If you’ve been using tools like SurveyMonkey to send out questions to your customers and then analyse the results, you might not be aware of Microsoft Forms.
Microsoft Forms, much like SurveyMonkey, allows you to create surveys in Office 365, and either share them to authenticated users within your organization, or with anonymous respondents anywhere.
Usually when you are collecting data back from forms and using it for work purposes, like client satisfaction surveys or pre-engagement questionnaires, you need to have the resulting data accessible by the whole team.
By making sure it’s accessible to the whole team, it removes the reliance on one individual in the team to collate the responses to the surveys and share with the wider group.
With Microsoft Forms, whilst you can create personal forms and then allow others to work on them with you, a better way is to create group-owned forms, so the members of the group all share ownership of the data. By using the group rather than a named individual it also means that should someone leave the team, the data doesn’t disappear with them.
An easy and intuitive way to create group forms is to use Microsoft Teams to create your Microsoft Forms, edit them with the team, share from Teams and collate and work on the results.
Creating Forms in Microsoft Teams
To create a form in Microsoft Teams, we first need to choose the right team and channel to create the form within.
Typically, this will be the Team assigned to the team, department or project you are working on. You can then create a relevant Channel within the team that’s fit for purpose. In the example below, we’re using the Team Project Scorpio and have create a channel Client Surveys. At the top of the channel, we’ve got our default Tabs, Conversations, Files and Wiki. We’ll use Add Tab to add our new Form:
When we add a new tab, we’re presented with a large range of options for the various tab-enabled integrations in Microsoft Teams. Forms is built-in, so simply choose Forms from the list:
Next, we’ll name our Form. This will be not only the Tab name, but also the name of the form itself – it’s title and how we’ll find it listed if we visit the Microsoft Forms website. In this example, I’ve called the form Pre-engagement Survey:
Once the new Form has been created, we have two sub-tabs within the Form; Questions and Responses. As the view in Teams is in Edit mode, we won’t answer the form within Teams – we’ll use it as the place to manage the form itself. We’ll start off by adding our initial questions to the form and customize it ready for use:
Once we are happy with the questions within the form and customized its colours, pictures and style to meet our needs, we can then choose to Share the form so that responses can be gathered. We’ll begin the process by selecting the Share icon in the top-right hand corner:
After choosing Share, we can then click on the drop-down list and change the default sharing option “Only people in my organisation can respond” to “Anyone with the link can respond”, which will allow anonymous responses:
After copying the link generated, we can then share that link with anyone we want to access the survey, create a QR code to share, create HTML to embed the form in a web page, or compose an email with the link to send to respondents:
When someone responds to the Form, the response will be via a standard webpage. Although we’ve created the form in Teams, that doesn’t mean that responses will be via Teams itself. As we see below, the custom form can be accessed via any supported browser – like equivalent tools such as SurveyMonkey:
Accessing and managing responses
Because it is a Teams form (technically a group form) all the member of the Office 365 group or Microsoft Team can access the responses and will see the tab added to the Channel.
In the example below, a message has been posted into the channel letting team members know about the new form, and this along with the tab (both highlighted) can be selected by any team member to access the form:
After we’ve received some responses, any team member can then visit the tab, and select the Responses sub-tab to see the results in real-time, as they come in:
Understanding where your form data is stored outside of Microsoft Teams
If you look closely in the screenshot above, you’ll also notice the option to Open in Excel. If you are wondering where the data lies in Excel, then look no further. It’s easy to find, as it’s stored within SharePoint, and thus accessible by selecting the Files tab within the channel:
Because it’s stored in SharePoint, that also means that any team member can choose the Open in SharePoint option to visit the SharePoint site attached to the team and choose to get notifications when the survey is updated or synchronize the folder using the OneDrive client and have access to the survey responses from the desktop, even if they are offline.
You can also visit forms.microsoft.com to access and manage your Teams-created form. You’ll find the form listed under the heading Group forms:
One important note to remember though – like all Office 365 group-enabled services, removing the Team will delete the group form. However, if you do accidentally delete the Channel, you’ll still be able to get back to the Form via both the Microsoft Forms website and see the data in the SharePoint team site attached to the team.
Steve is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He enjoys getting hands-on, solving some of the more complex problems associated with migrating to the cloud or to newer versions of Exchange Server.