Symphony Web Documentation
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Home Browser Support Getting Started - Validate Email Start a new project Open a project Delete a project Upload a project Download a project Give Team Members Access to a Project Import Excel File Format/Layout Open Import Excel Form Upload Excel File Map Excel Columns to Symphony Content Respondent Identifier (Required) Respondent Demographics/Ratings Comments and Codes Tag Groups and Tags Run the Import Import Word Document (interview transcript) Upload Interview Transcript Map Styles to Content Hide Unwanted Texts Fix Incorrectly Styled Content Run the Word Import Import Text File Open Import Text Form Import Tweets from Twitter Open Twitter Query Form Define Twitter Query Run the Tweet Import Resolve Retweets Import Audio Recording Upload Audio & Transcribe File Process Transcript People View Add Respondents Assign Demographic Value Add Comments Code Comments Split Comments Split in Content Editor Split in Comment Properties Form Merge Comments Create/View a Field Note Edit While Navigating the View Coding View Create a code Edit the text of a code Change Code or Comment Order Move a code Delete a code Code a Comment Edit the Text of a Comment Split a Comment Manage Field Notes Display Statistics Cluster Analysis Exploratory Analysis Settings and Running Code Results to New the Results Code to New Code Code to Existing Code Merge Clusters Improving Results Themed Analysis Settings and Running Coding the Results Review Code a Comment Change Code or Comment Order Modify a Code or Comment Add/View Field Notes Decorators Queries Define a Query Modify Column Properties Crosstab Query Run a Query Download Query Results to Excel Predefined Queries Available Columns Entities Statistics Attributes Charts Set a Filter Spawn a Chart Charts Create a Chart Set Query Set Chart Type Run Query Resize Chart Clone a Chart Save as .PNG Word Cloud Create a Basic Word Cloud Resize Word Cloud Blacklist Words Word Filter Word Proximity Save Word Cloud Feedback Report Create a Template Add a Query Add a Table Add a Chart Table of Contents Upload a Template Choose a Template Map Output Fields to Word Styles Set a Filter Add Decorators Restart Comment Numbers With Each Code New Page For Top Level Codes Where to Send the Report Run the Report Filter Group Codes Tag Groups and Tags Respondents Words Sentiment Miscellaneous Language Translation Set Translation Scope Start Translation Replenish Quota () Sentiment Available Sentiment Statistics Tag Groups and Tags Create a Tag Group Modify a Tag Group Delete a Tag Group Move a Tag Group Create a Tag Tag Content Modify a Tag Delete a Tag Move a Tag Combine Tags Chat Widget Introduction Send Message Invite/Dismiss Cecil Minimize Chat Window Down-vote response from Cecil Go to Topic Email Chat Transcript Miscellaneous Code Suggestion Component Content Editor Import Feedback Report Edits Search Widget Good to Know/Tips Glossary Demographics Interview Guide Troubleshooting Introduction Process Guides Introduction Interview-based Team Assessment

About Symphony Content Analysis Software

Symphony is an application that assists you with organizing, analysing, and reporting on themes found in text data. Generally speaking, any text that can be summarized into one or more thematic ideas is suited for use with Symphony. Examples include:

  • Team assessment interviews
  • Employee engagement surveys
  • Social media such as Twitter feeds

If you have had to organize texts by theme, you know how challenging it can be when you have hundreds or thousands of paragraphs. Some of the challenges:

  • If you are copying and pasting (e.g. in Word or Excel) it is easy for you to make mistakes such as deleting data.
  • Navigating within the document your data is in can be difficult if you need to move something very far.
  • As your analysis progresses, you become increasing commited to the interim results you've produced, making it increasingly difficult to change your coding structure to meet the newer insights.

Symphony is optimized for dealing with these issues. The basic idea is to free you from the administrative task of organizing data so you can focus more energy on the actual analysis - what is the data telling you.

