How to write multi-select checkbox questions and analyze the results

No one is just one thing.

And that matters when you’re writing things like those client personas that we’re all supposed to have.

But how do you capture that nuance in a survey?

One way is to use the multi-select checkbox question, e.g., check all that apply. But how do you write a checkbox question that gives you information instead of just a grab bag of data? By

  • choosing the right “master” question
  • crafting options that are both logically grouped and logically disparate
  • formatting

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How to write open-ended questions and analyze the results

There are so many good use cases for open-ended questions, and including them as part of your surveys can really increase the insight you can glean from your respondents. But:

  • How do you write questions that get you the type of answers you need?
  • How do you reduce all of that free-flowing text into something that’s manageable and usable?

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How to tackle a huge project | A SOP Story

TL;DR? There are four things you can do to make a huge project not only seem manageable but be manageable, even as you keep saying to yourself, “What was I thinking taking this on?!?” (1) Know what you’re trying to do and break it down into manageable steps as soon as possible. (2) Track your progress in a way that fosters momentum. (3) Be realistic about your energy levels. (4) Plan for implementation in a way that, as much as possible, lets you be mindful but thoughtless (i.e., well-considered but requiring no real decision-making when it comes time for application).

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How information flows through a mail merge document

There are three files involved in the mail merge process: the Data Source, the Mail Merge Template, and the Review Document (which is sometimes called a merge document). In this post, I’m going to explain each one, covering where they come from, what role they play in the process and how they’re related to each other, and, finally, when it’s time to update them.

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Analysis paralysis and the myths of being data driven and successful

Do you ever overthink or overanalyze to the point where you stop making decisions and taking action? Where you’re afraid that the choice you’re about to make isn’t the BEST choice, so you wait it out a little more, and maybe research a little more, and maybe gather together more data … just so you can be SURE? That’s called analysis paralysis.

Debunking the myths of being data driven and being successful can set you free.

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Turning live, virtual events into high-quality on-demand content | A SOP Story

TL;DR? Pairing OBS Studio with Zoom can give you a lightweight way to both conduct a live, virtual event (like a training) and give you the recording you need to create high-quality, on-demand content for asynchronous viewers later on. It’s an even lighter lift if the event you’re holding involves content that doesn’t need to shift as much as it does with synchronous to asynchronous training.

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Auditing your process improvement process | A SOP Story

TL;DR? Schedule some time to review the end results of the processes you’ve “improved,” and revise your current-day SOPs to incorporate back in anything you might have inadvertently “incrementally improved” out of your process along the way. Then again, you might just have an opportunity to pat yourself on the back for actually improving, and continue on! As a case study in this article, I draw from my own video production experience.

I’m a big believer in making incremental improvements, but sometimes an incremental change is actually an incremental deterioration.

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How (and why) to categorize and organize your data

If you’ve ever targeted an email marketing campaign to a specific demographic, assigned a category to your blog post, or chosen a hashtag for your social post, you’ve used data classification. Classification is basically the process of chunking up or organizing your data, into different groups or under different labels, so that you can quickly isolate and bring together all of the things that belong to that group, so that you can do something with that group:

  • monitor it as part of a metric,
  • investigate it and compare it to other groups,
  • work with it, like with targeted marketing campaigns, or
  • plan with it.

In this post, I’ll discuss the problems that arise from unclassified or improperly classified data, and give some pointers on how to create and apply your own classifications.

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Tracking progress towards your goals with scorecard snapshots

In order to effectively close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, you need to know that the gap exists and how big or small it is. One way to do this is with a reporting tool called a scorecard. Much like the checked and unchecked items on a to-do list, a scorecard gives you a snapshot of the gap between where are you now and a target, where the target can be a growth goal you’ve set for yourself, or a projection of where you think you’ll be by a certain date, all things considered.

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Analyzing time spent: Time management with box and whisker plots

We all know that there are only so many minutes in a day, and that goals like being more productive and effective hinge on things like better time management, that is, working smarter not harder. This is particularly true if you think you’ve got a pretty standard process in place. In this post, I’m going to demonstrate a visualization tool called a box and whisker plot. This tool will help you determine how long you can typically expect your standard process to take, and how to spot when there’s enough variability to say that it’s time to reexamine what you’re doing, so you can:

  • streamline a process for yourself, or
  • identify when it’s time to schedule a training or other intervention for your staff.

If you can find the middle thing in a list, you can do this time analysis.

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