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Reporting on News Feed data

Learn how to interpret the data collected using the News Feed tool.

Deepa Prabhu avatar
Written by Deepa Prabhu
Updated over a week ago

If you have used the News Feed 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 this 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 a text analysis report.

Before you begin

Before you begin reporting on your activity you should ensure that you've archived the tool so you are certain that you are working with the final data set.
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.

To report the final data set, 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 data collected from your News Feed activity is to use the Detailed Excel Report download.

To generate this report, click on Reporting > Project Reports. The Summary page is displayed.

On the Summary page, select the project and time period to filter the data for your report in the dropdown list. If your consultation is archived, you can use the All Time option to select the whole period of your consultation. Click on Update.

Next, click on the Download Reports dropdown list 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.

Open the downloaded folder and access the Excel file of the project you wish to analyse. The detailed report downloaded will have a separate file for each project selected.

Locate the tab at the bottom of the Excel sheet which corresponds to the News Feed 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

This information includes the following; Contributors details (date and time, log in and contributor summary), actual comments made by the participant, and votes.

Sign-up form questions

These are shown in the blue section and you can filter your responses based on these questions. This information will only be complete for participants who have signed in to make a News Feed comment. 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 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 some useful graphs and further explore your News Feed data.

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

Use filters to select the project you would like to look at and select the data 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 Reports page to compare different news feeds.

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 News Feed.

To filter your data, use the dropdown Select a News Feed to view its details option to select the news feed 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 (highlighted 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 news feed, 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 your News Feed 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. 

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 News Feed.

Newsfeeds 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 an activity.

This section shows the detail for each News Feed tool from each project selected for reporting. It details the number of visits, visitors, comments, votes and comments by admin.

News Feed Insights

These insights will display the News Feed comments from the participant along with any votes received.

You can view the required News Feed by selecting it from the dropdown list.

You can also filter the News Feed entries displayed, based on the sign-up form questions.

Using Text Analysis report

As the news feeds submitted and the News Feed 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 news articles.

Contact our support team if you need any further assistance via chat or email

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