The Symphony Content Analysis Console is the launch point and home page for the web-based Symphony. From there you open projects and invoke all Symphony features. The most frequently-used features are made accessible from a row of buttons at the top of the console. The remaining features are accessed through the main menu which is accessed by clicking the Menu button () in the upper-left corner.

Browser Support

Your browser must support JavaScript, Html-5, and CCS-3. Basically that's any of the popular modern browsers.

Microsoft IE (Edge)Windows
Google ChromeWindows, Linux, iOS
FirefoxWindows, Linux, iOS
SafariSome mouse issues

Getting Started - Email Validation

To use this application, you need to allow Symphony to validate your email address. Once validated, Symphony tries to store a cookie in your browser to identify you as the owner of your Symphony projects. If your browser doesn't allow cookies to be stored, you will need to log in each time you launch Symphony.

  1. At the activejava.com home page, click the Launch Symphony Web button.
  2. After Symphony loads, a menu will appear. Choose the Request Email Validation Key option.
  3. Enter your name and email address then click Submit. (Note: if you are already a Symphony Web or Desktop user, enter the email address associated with your license.)
  4. Check your email for a message from support@activejava.com. When it arrives, copy the key into your computer's clipboard.
  5. Paste the key into the Key field, then set and confirm your password and click OK. The Symphony Console should now be available, where you can begin creating a project.

If you were already given a key but don't remember what it is:

You can have your key emailed to you:

  1. Click the menu button () then choose Request Email Validation Key
  2. Enter your name and email address then click the OK button and watch for an email with your key from support@activejava.com
  3. After your key arrives, paste it into the Key field then click the OK button.

Start a new project

Each project you create is an analysis initiative. Examples are 360 reviews, team assessments, employee engagement surveys, and Tweets containing a particular hashtag. Ultimately your objective is to uncover and measure themes in a body of text.

Symphony projects are stored in stand-alone files with an .ca extension.

To start a new project:

  1. Click the Home button to show the Project List.
  2. Click the New button above the Project List.
  3. In the project properties form, give the project a name.
  4. If you want to allow comments to be coded to more than one code by default, check the Multi-Code box. Generally speaking, you want each comment to contain only one theme, so in most cases it is best to leave this box unchecked. For projects such as employee engagement surveys where employees are likely to list two or more things they like or dislike about the company, it may be preferable to allow multi-coding.
  5. If you intend to do analysis of individual words and if you are aware of words or phrases that would only become "noise", you can enter them in the Black List field. For example, if a survey is all about "benefits", it can be preferable to have the word "benefits" excluded as a word, since it may appear too often to be helpful with identifying themes. Generally speaking, it is best not to enter anything here at first, then if you find words that interfere with an analysis come back to the project's properties form and add them.
  6. Click OK. Your project will be created on the server, and will be opened automatically.

Once you've created or uploaded a Symphony project, you can manage its content and produce reports from it. As a minimum, this means engaging in the following tasks:

  1. Add respondents and their comments
  2. Create a thematic coding structure
  3. Move comments into themes
  4. Run statistical analyses or detailed thematic reports

Depending on the nature of your project, each of these tasks might be performed multiple times and might utilize different Symphony features. The icons on the main toolbar toward the top of your browser give you access to the features that enable you to do most of your work. Additional features are available by clicking the Menu () button. Anytime while using Symphony you click the help () button or press function key F1, this help document will be loaded into your browser, preset to the topic that covers the view you have open.

Open a project

To open a project:

  1. Click the Home button.
  2. Either double-click the project name in the Project List, or click the project name then click the Open button.

The summary project information will appear to the right of the list. At this point, opening any views or forms will display data relevant to the project.

Delete a Project

Once you've completed your analysis, or if you want to start an existing project from scratch, you can delete it from the server. It is advisable that you make a backup of the project (using the Download option) if you think you might change your mind at a later date.

