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Attributed and unattributed survey formats
Attributed and unattributed survey formats

The differences between our attributed and unattributed survey types

Jared Ellis avatar
Written by Jared Ellis
Updated over a week ago

What can I learn from this page?

The differences between our attributed and unattributed survey types

Who is this guide for?

Account Admins, Survey Admins, Survey Creators

The format of your survey is strongly influenced by the type of survey you are running. The format determines (amongst other things) how the survey will be distributed and how the data will be tied back to respondents.

Attributed Surveys

Attributed Surveys are the most common format used in Culture Amp. Attributed surveys tie each individual survey response back to a corresponding employee record stored in your account. Culture Amp will email a unique survey link to each respondent and will track the status of their response throughout the survey. Culture Amp's configured reporting rules, which typically only show results in aggregate, ensure that no individual response is ever shown. Attributed surveys have several advantages over other common survey formats:

  1. Culture Amp can manage survey communications directly with respondents. As Culture Amp emails tracks each respondent’s participation, reminder emails are only issued to respondents that are yet to submit their survey response.

  2. Each respondent can only take the survey once. As each respondent's survey is tracked, accurate real time participation results can be achieved and survey results cannot be skewed by respondents taking the survey multiple times.

  3. Respondent demographics can be 'pre-loaded' into Culture Amp prior to launching the survey. Pre-loaded demographics are usually preferable as you don't need to ask respondent to answer demographic questions that you already know the answer to (e.g. What is your gender?). This improves the survey experience for respondents, but most importantly, results in more accurately allocated demographic groups for survey reporting.


Unattributed Surveys

Unattributed surveys have no tie to an individual at all. Unattributed surveys therefore do not require any preloaded employee information in Culture Amp and use a common link that all participants use to access the survey. When each respondent accesses the link, a brand new survey response is created that cannot be attributed to that person.

Unattributed surveys are extremely simple to set up and whilst they are rarely used for a typical employee survey, they can be particularly useful in circumstances such as:

  • where respondent information is either difficult to obtain or is not going to be maintained in Culture Amp - e.g. Candidate Surveys.

  • where respondents are required to take the survey more than once such as an ongoing feedback survey

Despite their simplicity, Unattributed Surveys have some drawbacks when compared to Attributed Surveys:

  1. It's impossible to know if an individual has answered the survey multiple times and hence, results may be skewed by respondents taking the survey multiple times.

  2. Participation cannot be accurately tracked as you only know how many individual survey responses have been submitted.

  3. Demographic information can be tracked, however, it must be supplied by the individual which may be incorrect or inconsistent.

  4. As Culture Amp doesn't know who is participating in the survey, Culture Amp cannot manage survey communications for you. All communications must be managed outside of Culture Amp and reminders cannot be targeted at respondents that are yet to submit their response.

  5. As a respondent, there is no way to save your answers, then come back to it later.



It's common to get asked "is this survey anonymous?". Whilst it would be possible to run an anonymous survey with Culture Amp (unattributed with no demographic information), these are not the norm.

We prefer to communicate that Culture Amp surveys are 'Confidential' and ensure that the reporting rules are clearly communicated to respondents when they are taking the survey.

Results for Culture Amp surveys are typically reported in aggregate with a minimum reporting group size determining the number of submitted responses required before any results will be shown. The minimum reporting group size is usually 5, but that may vary depending on the exact circumstances. The intent here is to provide enough feedback on groups to give meaningful feedback for analyzing results and taking action (e.g. Engineering team versus Sales Team), but not single out any response such that a respondent can be easily identified.

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