(1) High acceptance among the employees: “Open” questions are very important to many employees, because they can freely express their opinion on topics of their own choice without given response options and they can do so in their own writing style and the desired elaborateness. To them, but also to the company, “open” questions constitute a valuable addition to the otherwise “closed” main part of the questionnaire.

(2) Integration: The standard and special questionnaires by ISPA consult routinely contain one or more “open” questions (more on this under Products>online and print questionnaires).

(3) Challenge “Evaluation”: ISPA consult is a specialist for the evaluation of “open” questions from online and print surveys. The evaluation is relatively complex and requires special expertise and methodological skills. This is especially true for the visualised representation of the results.

For many years, we have been concerning ourselves with the most effective and most efficient evaluation of “open” questions from online and print questionnaires, always taking into consideration the increased requirement for anonymity protection, because the choice of topics and the individual writing style could hint at the identity of the individual participant. Among other things, the existing evaluation routines provide for:

  • Online transformation of handwritten expressions of opinion (in print surveys);
  • clearing the received texts from inadmissible assessments and naming of criticised superiors and  colleagues;
  • accurate attribution of the texts to the respective departments or evaluation units from which they originate;
  • attribution of the texts to one or more topics in the basic questionnaire;
  • aggregation of results and calculation of frequency counts;
  • preparation of results for presentation in the final report and, where applicable, in PowerPoint presentation of results with or without annotation.

The aggregated results from “open” questions can be visualised in various ways:

(1) as three-dimensional bar charts that show which topics were mentioned, their frequency, and their assessment (positive or negative, see fig.1)

(2) as spinmaps (see fig. 2)

(3) as word clouds (see fig. 3)

Fig.1: three-dimensional bar charts


Fig.2: Spinmap

Annotation: Most statements regarded the topics of „professional activity“ as well as “information und communication”.

Word cloud

Fig.3: Word cloud

Annotation: The bigger the word, the more frequently it was mentioned in the statements.