Online Technology for Research & Insight

FAQs: Panel management

Frequently asked questions. Click on any question to see the answer.

Panel Manager overview


PSO01 What is a panel?

A panel is a list of names and email addresses of people who agree to be sent surveys on a regular basis. Surveys are created in Demographix and panels can then be set up and managed using our Panel Manager technology, which is accessed via the Panels menu option. This is also where you create your emails, either in plain text or HTML. A series of emails can be scheduled for different days – for example, the initial invite email, plus any reminders. Note: If you do not have a Panels option then please contact the Account Holder at your company/organisation.

PSO02 What do I need to create a panel?

You will need three components to create a panel:
1. An Excel spreadsheet with a list of panel members – this needs to include columns headed: First name, Surname and Email address.
2. A survey or surveys for which you want to send invitation emails to the panel.
3. An email or emails to be used as invitations for each survey.

PSO03 I can't see the Panels option in the Account functions. Why?

Make sure your company or organisation subscribes to our Panel Manager tool. Also, panels can only be accessed by Account Holders, Full User and Creator log-ins. If you have a different log-in status and need to manage a panel, speak to your Account Holder in the first instance.

PSO04 How do I create a new panel?

Click on the Panels option under Account Functions in the blue menu bar at the top right of your screen. Then click on the Create New Panel button at the top right of the screen to start. Give the panel a name and add in any further notes you may wish to include. NOTE: If the Panels option is not showing, you do not have access rights to the panel management system, or your account is not enabled for panels. You will need to speak to your Account Manager in this case.

PSO05 What does the Your Panels screen show me?

This lists the panels in your account, broken down into tabs for active and closed panels. Each tab shows a list of panel names with headline information in each row. The columns show the core data about the panel: the name, internal notes, the date the panel was created, number of surveys attached, and when the last email was sent to this panel. It also shows a breakdown of the panel members by status. Each of the columns can be sorted by clicking on the header, and you can download this information by clicking the Download List link. To view a specific panel, simply click on the panel row, which will open the Panel Manager interface for that panel.

PSO06 What do the different member statuses on the Your Panels screen mean?

On the Your Panels screen there are columns showing the breakdown of the panel members into five areas based on their current status. These are:
Active: Panel member is available to be sent an invitation to a survey.
Bounced: Email address held for the panel member is invalid. Email couldn’t be sent, and will not be again.
Unsubscribed: Panel member responded to a link in an email stating they no longer wish to be emailed.
Removed: Panel member was removed from the list of active members by the panel owner.
Pruned: A batch removal based on period of inactivity or by domain name.

Panel Manager interface


PMM01 What does the Panels Dashboard tab show?

This is essentially an overview of your panel and includes key statistics such as when the panel was created and by whom, its current status (active or closed), and overviews of the statistics and panel members. The Statistics section shows the number of surveys assigned to the panel, email invitations sent and their success rate, as well as participation rates of panel members. By default, this section shows data since the panel was created, however you can change the time period by clicking on the Filter link and define start/end dates. The dashboard also provides links to view the latest survey and email invitation associated with the panel, and there are quick links to create a new panel or assign a survey to this panel.

PMM02 How do I attach a survey to a panel?

Within either the Dashboard tab or the Assigned Surveys tab, click on the “Assign [Another] Survey to This Panel” button. This will then provide a pop-up with a dropdown list of your most recently accessed surveys. If the survey is not amongst these, you can also use the search box to find the correct survey. Once you have found the correct survey, select it and the survey will be attached. NOTE: Your survey must be published or in production to be assigned. However, if it's in production, remember to publish it before sending out any email invitations!

PMM03 What else can I do in the Assigned Surveys tab?

Within the Assigned Surveys tab you will see a list of all the surveys assigned to your panel, together with statistics on responses and the number of invitations sent. Surveys are categorised into folders depending on their status (In Production, Live, Closed, or Archived). You can sort each folder by the different variables and download this list into Excel. You can also click on a specific survey and this will bring up a pop-up box with buttons giving the available survey and invitation actions (these options vary depending on the status of the survey and invitation). Survey actions include: previewing the survey, seeing its statistics, looking at analysis of responses, downloading raw data and viewing individual responses. Invitation actions allow you to view any existing invitations or create new ones.

PMM04 How can I switch between panels?

