If you have utilised the Places tool as part of a recent project, it's important to consider how you are going to interpret and present the data you have collected.

In this article we look at how to use data collected via the Places tool for reporting on your consultation.

Before you begin

Before you begin reporting on your EHQ places activity you should ensure that you've archived the activity so you have certainty you're working with the final dataset.

Of course if you choose, you can begin working on your data before the end of the consultation period, you just need to be aware that you may not be working with the final data set. Looking at your data before the consultation ends can be a good thing to do if you would like to pull out some preliminary insights.

In order to archive your Places activity in preparation for reporting, manage the project page where you have setup the places map.

  • Click on Tools > Places to reveal a list of the Places maps you have created.
  • Use the dropdown menu next to the activity you would like to archive and select Archive.
  • If you would like to include a custom archival message write it in the Archival Message dialogue box and click Archive to confirm.

You have now ensured that your Places activity is closed from further contributions and you can begin to analyse your data.

Using the Detailed Report

One of the best ways to explore and work with the data collected from your Places activity is to use the Detailed Excel Report download.

To generate this report visit the Analytics > Reports section of your site.

  • Select the project and time period to filter the data for your report. If your consultation has been archived you can use the All Time option to select the whole period of your consultation. Click on Update.
  • Next, click on Download Reports dropdown menu and select the Excel option for the Detailed Reports section.
  • Once the report has downloaded you will see a zipped folder containing your project information.
  • Unzip the folder and open the excel file.

Understanding Places Data in Excel 

To understand how Places data is presented in excel, follow the steps below;

  • Locate the tab at the bottom of the excel sheet which corresponds to the Places activity you would like to analyse. You may have several tools activated on this project so each tab will represent a different tool instance on your project.
  • There are three main sections for exploring excel data; 

Summary information about your activity. You can see this pane on the left hand side in blue. This gives you an overview of participation and a breakdown of the user status of participants. eg. Registered, Unverified, Anonymous.

Contribution information is displayed in the green section. This information includes the following; The contributors details (Date and time, Login and Contributor Summary); Longitude and Latitude, Address of Pin, Pin Category, Comment Submitted. In this section you will also see the responses to any custom survey questions you have asked with the Places tool. Links to images submitted by participants will show up in a column labelled Add Photo. This allows you to easily download the images submitted by the participant.

Sign up form questions are shown in the blue section and allow you to filter through your responses based on sign-up form questions. This information will only be complete for participants who have signed-in to complete the Places activity. Sign-up form information won't be available in the excel sheet if you have selected unverified participation.

There are several ways to explore the information in excel;

  • Use the sign-up form questions to filter your responses.
  • Use custom survey questions to filter your responses
  • Groom your data and import it into another mapping tool using the Long and Lat information to re-map and stylise your data.

Using the Detailed Report is the best way to look at your data as a whole and begin to explore your data.

Use Text Analysis

Another great way to start to make sense of data captured with the Places tool is to use EHQ's text analysis capabilities to code and categorise the feedback received.

Text analysis allows you to do qualitative analysis on the comments you have received via the Places tools. To begin a text analysis on your Places comments open the Text Analysis tool by going to Analytics > Comment Analysis in the admin section of your site. Read the detailed help desk article explaining the Text Analysis Tool and follow these steps to begin your analysis.

  • Select the project, tool and essay question type respectively from the dropdown menus. Click on Update to generate your comments.
  • Begin tagging your comments with relevant tags. These could be themes, sentiment or other coding instructions which will help you report on your activity.
  • Once you have finished tagging all of your comments, download the report by clicking on the Download Report button in the top right.
  • On the excel download you will be able to see each comment as well as binary indicators for each comment letting you know if a specific tag has been applied to that comment.
  • Use this information to generate graphs and also filter in on your comments.

Use Tool Insights

Another way to explore places feedback is to use the Tool Insights section of the reporting.

Using Tool Insights will allow you to generate several useful graphs and further explore your Places data.

To begin using Tool Insights go to the Analytics > Reports section of EHQ and click on the Tools link in the left-hand menu.

  • Use the filters to select the project you would like to look at and also select the data date range. Click on Update to generate your report.


Use the overview section of the Tool Insights page to compare different places activities from within a single project.

As you can see in the image above, the overview section presents your places data as a scatter bubble, allowing you to easily compare amounts of engagement between each Places activity.

  • To filter your places maps use the dropdown Select a Map to view it's data option to select the map data you would like to look at. This is display unique summary information about the activity in the call-out box on the right hand side. Here you can see the amount of visitors, number of unique contributors and contributions as well as information about whether the participants were registered.
  • You can easily export this graph to include in your report by clicking on the hamburger icon. (see below) Simply choose the format for your export and download you selected option.

Using the overview section is a great way to quickly check in on your places activity, compare it to other activities and quickly download a chart.


Using the demographics section is an easy way to quickly report on who was involved in you Places activity.

The demographics information presented is gathered from your sites sign-up form so it's important this form reflects the demographic questions you require for reporting.

For more information read our article on Developing a registration form.

  • To view the demographics information of contributors to your Places activity visit the Demographics section of your Tool Insights page.
  • Use the dropdown menu to select the sign-up form question to explore.
  • You will see a chart representing the information you have requested.
  • Use the hamburger icon to export the chart in your preferred format.

Demographics information is useful for reporting as it helps you better explain the profile of people who contributed to your Places activity. 

Visitor Statistics

Using the visitor statics panel allows you to easily compare your places activities in a table.

This information is particularly useful for comparing the amount of pins added by admins and contributors to an activity.

Map Insights

Map insights allows you to see all of the pins placed on your Places activity and the related contribution details for each pin, including any survey question responses on the pin.

This is a great way to see a visual representation of your contributions. Use the dropdown menu to select the Places activity you would like to look at.

Scroll down to see a summary of the contribution and scroll further to see the contributions in detail, including survey responses and links to images, if uploaded.

Use the image icon to download the map. You will have an option to choose between a jpg and png format for the image.

There is also a filter icon available for filtering and reporting on the required pins only.

What's Next?

Why not circle back and take another look at our online webinar on Using Places in EHQ.

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