HIerarchies are tree-like structures, each one representing an aspect of the organization. Surveys are associated with hierarchies and reports allow summarization in every node of the existing hierarchies. This article outlines how to work with hierarchies.
Since hierarchies have a parent-children structure, it suits data analysis needs when you need to analyze answers considering these structures. These are some examples of hierarchies:
- Agents: when end customers interact with the company, in most cases they do that by talking with an employee. It might be a salesperson, a support agent, a customer service specialist, and so on. The hierarchy, in this case, would represent the company's organogram. Leaf nodes represent the agents and parent nodes may represent managers or departments.
- Geographic region: when a company has branches or stores in several places, it might be useful to organize information by region. Depending on the company size, the hierarchy could have the countries in which it operates at a higher level, followed by states, cities, and neighborhoods. Each company decides the granularity that best suits its needs. When using this hierarchy, leaf nodes may represent individual stores, while parent nodes may represent geographic regions.
- Products/services: some companies may want to organize their products or services in a tree-like structure in order to analyze data about them. For example, a household appliances manufacturer may want to have a parent node named Kitchen, followed by Refrigerators, Microwave Ovens, and Stoves. Then, each of these nodes might contain individual products.
Now you know what hierarchies are, check below how to do some related tasks:
- Specify which hierarchies will be used by a solution
- Import hierarchies
- Associate invitations with hierarchies
- Associate sessions (survey answers) with hierarchies
Specifying Which Hierarchies Will Be Used by a Solution
Surveys use the hierarchies that are specified at the solution level. To configure which hierarchies will be linked to a solution, follow these steps:
- Log in to the Survey Manager.
- Go to the Survey Library.
- Find the solution you want to edit, click Configuration Settings, and then Edit Solution.
- Each solution can have up to three hierarchies linked. Select the hierarchies you need:
- When you are done, click Save.
There are three ways of populating a hierarchy:
- Manual: this method is mainly used with hierarchies that rarely changes. For example, a geographic hierarchy that includes countries, states, and cities is a candidate for this type of population method.
- Hierarchy file: the hierarchy is maintained by using a file with the whole structure. Each time the hierarchy needs to be updated, the whole updated file will be imported to the SFTP server. An example of a hierarchy that would benefit from using a file is one that contains the stores. The list of stores is something that does not change often and it is easy to add or remove a store from the list.
- On the fly: hierarchies that are populated by this method start empty. The hierarchy structure is fully defined within the invitation records. Each invitation, when referencing a hierarchy, will provide the full structure from the leaf node it points to up to the top node. As invitations are imported, new branches are added and the hierarchy tree is built. In order to use this method, strict consistency among hierarchy references is crucial to avoid duplicate values due to spelling inconsistencies.
Associating Invitations with Hierarchies
It is possible to associate an invitation to hierarchy nodes when they are imported. When this is done, there is no need to make this association at response time (see Associating Sessions with Hierarchies).
Each customer has its own structure for importing invitations but among the invitation fields there will be some dedicated to linking the invitation with hierarchy nodes. If they are properly filled, the link will be created.
There may be cases when an invitation references a hierarchy node that does not exist. When this happens, the invitation is associated with a "Pending Validation" node that has "Unknown" at all parent levels. When a new hierarchy file is provided, these invitations associated with a "Pending Validation" node are reassigned to the proper node.
Associating Sessions with Hierarchies
Every response must be associated with at least one hierarchy. When the link between the invitation and the hierarchies is not sent along with the invitation, it must be determined at answering time. This can be done in several ways:
- Depending on the answer to a question.
- Depending on a combination of an answer to a question and some information in the invitation.
- Depending on a combination of answers to different questions.
In order to have this association working these ways, custom logic is needed. There is no out-of-the-box way of configuring a survey or solution to work like this.