  1. Click the Home button.
  2. Click the project you want to delete so it is highlighted.
  3. Click the Menu button
  4. Click Delete Project.
  5. Click 'Confirm' when asked to confirm that you want to delete the project. The project will be disappear from the project list.

Upload a Project

If you have a Symphony project file that is not already on the server, you can upload it. You might do this if you created a project with Symphony Desktop, or if you downloaded and deleted a project from the server and now want to add it back.

  1. Click the Main Menu then choose Project/Upload.
  2. In the File Selection dialog, click the Choose/Select button and navigate to the Symphony (.ca) file you want to upload.
  3. Click Submit. The file will be added to the server and will appear in the Project List.

Note: if the project file exists on the server even by a different name, you must delete it before uploading again.

Download a Project

If you want to archive a project, or if you prefer to store your project on your computer instead of on the server, you can choose to download a copy to your computer.

  1. Click the Home button on the main toolbar.
  2. In the List of Projects, click the name of the project you want to download.
  3. Click the Main Menu then choose Project/Download.
  4. Follow your browser's instructions for saving the file. It will be saved with an .ca extension.

Give Team Members Access to a Project

Symphony in conjunction with the Symphony Synchronization Service can provide you and members of your organization the option to work collaboratively in real-time on the same project. For this feature to work, both you and your members must:

  • have access to Symphony,
  • have a subscription to the Symphony Synchronization Service,
  • and be set up for access to your Symphony subscription. (We give Symphony users access at your request.)

Anyone that fits these criteria will show up as being available for addition to your project

The Symphony Synchronization Service coordinates changes you and your team members make to ensure that everyone sees the project the same. When you make a change in Symphony, that change is also distributed to each of the team members that are connected to the project. If any members are using Symphony Desktop, they see the changes when they synchronize.

To give a team member access to your project:

  1. Click the Home button to display the Project List.
  2. Open the project by double-clicking its name or highlighting it and click the Open button.
  3. Click the button on the toolbar in the Team Members list. All available team members -- excluding those already with access to the project -- will appear in a list.
  4. Check the box next to each team member you want to add.
  5. Click the "Add Checked Members" button.

When added, an automated email will be sent out to each new team member, instructing them on how to access the project. The instructions cover both the web and desktop versions of Symphony.


Import Excel Spreadsheet

The Excel Import utility lets you import Excel spreadsheets into Symphony. Typical uses:

  • Online survey results
  • Names and demographics of interviewees for interview-based projects such as board assessments and 360 reviews.

To import, you map the first respondent's data to Symphony. This is done by dragging cells from the spreadsheet to panels on the Excel Import form that are designated for various types of content. Symphony uses your cell mapping as a pattern to apply to each subsequent row. The pattern is repeated until Symphony encounters a row where the respondent name cell(s) have no value. At this point it is assumed that the end of the worksheet has been reached and processing stops.

File Format/Layout

When it comes to importing Excel spreadsheets, Symphony allows considerable flexibility with regard to format. Here's some guidelines:

  • Each row should contain the information for one respondent. For example, if the source is a survey, each row is one survey response.
  • A "name" is required for the respondent. This can be either an actual name or an identifier such as a response ID.
  • The respondent's name (or identifier) can be either one column, or two. If it is one column, it should be treated as if it was the respondent's full name. If two columns, it should be treated as a first and last name.
  • Each demographic should occupy a single column.
  • Any number of columns can contain comments.
  • No gaps in rows should exist; Symphony stops processing as soon as it encounters an empty row below the first respondent's row.
  • Excess columns with data you don't want to import may exist. Symphony will simply ignore them.
  • The columns you want to import can be in any order.

Open Import Excel Form

To open the Excel Import form:

  1. Click the Menu button.
  2. Click Excel Survey or Respondents Info under Import Content.

Upload Excel File

To upload an Excel spreadsheet to Symphony:

  1. Click the Upload Excel File button. The Upload Excel File dialog will open.
  2. Click the Browse/Choose File button and navigate to your spreadsheet. The file you choose must be an .XLSX file; Symphony does not read the older .XLS format.
  3. Click the Submit button. Your file will be processed and the sample rows downloaded.