From within Panel Manager, click on the Other Panels button at the top right of the screen. This will bring up a list of all your other panels. To view one, simply click on the panel and the details will appear.

PMM05 What does the Panel History tab show?

The Panel History tab lists all the major events for the panel (creation date, member uploads, member deletions and emails sent) with the relevant person for each action shown. You can sort each of the columns in this report and you can also download into Excel.

PMM06 How do I use the Custom Downloads tab?

The Custom Downloads tab lets you create a customised download that shows panel members’ activity over time, allowing you to undertake longitudinal or tracking research. The download includes one row for each panel member and can combine information on their activity/participation and their answers from multiple surveys. You can select questions in these surveys, and the report will show their answers if they have given them for those questions. Note: For more detailed instructions on how to set up a report, please refer to the Panel Management User Guide, found in the Resources section of the website.

Panel member management


PPS01 How do I add members to a panel?

Click on the Manage Panel Members tab and look at the box entitled Add Panel Members. Here you have three options for adding members:
Existing survey respondents: search for a live survey with panel member details collected in it, and define which write-in questions match the three key identifiers (First name, Surname and Email address). Remember to check if there is an opt-in question in the survey and filter on this, so only those who have agreed to be on the panel will be added.
Upload a file: An Excel file is the best format, although it can also be tab-delimited or comma-delimited text files. An Excel file must contain three columns - first name, surname and email address - in that order. The first row of the spreadsheet should contain labels for the three columns. This row will be stripped out by the upload processor, so make sure there is no panel member data in it. Files which are not formatted correctly will not be uploaded and you will get an error message.
Add individually: If you only have a few names to add you can use this option. Fill in their first names, surnames and email addresses, and click on Add Panel Members.

PPS02 How do I find and manage individual panel members?

Click on the Manage Panel Members tab and at the top you will find a search box where you can search by email address, first name or surname. Use an asterisk for wildcards (e.g. typing Jo* in the first name field will return all panellists named John, Joe, Jonathan, Joanne etc). If you want to search across all your panels, not just the active one, enter the email address or two of the three fields and don't use wildcards.

PPS03 Do you have any advice on the best way to recruit members to a panel?

We recommend that you use a panel registration survey to populate your panel membership. This way you can allow members to provide key demographic details (age, sex, region, etc) that can be used to select them for specific emails, and their correct personal details (names, email address), and to tick an opt-in clause. You can also put the T&Cs of the panel into a registration survey, so they can confirm they have read them, or had the opportunity to do so. Then use the Add Panel Members function to upload the names and emails of those who have agreed to take part.

PPS04 How do I create a panel registration survey?

Set up a survey asking for key demographic details (age ranges, gender, region, household income) and specific questions you might want for emailing subgroups (where they shop, car ownership, holiday types, etc). Use write-ins to get basic personal details (first name, surname, email address). These three personal details are the only ones needed by our system to add a panel member. Finally, include T&Cs and opt-in questions for taking part in the panel. Attach the survey to the panel, and once this is done it will show in the Survey Properties. You can regularly refresh the panel from this survey.

PPS05 How do I download a list of panel members?

You have two options – you can either download panel members from within the Dashboard tab or within the Manage Panel Members tab. For either, select the type of panel members you want to include in the download by ticking their boxes. The status categories are:
Active: Panel member is available to be sent an invitation to a survey.
Bounced: Email address held for the panel member is invalid. Email couldn't be sent, and will not be again.
Unsubscribed: Panel member responded to a link in an email stating they no longer wish to be emailed.
Removed: Panel member was removed from the list of active members by the panel owner.
Pruned: A batch removal based on period of inactivity or by domain name.

Once you have selected the relevant categories, click Download and your report will be generated.

PPS06 How do I remove a member or members from a panel?

You can remove a panel member by searching for them within Manage Panel Members and then selecting Remove in the Actions dropdown menu. If you want to remove several members at once there are three options in the Batch Remove Panel Members box. These are:
Prune by last responded: This will let you choose a period of time during which they have not responded to email invitations. These are: the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9,12 months, more than 12 months ago, or Ever.
Clean by domain: lets you enter the internet domain (e.g. hotmailer.co.uk) and it will give you a count of how many panel members have an address at that domain. They can all then be batch removed.
Enter email addresses to remove: lets you paste one or more email addresses into the pop-up box, one per line, and these will have their status changed to Removed.

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