If you have used the Guestbook 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 how to use data collected via the Guestbook tool for reporting on your consultation. Detailed below are options to either view the tool report on screen, download the detailed report or use a comment analysis report.

Before you begin

Before you begin reporting on your Guestbook activity, you should ensure that you've archived the tool so you are certain that you are 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 dataset. 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.

To report 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 Guestbook activity is to use the Detailed Excel Report download.

To generate this report, in the side navigation bar of your site, click on Reporting > Project Reports. The Summary page is displayed.

In the Summary page, select the project and time period to filter 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 If your consultation has been archived, you can use the All Time option to select the whole period of your consultation.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 the Download Report dropdown menu and select the Excel option for the Detailed Report section. If the button is not clickable, ensure that you have not selected more than 5 projects for the report.

Access the downloaded folder and open the Excel file of the project you wish to analyse. The downloaded detailed report 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 Guestbook 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. E.g. Registered, Unverified, Anonymous.

Contribution information is displayed in the green section. This information includes the following; Contributors details (date and time, login and contributor summary) and the actual Guestbook entry made by the participant.

Sign-up form questions are shown in the blue section. You can filter responses based on these questions. This information will only be complete for participants who have signed-in to make a Guestbook entry. Sign-up form information won't be available in the Excel sheet if you have selected unverified participation.

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

Using Tool Reports

Another way to explore the feedback collected is to use the Tool Reports section of Reporting. This will allow you to generate several useful graphs and further explore your Guestbook.

To begin using Tool Reports go to the Reporting > Tool Reports section of your site and click on the Guestbook link in the left-hand menu.

Use 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.

Overview

Use the Overview section of Tool Reports to compare different guestbooks.

As you can see in the image above, the Overview section presents your data as a scatter bubble, allowing you to easily compare amount of engagement between each Guestbook.

To filter your data, use the dropdown Select a Guestbook to view its details option to select the guestbook 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 number of visitors, 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 your guestbook, compare it to other activities and quickly download a chart.

Demographics

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

The demographics information presented is gathered from your site’s 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.

Sign-up form questions are used to show demographic insights. Any of the sign-up form questions can be selected from the dropdown list.

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 Guestbook.

Guestbooks Visitor Statistics

Using the visitor statistics panel allows you to easily compare your activities in a table.
This information is particularly useful for comparing the number of contributors to a Guestbook.

This section shows the detail for every Guestbook tool from each project selected for reporting. It details the number of visitors, contributors and entries for each of the guestbooks.

Guestbook Insights

Insights allow you to see all the entries on your Guestbook activity. 

This section with display the guestbook entries from the participant along with comments received. You can choose the guestbooks you would like to view by selecting from the dropdown list.

You can also filter the Guestbook entries 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 Text Analysis report

As Guestbook 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 Adding a Guestbook to review the information you are collecting to generate the required report

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