will be a lot-this will make the map look cleaner and easier to see the connections between).

4) Under Attributes: you can change the color to show by group which then showing Members and Survey Respondents.

 

Q: I can’t get the legacy analysis tool to work, is there something wrong with the version I have?

A: Try enabling the macros in the analysis tool excel file. There should be an “Options” button that automatically appears, click the button and choose “Enable Macros”. Also be sure that you are trying to upload data from a modified PARTNER default survey, create your own surveys will not load into the legacy PARTNER Tool.

 

Q: I am trying to analyze my data in the PARTNER Tool in Excel and continue to get a run-time error, how can I get around this error message?

A: Go into the OrgInfo tab and the Data2 tab and delete any text from Column D. This column corresponds to the data for Q3 which requires a numerical response and no text. You should not have any more error messages once that is complete.

 

Q: Is completed survey data available for export so I can import into other tools like; SPSS, UCINET or GEPHI?

A: Yes, you can turn the dyad data into an edge list and then import it into UCINET, GEPHI or other tools. We have also used PARTNER data in SPSS.

 

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