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.

Among other factors, the format determines how the survey will be sent out and how responses will be connected to people.

If you're using the Engagement product and want to see the default survey type for templates on this plan, just click here to check it out!

Attributed Surveys

Attributed surveys are the most common survey format used in Culture Amp. Each response is linked to an employee in your account through the users profile. Culture Amp will email a unique survey link to each person and track their response during 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 offer several advantages over other common survey formats:

  1. Culture Amp can manage survey communications directly with respondents. Our system tracks each respondent’s participation, so reminder emails are only sent to those who haven't submitted their survey response yet.

  2. Each respondent can only take the survey once. Since we track each respondent's survey, we get accurate real-time participation results. This means that the survey results won't be skewed by respondents taking the survey multiple times.

  3. You can preload respondent demographics into Culture Amp before launching the survey. This means you won't need to ask respondents' demographic questions we already know the answers to (e.g. What is your gender?). This makes the survey experience better for employees and ensures more accurately allocated demographic groups for survey reporting.


Unattributed Surveys

Unattributed surveys have no connection to any specific individual. Because of this, they don't need any preloaded employee information in Culture Amp. Instead, they use a common link that all respondents use to access the survey. When someone clicks the link, a brand new survey response is created for them, but it can't be linked back to that person.

Setting up Unattributed surveys is very simple. While they're not commonly used for regular employee surveys, they can be handy in situations like:

  • Candidate Surveys, where it's hard to get or maintain respondent information in Culture Amp.

  • Ongoing feedback surveys where respondents need to take the survey more than once.

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

  1. We are unable to tell whether an individual has answered the survey more than once. This means that 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 but it has to be provided by the individual which may be incorrect or inconsistent.

  4. As Culture Amp doesn't know who is participating in the survey, we cannot manage survey communications for you. All communications have to 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 and finish later.

Also, Unattributed surveys can't be used as a data source for Retention Insights. These insights need precise start and end dates for users, but since Unattributed survey responses aren't linked to employee profiles, we can't track this information.



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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