Survey choice

I’ve had little exposure to Microsoft Forms, most of my 365 apps exposure has centred around PowerApps, SharePoint, Power Automate and to a lesser extent PowerBi. One of the staff in our office coordinates professional development for researchers, research students and staff in general, so is now keen to automate her surveys rather than rely upon paper-based forms that require a lot of effort to record.

This week I began investigating whether Microsoft Forms might be our starting point, drawing from a SharePoint list of her workshops. Stumbling point one, Forms doesn’t support doing a drop list to allow users to choose which workshop they’re providing feedback on. Looks like I’ll be developing a custom PowerApp.

Importing the workshops

I had the devil of a time trying to import the list of workshops from a spreadsheet into SharePoint. In the past I had been able to use Internet Explorer which has Active X, however since last doing this that functionality seems to have been disabled via a Windows update. Thankfully, there is another option open to me within Excel using the Design tab to export to a SharePoint list, unfortunately this only works from Windows versions and not Mac, anything to make me boot that machine.

Once successfully extracted to my SharePoint list I set to task to test how I might take the data from my colleagues spreadsheet used to construct her workshops website. I had initially thought to use a combo box to have users select their course, but then decided a gallery was going to work far better, I could then provide the user with additional information as I could include the date they attended as well.

To assist the user I am going to include three ways to filter:

  • Year
  • Month
  • Text search

The first two are drop lists I have created two additional columns in the collection via AddColumns command and then leveraged the GroupBy command on each of these columns to build the lists, worked a treat. At the moment the list isn’t huge, only around 60-70 courses, however once the list grows these will become more important.

Once users have completed their surveys we’ll then be reporting upon their responses using PowerBi dashboards.

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