How to Set Up Independent Sample Quotas

Quota Controls (or quota management as it is sometimes called) in online surveys allow the survey programmer to control the number of respondents who complete the survey specified demographics and other criteria.

For more information on types of Sample Quotas and how they are used, read the article
Survey Quota Controls.

This How to Guide covers how to set up Independent Sample Quotas. Please also see How to Guide on
Monitoring and Amending Sample Quotas.
Example of Independent Quotas
An example of Independent Quotas is controlling sample to ensure that it is representative of a national population by age and gender. The example below assumes a national population by target to for a total of 400 interviews. 


% Target Population

Number Necessary

18 - 34



35 - 54












How to Set Up Independent Sample Quotas
Step 1: Create Source Questions for Quotas
First ensure you have relevant questions set up which will be used to create sample quotas.
Make sure the question has been set as mandatory and launch the survey first before setting up the quotas.
You can use the following types of Source Question:
  • Demographic Question (Age and Gender)
  • Qualifying Question
  • Choice (Single Choice)
  • Drop down
Age and Gender Quotas can be set from the preset Demographic Questions, or can be created from additional demographic questions (such as region) programmed in the main questionnaire. All other quotas can be set from relevant questions set in the main questionnaire.

If an archive or template questionnaire is used which features quotas, it is necessary to reset quotas.
If a question is edited then it is also necessary to set up a new quota or edit it after the source question has been edited.

Independent Quotas function independently. That means survey responses are checked against quotas in sequence. For example, Q1 and Q2 have set quota limits then the quota limit will be checked for Q1 first, and if successful, then it will be checked for Q2. If the quota limit is a fail for Q1, then the Quota limit will not be checked for Q2.

Sample Quotas should only be set up for the folliowing sample sources:
• Other Sample (e.g. for surveys posted on websites, social media, by external email invitation or via external research panels, not including Online Panel Access)
• Own Sample (e.g. for surveys sent via Surveygoo email system to own database)
Surveys sent via Online Panel Access does not support Quota Controls. The quotas can be set up but controls are not applied on responses received via Online Panel Access. 
Step 2: Set Up Quotas for Age & Gender
When you are ready to set up Independent Quotas, make sure the survey has been launched first.
The Quota Control function can be accessed from both the Active Surveys area in the main Dashboard, and from the My Surveys page.
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1) Add New Quota
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Click on the Quota Set icon to add new Sample Quotas. Note the Quota Set  is the Cog Wheel/Gear icon.
2) Set Sample Quota Title
To give the new quota a name, click on the Add New Sample Quota link/icon marked with a plus sign, which is at the top of the page.
sample quota controls surveygoo
A pop up box appears with two fields to add/modify.
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Complete following fields:
Enter Your Sample Quota Title: e.g. Demographics. This can refer to a group of quotas rather than an individual quota. For example, we can name it "Demographics" as a general description and set up two separate quotas for age and gender which appear under the quota group, "Demographics".
Enter Your Quota Over Limit Message: This is the message that the respondent will see if the quota has been exceeded and screened out of the survey. The default message, as seen above can be modified, by typing in the text box. 
Click the Save button when ready.
3) Create Specific Quotas
To create a specific quota within the Quota Groups, look for the Quota Title (in this case "Demographic")  in the Sample Control page, and then click on the plus icon (white cross on green button).
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4) Set Demographic Quota
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Click on the Demographic questions banner.
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Choose either gender or age from the preset demographic settings. In this example, we have chosen gender. The quota set up box appears for gender. The pre set options are Male and Female. 
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Enter the number of male and female respondents required, then click on the Done button.
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In our example, we have set 40 males and 60 females for a total of 100 completions. This assumes that we have set 100 completions as our total number of interviews required.
5) Confirmation of Quotas Created
The newly created quota will appear under the relevant Sample Quota Title in the Sample Quota page.
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The progress bar icon indicates that the quota has been set. You can delete or edit a quota at any time from the Sample Quota Control page.
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The same procedure as above should be followed to set up Age quotas.
Step 3: Set up Quotas for Other Questions
1) Set Up Quota Title
Click on the Add New Sample Quota link/icon, and provide a relevant description (e.g. Supermarket brand).
2) Set Quota
Click on the plus icon for the Supernarket brand from Sample Quota Titles listed.
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3) Select Question
Click on page and then choose the relevant question to set the quota. In this example, Q1.
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4) Set Quota Number
Set quotas for each response option in the question. Enter the maximum number of responses required for the question. For example, if out of a total of 100 responses, we required 20 for Sainsbury and 10 for Waitrose, set the numbers for each option, making sure in total they add up to 100. Note 0 means unlimited responses.
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In this example, the question has options for None of the above and Don't Know. It is unusual to set up quotas for don't know and none of the above, although it is technically possible. If these options are not to be included in the quotas, delete the options from the question, then set up the quota again. Alternatively, if we want to include these as legitimate survey responses, we can set up routing instructions to screenout respondents who indicated none of the above or don't know. In the quota setting, we would then set 0 for both answer options, but since respondents will be screened out if they indicate either of these two options, it will not effect the quotas.

Click the Done button when the quota limits have been set.
Step 4: Modify Quotas After Surveys have been Launched
You can modify any quota after a survey has been launched. Click on the pencil icon in the Sample Quota Control.
Note you can increase or decrease a quota setting after launch, but if a sample number has alread been achieved, setting a new quota below the number already achieved would not be valid.

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