Organizations that wish to have more control over how they work with the results of their engagements can select the level of privacy and security at the engagement level. Every new draft engagement starts in a default privacy state we’ve titled ‘Classic'.
If an engagement has ‘Classic’ privacy
Participant identifying information is not linked to the responses provided. In Exchanges, thoughts shared by a particular user are not connected to the ratings that user assigned.
The ‘Data Download’ function allows leaders to generate an excel file containing raw, unconnected data from the engagement. Clicking the ‘Generate’ button produces a ZIP file that includes up to three spreadsheets (depending on the engagement type) containing:
- Exchange Data - Every thought in the Exchange, its average star rating, rank, moderation status, and a list of the themes that thought was included in.
- Participant Stats - A count and percentage breakdown of responses to the Survey Questions.
- Summary - The date the Exchange was launched, the date it was closed, the status of the Exchange, and a count of participants, thoughts and ratings.
Anonymous and Confidential privacy
To change the privacy setting for your engagement from ‘Classic’ to either ‘Anonymous’ or ‘Confidential’, click into Settings (in the upper right-hand corner of your draft) and then select ‘Privacy’ from the left-hand menu.
Note: Depending on your account settings, you may have access to ‘Anonymous’ or ‘Confidential’ engagements, or both.
Note: once you have launched your engagement, you cannot change the privacy setting.
These two types of privacy settings give organizations the ability to dig deeper into their results by allowing a more detailed version of ‘Data Download’. Due to the possibility to infer (Anonymous) or know (Confidential) participants’ identities, we have restricted the ability to download the ‘Participant response export (with or without personally identifying information)’ to one specific role, the ‘data analyst’.
Data analyst role
Room or account admins can assign the ‘data analyst’ role to any new or existing user in the Room.
With this role, the data analyst can access the Reports tab of the Results dashboard.
Note: your ThoughtExchange customer representative cannot, under any circumstances, access this role and therefore cannot access these more detailed data on your behalf.
If an engagement has ‘Anonymous’ privacy
Participant identifying information is not linked to the responses provided. If the data analyst chooses to download a full record of the data, they can see the responses to each question (associated with a unique identifier) for each participant, but not their name, email address, IP addresses, or any other information that could be used to identify the individual. Even if users are asked to log in with an email address to participate, it is not tied to their responses.
An engagement leader might infer a participant’s identity based on their responses (if there is only one person working in HR and a participant selects that as their team, for example), but it is not explicitly provided.
The data analyst will see both the ‘data download’ option and ‘Participant response export (without personally identifying information)’. It is the latter option they will need to select to download in order to receive all of the information possible with an ‘Anonymous’ engagement.
If an engagement has ‘Confidential’ privacy
Identifying information can be seen by the data analyst but not by other participants. Leaders may choose to use this setting for a number of reasons including a need to follow up with participants or a desire to track responses across groups that are not indicated by question responses.
IMPORTANT: In order to collect participants' email addresses in a Confidential engagement, you must enact one of the following ways to identify participants.
- Send invitations via 'unique links' (learn more about unique links here)
- Use code access (learn more about code access here)
- Make login mandatory
To require participants to log in before participating in your engagement, go to the Settings of your draft engagement and click into Privacy. Under the heading ‘Login’, toggle “Sign up or login required” to On, then click Apply.
How do participants know which privacy setting is used in each engagement?
The privacy message participants see (and are required to accept) upon first visiting an engagement varies depending on the privacy settings selected by the leader. Participants in Classic and Anonymous engagements receive the same message:
Participants in Confidential engagements receive this message:
Tip: If every engagement in the account you are using has the same privacy settings, you may want to create a Custom Compliance Message to communicate about them explicitly.