[Solved] Can you mass upload data into your survey in order to use that data in the survey as a database for the survey to pull from and randomize its questions content in order for us to have survey takers to complete crowdsourcing tasks for us?


Dear Gizmo Team Community,

We are using our survey in Mechanical Turk to crowdsource. Our crowdsourcing tasks are done through our survey questions, we want to automatically update our survey with new questions each time it is taken. We want our survey to pull that data from a database we have in a large excell spreadsheet. Please let us know if this is possible through survey gizmos interface.


Thank you,


vfimturk asked

    Best answer


    Hi Tallen!

    This may be possible, but I must warn you upfront that SurveyGizmo has not been designed with this use-case in mind, and so it may require a non-trivial amount of set-up work.

    A basic approach

    Uploading questions from a spreadsheet is not possible, I am sorry to say – each question would need to be created manually in the application. The primary way of showing a question to one or more respondents, and hiding it from everyone else, would be Question Logic.


    You’ll need something to base your logic on (how are you making the decision of showing a question or not?). If you simply want to show each question once, a hidden value with the “counter” merge code may do the trick. The counter merge code is like a “page visit counter”, and simply increments each time your survey is taken. If this were placed on the first page, your questions on page two could use the logic, “only show if counter == 1” (for the first question), “only show if counter == 2” (for the second question), and so on, and so forth.


    A more advanced solution

    If you are comfortable exploring more advanced solutions that may save you time, the Login/Password Action is a very powerful feature that allow for a bit of creativity.


    The Login/Password Action is interesting because it *does* allow you to upload some arbitrary data. Using a sneaky trick with the counter merge code, it is possible to “automatically login” your survey respondents, and then to pull some data from your spreadsheet. This would be similar to the workflow I have often seen used to display unique “coupon codes” for each respondent, except instead of displaying a coupon code, you would display a question title of some kind.


    There are downsides to this approach – as always, consider how your data will come out in the end, and be sure it will be useful for your purposes (if you are dynamically changing the question title to your question each time, how will you know what each answer is for?).

    Custom programming

    If you have web development resources available (specifically, PHP or Javascript), SurveyGizmo also allows for custom programming, at the Professional subscription and above. See our Developer documentation for more information about this option:


    I hope this information helps you understand a few of the possibilities for achieving your goals!

    Nathan - Survey Astronaut answered


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