How to Set Up Answer Piping

Answer piping is a common technique in online surveys. The idea is to pass on answers from a previous question into the wording of subsequent questions. Question piping is whereby answers are piped into the wording of the question title, whereas Answer piping is whereby answers are piped into the answer codes of questions. Both types of piping aids the flow of a questionnaire and improves the precision of questions.

This How to Guide covers Answer Piping. Please also see the How to Guide on Question Piping.
Example of Answer Piping
Here is an example of answer piping:
answer piping surveygoo
The next question on another page, or later on in the survey, we may ask:
Q2. Which brand of mobile phone [Q1] do you currently use?
If the respondent selected Samsung and Iphone as the brands of mobile phones they are aware of, then these options would be piped through to Q2, where the respondent is then asked to choose which of these brands they use.
How to Set Up Answer Piping
Step 1: Create Source Question
Ensure you have a relevant question set up on a page which will be used as the "source" of
the question piping (e.g. where an answer will be piped from). Make sure the question is set
to mandatory.
You can use the following types of Source Question:
  • Choice (Single and Mulitiple Choice)
  • Open end textbox
  • Open end single text box (not numerical)
  • Drop down
Piping will not be available on the first page, and the same question will not be available for
piping on a single page, but can be used on subsequent pages.
Step 2: Set Up Piped (Target) Question
When you are ready to set up a piped question, make sure that the question appears on a page
following the source question (e.g. if the source question is on page 1, the next question which
pipes from page 1 will need to appear on page 2, or any other subsequent page  number after page 1).
You can use the following question types for the Target Question:1
  • Choice (Single, not Mulitiple Choice)
  • Drag and Drop (Single and Multiple)
  • Matrix (Single and Multpiple)
  • Multiple textbox
  • Drop down
  • Sum Scale
  • Emoticons
  • Slider
  • Slider Matrix
  • Ranking
  • Images
  • Video
  • Open end
It is possible to pipe into matrix question columns, we recommend only piping into rows for matrix, slider and drag and drop questions.
Select any question type and the question design pop up box will appear.
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When you are ready to insert the source question, from which the answer will be "piped" click on the "insert response from..." link which appears underneath the question title box. In this case, we want to pipe the answer through to an answer box as opposed to the question title box.
Step 3: Select Question Source
Complete the fields and steps as follows:
• Step 1: The available source questions for piping will appear. Click on the relevant question.
• Step 2: Click on the Next button and a green tick mark will appear against the selected source question for piping. 
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  • Step 3: The list of answer statements will appear. To insert the first possible answer statement, select "Statement 1" then click on the Next button.
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• Step 4: the 1st statement will appear in the first available answer box. To add additional answer statements, click the mouse on the next available answer box and then click on the Insert response from... link, repeating step 3 (above).
• Step 5: add additional answer boxes as necessary, by clicking on Add Answer box.
• Step 6: click on Save button when you have finished add statements in the answer boxes.
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Step 4: Review Questions with Piping Configured
When the question has been added, it will appear in the Question Design dashboard. Piped Questions show the source of the answer in brackets. E.g. {1st statement from [q1]} displayed in the answer code. This means that the live survey will display the 1st answer code/statement selected from q1 into q2.
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As with any draft questionnaire, preview the questionnaire to make sure piping instructions are
working as intended.
  1. The Target Question is the question that will be used to pipe into. e.g. an answer given from a source question is piped into the target question.

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