Symphony reads the spreadsheet and returns a sample of rows -- the first 40 rows -- from the first worksheet. Symphony also returns a list of worksheets, so if your data is not on the first one, you can switch. You will use the sample rows as a reference for telling Symphony how the worksheet maps to Symphony.

Map Excel Columns to Symphony Content

When importing an Excel worksheet to Symphony, you tell Symphony which columns you want to import, and what the columns contain. You do this by dragging cells from the worksheet into regions on the Import Excel form that have special meanings.

The key to mapping the worksheet to Symphony is to think this way:

What cells do you want to import for the FIRST RESPONDENT? This can be any combination of cells with values as well as header cells such as categories and questions. Symphony will apply that pattern to the remaining respondents.

Respondent Identifier

Regardless of the nature of your data, you must include a cell or cells to uniquely indentify each respondent. This can be a number such as a response ID, or the respondent name if it can be guaranteed to be unique. If the worksheet doesn't include such a column or if the names aren't unique, you will need to add one. (A column with an auto-incremented value will do the trick.)

To import the respondent identifer:

  1. If the worksheet contains columns for first and last name, drag the first respondent's first name cell up and drop it in the Cell column next to the First Name attribute Repeat this for the last name column and Last Name attribute.
  2. If instead the worksheet contains a column for the full name of the respondent, drag the first respondent's name up and drop it in the Cell column next to the Full Name attribute.
  3. If your worksheet does not include the respondent's name but does have a column that uniquely identifies each respondent (e.g. a response ID) drag the response ID cell belonging to the first response up and drop it onto the Full Name attribute.

Respondent Demographics/Ratings

If your worksheet has columns for respondent demographics, or if you have ratings items, you can have them imported. To Symphony, demographics and ratings are the same thing, in that both become ways to aggregate or filter your data by respondent characteristics.

When demographics or ratings are imported, Symphony saves them as "Tag Groups" and "Tags". For Example, a rating item from a survey is a Tag Group, and each rating value is a Tag inside the group.

To map columns to demographics:

  1. Drag the demographic value or rating cell for the first respondent up and drop it in the Demographics/Ratings section of the form. When you drop it, a default name will appear. If the worksheet cell immediately above the demographic value cell has a value, this will be used as the name.
  2. Optionally modify the name of the demographic.
  3. Repeat for each of the demographics/ratings columns you want to import.

Comments and Codes

If you are importing a survey, the comments are probably the main reason you are here. Symphony lets you import as many comment columns as your worksheet contains. You can also optionally import decorators -- codes, tags, and tag groups -- that are related to the comments.

To map a comment cell to Symphony:

  1. Drag the comment cell up and drop it in the Comment Cell column toward the top of the screen.
  2. If you have a second comment column, do the same as the first but drop it below the entry that was created for the first comment cell.
  3. Repeat for the remaining comment columns.

You can have cells imported as codes, and have the comments initially coded to them. You might for example want to import the text of a question along with the comment. If you do this, a code will be created from the question and the comments that are in response to that question will be coded to it. This is a common practice; it provides an initial context for thematic coding. After all the comments have been coded to themes, the question code is empty and can be deleted.

Another practice is to import text that represents a high-level category for comments that are grouped together in the survey. For example, let's say the survey asks three questions relating to "Strategy". If your worksheet contains a cell with "Strategy" in it, you can map the three comments to it and they will all be coded to "Strategy" during the import.

To map excel code columns to Symphony:

  1. Drag the cell that you want as a top-level code and drop it in the Code Level 1 column next to an entry you already created for a comment
  2. If you have a second-level of coding, drag the code cell up and drop it in the Code Level 2 column of the same comment entry.

