[Solved] Questions in .CSV Export


What controls the way result questions appear in an export?  I have a situation where the questions appear worded differently than they do if download a copy of the survey.

Randall Frazier asked

    Best answer


    Hi Randall, thanks for posting to Community! There are a few things that can change the appearance of your data in exports.

    Reporting Values

    Starting with the simplest and most commonly used setting, reporting values allow you to change what appears in your exports for answer options. You can set these to be numeric (people often ask for how to “code” their answer options), or really any value you like. For example, an answer option that the respondent sees as “Yes, I would like to blah blah blah”, you could set a custom reporting value of “yes”, making your exports much simpler to sift through.


    An alias is kind of like a custom reporting value, but for a question title. Instead of a really long-winded question title asking where someone lives, you might wish to see “location”, or “Q4” in your export. Aliases would be how you could achieve that.

    CSV/Excel export column headers

    While the two settings mentioned allow you to influence how your data comes out, SurveyGizmo still has some conventions it follows, particularly in terms of export column headers.

    A single-select question is the simplest, displaying the question title or alias as the column header. This includes radio button, dropdown menu, and textbox questions.

    “Question title/alias”

    A multiple-select question gets a little more complex, displaying the answer option title, then question title or alias, separated by a colon. Note that you will see the full answer option title, not reporting value, in the column header. This includes checkbox and image multi-select questions.

    “Answer option title:Question title/alias”

    Grid questions continues a little deeper down the rabbit hole, appending the row header to the question title, again separated by a colon. Note that row headers have no alias available. Depending on the question type, the question column header will be appended to the very front of that.

    “Row header:Question Title/alias”

    (or, for checkbox, textbox, or dropdown menu grids) “Column header:Row header:Question title/alias”

    Header Format setting in CSV/Excel export

    This setting, found on the Settings tab while editing a CSV/Excel export, allows you to append either the question number (as seen in the Build tab) or ID to your column headers. This number or ID will be appended to the normal column header, and separated by a colon.

    So where are reporting values used?

    Reporting values will show up in your actual response data; that is, the rows underneath each column header.


    I hope this helps answer your question! An Alias is the most likely explanation for your question title showing up differently in the export. If that’s not it, feel free to provide a more specific example of the differences you are seeing, and I may be able to provide a more specific answer.

    Nathan - Survey Astronaut answered

      Hi Randall,

      Thanks for reaching out about this one, are you talking about the answer options that are presented in the survey versus the ones you see in the export? If so, that’s by design, we pull in the Reporting Values into exports instead of the answer options you see when taking the survey.

      The other thing that’s a possibility is that if you haven’t re-run the export to reflect changes to the survey since they were made, the export would still reflect the survey as it was.

      If it’s not either of those solutions, then send over an email to support@sgizmo.com with the name of the survey so we can take a look at what you’re seeing!

      Be excellent to each other,
      Justin Crowe
      Survey Time Lord – Customer Support Hero

      J.Crowe - SurveyGizmo answered


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