Integration between Nfield Online and Panel Providers

2 November 2018

Integrating Nfield Online with panel providers is simple and easy via common market research industry practices. When you have sample information from a sample source (your own panel database, or sample database from your panel provider or client), Nfield can facilitate the sharing of this information and the interview status between Nfield and the source(s) concerned. The following Q&A has been compiled to help you understand how it’s done.

What are the benefits of integration?

Integration automates the sharing of information between sample sources and Nfield. It keeps both systems up-to-date in real time, without human intervention. The following examples illustrate how this is of benefit to all involved.

  1. The panel provider (anyone providing the sample source) can pass sample information (e.g. respondent name / product used) to Nfield. The sample information can be used directly in the questionnaire.
  2. When an interview is paused / ended / completed, Nfield updates the panel provider on the survey status via a result code. For example, it might be reported as successful, screen-out, quota full or another custom exit code of your choice. The panel provider can follow up by sending a thank-you message, adding credits or sending a reminder to the panel member.
  3. Because the panel provider receives status updates (as described in the previous item), they have a clear overview of how the fieldwork is progressing and can be proactive in taking any necessary action, such as adding a new sample to the survey.

Who should distribute the invitation and what’s the best way to do it?

That’s entirely up to you and how creative you want to be (see Creative Online Survey Distribution). Nfield has an email management module for managing, sending and tracking email templates. To find out which options are available to you, please check with your own organization and your panel providers. They probably have their own member portal or app to facilitate management of invitations and rewards. 

Should I upload sample information to Nfield?

This depends on your needs. 

Nfield provides a sample management module to facilitate your fieldwork operation. You can upload / download sample information in Microsoft Excel format or using our API (see API – What Researchers need to know). You can modify or delete information as necessary. To comply with GDPR, you can also partially clear confidential information and/or delete interview data (see GDPR and Nfield Toolkit).

How can I link a sample to both systems?

Nfield allows you to define your own RespondentKey for each sample. So you can use an ID provided by your panel provider (such as SampleID or PanelMemberID) as the RespondentKey.
When you upload the sample information to Nfield, simply include this RespondentKey as a field in the Excel sheet. Note that there is no requirement to upload sample information if you don’t want to. The panel provider can also distribute the invitation link directly themselves using the following format: 

I would like to show the respondent name and purchased product in the questionnaire text. How can this be done?

There are two options for this. You can either upload these details to Nfield or incorporate the information in the survey URL.

If you choose to upload the information to Nfield, simply incorporate the RespondentKey in your invitation link to make it appear within the questionnaire. 

Or if you prefer, you can incorporate the sample information directly in the survey URL, as shown below, to get the same result. 

Can I encrypt the sample information in the survey URL?

Yes. This can be done using an encryption key which is provided in each survey. Please contact our helpdesk for details on how to implement this. The resulting URL will be presented as shown below:

How does my panel provider get updated on the interview status so they can give rewards as needed?

When an interview is completed, the redirection URL can be configured to a page published by your panel provider or to one of your own, which can be defined according to the result code in each case. You can include whatever parameters you choose in this result code (e.g. RespondentKey, additional products, duration spent). The panel provider should process these codes to update their database so rewards can be given accordingly. 

How can my panel provider stay up-to-date on the quota status?

Nfield constantly checks the quota status while interviews are being carried out. If you have access to Nfield, you can get a quick overview of the current status via Nfield manager. Third parties (e.g. your panel provider/client) have the following options for keeping up-to-date.

  1. The panel provider/client keeps their own record of the number of successful interviews in each quota cell.
  2. Supervisors using Nfield report the quota status to them (manually).
  3. API automation is created to retrieve the latest quota status and share it with the panel provider.

Note that we are currently developing functionality for direct sharing of quota status with panel providers. Please check in with us on how this work is progressing!

Can I include multiple panel providers in one study?

Yes, with some modification to the questionnaire. Contact our helpdesk for details. 

More questions about panel integration?

We know that every customer has different needs. If your questions / requirements aren’t covered in this article, contact us and we’ll be delighted to provide answers. 

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