Tag Groups and Tags

You can optionally import Tag Groups and Tags along with comments. This is in addition to codes. This feature results in the imported tags being attached to the corresponding comments. This is not a common practice, but it is available for associating additional permantent or temporary attributes with individual comments. You could for example attach the text of a survey question to each comment as a means of keeping a permanent record of the question the comment was in response to.

To import tags and tag groups, do the following:

  1. To import a Tag Group, drag the cell that contains the value for the group up and drop it in the Tag Group column next to one of the comment rows you already created.
  2. To import a Tag, drag the cell that contains the value for the tag up and drop it in the Tag column next to one of the Tag Group column.

Run the Import

When you are satisfied with your Excel - to - Symphony mapping of content, click the Run () button. Your map will be uploaded and applied to the worksheet. A message will be displayed when it is finished. You can now close the form. If you go to People view or Coding view, you will see the comments and codes that were imported.


Import Word Document

The Word Import utility is used to import interview transcripts that have been stored as Word documents. As a minimum, the document will contain the verbatim comments you will attribute to a single interviewee (respondent). It can however contain other text. For example, it is a commom practice for those who use an interview guide to transcribe the comments into a copy of the guide and them import the copy. Symphony can be directed to import only the texts that belong to the interviewee, or alternatively additional texts such as the actual questions can be imported and used as an initial code and/or a tag for the comments.

The extraction of text is based on Word Styles. So it is important that your document be consist with styles usage. If you are not familiar with Word styles, you will find an abundance of explanations if you Google it.

Upload Interview Transcript

To import an interview transcript saved as a Word file:

  1. Click the Menu button followed by Word Interview Transcript under Import Content.
  2. Click the Respondents dropdown list and click on a respondent to whom the comments should be attributed.
  3. Click the Load Interview Transcript button to bring up the File Upload dialog.
  4. Navigate to the .DOCX file to upload. It must be an .DOCX file; Symphony does not read the older .DOC file format.
  5. Click the Import Content button. The file will be uploaded and the current view will be updated with the contents of the document.

Map Styles to Content

The styles-to-content mapping is how you tell Symphony which content to import and what to do with it. The styles are the Word styles used by the texts in your document, the content-types are the various types of Entities you can create from the text.

When a style is mapped to a content type, an icon appears to the left of each paragraph that uses that style.

To map word styles to content:

  1. Click on a style in the Styles List. The paragraphs that use this style are highlighted.
  2. Click the checkbox next to the content type you want to map this style to. The checkbox will become checked, and an icon corresponding to the content type will appear to the left of each paragraph using this style.

Hide Unwanted Texts

The Text Paragraphs list shows all the paragraphs of text in your document. While doing the styles-to-content mapping, you might find it useful to hide text that is irrelevant and display only the text you are interested in. For example, if your document has a lot of boiler-plate text. You can do this by choosing to ignore all the text that uses a given style.

  1. Click on a style in the Styles list. The paragraphs of text that use it will become highlighted.
  2. Click the checkbox next to the style to remove the checkmark. The paragraphs that use this style will no longer show in the Text Paragraphs list.
  3. To add the paragraphs back, click the checkbox again.

Fix Incorrectly Styled Content

While previewing the document, you may see that you have content that is incorrectly styled. For example, you might see a comment that is not using the style mapped to comments. If you leave it as-is, it will not be imported as a comment. You can fix it as follows:

  1. Click the paragraph you want to fix.
  2. Drag the paragraph with your mouse and drop it on the preferred style in the Styles list. The appearance of the paragraph will change to reflect the style change, and the appropriate icon will be displayed to its left.

Run the Word Import

When you are finished mapping Word styles to Symphony content, you are ready to perform the import. To do this, click the Run () button. A message will display when the import is finished. You can now close the form. If you go to People view or Coding view, you will see the comments and codes that were imported.


