Guidelines for Data Analysis

All Proactive Insights reports include quantitative results, which are the responses to all of the rating scales (such as absolutely, mostly, somewhat, hardly ever, or not at all) in your employee engagement survey, and qualitative, or open-ended, results, which are the written comments made by your employees.

The engagement survey provides you with a score out of 100, and depending on the score, you will read possible actions that could be taken for improving the engagement and satisfaction in your organization or team. While these action alternatives may be beneficial if you decide to implement them, there is no way of knowing for sure that they will be effective because every situation and group of people is different and requires careful consideration and planning on your part. There are many variables that should be considered when interpreting the survey results and planning your strategy, including:

  1. What percentage of employees completed the survey
  2. Who those employees were
  3. Comments employees make in the report are especially important because they will provide you with insight into what is most important to them, and this understanding can shed light on what it would take to enhance their engagement and satisfaction.

Some Guidelines for Analyzing Your Proactive Insights Quantitative Results


Scan your results for overall trends. Make a note of any data that appears inconsistent. For example, determine if any comments are backed up by your results.

Overall employee engagement scores

This is the one score that can affect other survey scores. If this score is at least 80 percent, your organization will begin to reap the benefits of committed and engaged employees.

Avoid defensive analysis

Remain as cool and objective as possible when analyzing results. Instead of trying to explain away any negative results, try to figure out why you are seeing them.

Target weaknesses and strengths

Be sure to celebrate any strengths you find as well as deal with points you could improve upon.

How to Analyze Open-Ended (Qualitative) Survey Responses

The survey offers employees the chance to answer in two different ways. Questions can be answered on a rating scale from “not at all” to “absolutely.” The survey also gives employees a chance to express themselves and clarify their opinions with narrative comments. The rating scale provides quantitative responses, but the narrative produces qualitative responses.

It might seem easier to analyze quantitative results, but open-ended, or qualitative, responses that allow employees to express themselves can help you understand your quantitative responses better.

  • Look for common themes and threads in open-ended responses and group them into categories.
  • Try not to focus on any extreme results because these may come from disgruntled employees or even employees who did not take your survey seriously.
  • Use these comments as an opportunity to understand how you might improve your quantitative scores.

Finally, in order for your surveys to work, your employees have to trust that they will remain anonymous. You should never try to guess which employees answered questions a certain way, and you should certainly not use the survey to punish employees.