If you have used the Stories tool as part of a 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 the different ways to analyse the data collected via the Stories tool for reporting on your consultation. Detailed below are options to either view the tool report on screen or download the detailed report or use the comment analysis report.

Before you begin

You can begin working on your data before the end of the consultation period, however, 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.
If you want to be reporting with the final dataset you first need to ensure that your project is archived, so there are no new contributions in your tool. Archiving a project will still display project information but will not accept new contributions. You can read the detailed article on Archiving your project to learn how to archive and understand the implications of archiving.

Using the Detailed Report

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

To generate this report simple 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 If your consultation has been archived you can use the All Time option to select the whole period of your consultation.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 and select the Excel option for the Detailed Reports section. If the button is not clickable, ensure that you have not selected more than 5 projects for the report.
  • Open the downloaded folder and open the excel file of the project you wish to analyse. The detailed report downloaded, will have a separate file for each project selected. Open your project file.
  • Locate the tab at the bottom of the excel sheet which corresponds to the Stories 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 the 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); the story title; the story itself and the comment details ( number of comments that like or dislike the story, the replies received, responses provided and the number of votes)

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 activity. Sign-up form information won't be available in the excel sheet if you have selected unverified participation.

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

Using the Tools report

Another way to explore the feedback collected is to use the Tool Insights section of reporting. This will allow you to generate some useful graphs and further explore your Stories data.

To begin using Tool Insights go to the Analytics > Reports section of your site. Click on Stories on the left panel in the Tools section.

  • 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.

The page will be refreshed with the newly generated report for the projects and time period selected. Below is a description of the data represented in each of the sections seen on the report.


Use the overview section of the Tool Insights page to compare different story activities.

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

  • To filter your data use the dropdown Select a Story Telling Tool to view it's data option to select the story data you would like to look at in detail. 
  • This section also displays the 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. Read our article on How site visits and visitors are captured to understand this number further.
  • 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 your selected option.

Using the overview section is a great way to quickly check on the story telling activity, compare it to the others and quickly download a chart.


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

The demographics information presented is gathered from your site sign-up form so it's important that, this form reflects the demographic questions you require for reporting. For more information read our article on Developing a registration form. to  know how the sign up form should be created so that the required information is gathered for reporting.

The sign up form questions are used to show the demographic insights. Any of the sign up form questions can be selected from the dropdown box.

The button on the left can be used to print or download the graph.

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

Visitor Statistics

Using the visitor statics panel allows you to easily compare your activities in a table.
This information is particularly useful for comparing the amount of contributors to an activity.

This section shows the detail of each Story telling tool from each project selected for reporting. It details the number of stories that were accepted or rejected, the number of visitors to the tool, the number of contributors or story authors and of that how many were admin authors, the number of comments received (with separate count showing the admin comments) and the number of votes received for the story.

Story Insights

Insights allow you to see all of the entries on your Story telling activity. 

This section displays the stories from the participants along with any comments received. You can select which of the Stories tool you would like to view by selecting it from the drop down list.

You can also filter the stories displayed based on the sign up form questions, so for example, you can filter on suburb, to only see the contributions from a particular locality.

Using the text analysis report

Since the story and the story tool comments are free form text it will be useful to analyse the topic discussion using the text analysis tool and then extract a report. Read our article on Text Analysis to get detailed instructions.

What's Next?

Why not circle back and take another look at our article on how to Add the Story Telling Tool to ensure you are collecting all the information you require for generating the required report.

Did this answer your question?