Import Text file

This feature enables you to import a text file. The entire contents of the file is imported as Comments, each one attributed to the Respondent you choose. A separate Comment is created for each paragraph. Example Uses:

  • Interview transcript saved as a text file.
  • Transcript of an online chat session.
  • Other text-based sources such as a Gutenberg eBook or the text selection from a Web page.

Open Import Text Form

To import a text file:

  1. To import an interview transcript saved as a text file, click the Menu button then click Text File under Import Content
  2. From the drop-down list, choose the Respondent to whom you want to attribute the comments.
  3. Click the File Browse/Choose File button and navigate to the text file you want to import.
  4. Optionally enter one or more regex (regular expression) patterns. The intent of the expressions is to filter and/or substitute text prior to importing. If you are not familiar with regex, leave this blank. If you believe your data needs to be pre-processed, please contact us and we will help you with defining the correct regex patterns.
  5. Click the Submit button to perform the import.

Import Tweets

The Twitter Import utility lets you import Tweets into a project. You specify which Tweets to import by providing screen names (@) and/or hashtags (#). The Twitter author of each Tweet is set up as Symphony respondent and a Comment is created for each Tweet. Various attributes of the Twitter account or of the Tweets can also be imported, providing additional ways of slicing the data.

In addition to the Tweets, Symphony imports other entities that can be used for deep analysis of the tweets:

  • Tweeter Location if provided
  • Date of the Tweet
  • User mentions -- that is, other Tweeters mentioned in the Tweet using the "@" symbol
  • Hashtags (#)

The Location is linked to the Tweeter, and the other entities are related to the tweets themselves. Using Symphony's Query view, this can provide rather rich analysis even before analyzing the text of the tweets themselves.

Open Import Tweets Form

To open the Import Tweets form:

  • Click the Menu button.
  • Click Twitter under Import Content.

Define Twitter Query

To define the Twitter query, do the following:

  1. If you want to retrieve tweets from one or more specific Twitter users, enter their Twitter names here, one per line. This will return the tweets from the specified Twitter user(s) as well as the tweets that others have entered on their timeline -- for example replies to tweets. The name must include the "@" symbol. For example, @JohnDoe.
  2. If you want to retrieve tweets containing specific user mentions or hashtags, enter them here, one per line. For user mentions include the "@" symbol; for hashtags include the "#" symbol.
  3. Specify the maximum number of tweets you want to retrieve. Processing is stopped once this number is reached. The overall limit is 20,000 tweets.
  4. Check the "Remove Search Items" box when you want the user mentions and/or hashtags entered in the Searches box to be excluded from the entities that Symphony keeps. For example, if the Searches box includes "#ManicMonday", the ManicMonday entry in the Hashtags group will be filtered out. The reason for this is that it may not be useful for analysis. For example, if you run a query of the most frequently used hashtags in project, the ManicMonday hashtag will appear first since every tweet is guaranteed to include it. If however your Searches box includes more than one hashtag or user mention, you might want to uncheck this box so that you can tell which search entry contributed the most tweets.
  5. Check the Exclude Retweets box if you don't want retweets included.

Run the Import

To start importing tweets, click the Import Tweets button. Symphony will contact Twitter and begin downloading tweets. After the tweets are downloaded, Symphony inspects them to determine whether they should be kept.

  • Duplicate tweets are discarded. Symphony always downloads the latest tweets up to the "Max Tweets per Timeline/Search" setting. If you import to the same project more than once, some tweets will be duplicates if there are not enough new tweets since the last import.
  • Once your project contains the maximum allowed tweets, no more will be imported and new tweets will be discarded entirely.

After each import, Symphony tells you how many new tweets were added to your project.

Resolve Retweets

Symphony Always tries to replace retweets with the original tweets. The reason for this is to 1) attribute it to the originator, and 2) to ensure that the complete tweet text is included (the text of retweets are often truncated due to Twitter's tweet size limit).

If your import includes a lot of retweets, you might hit up against Twitter's rate limit. This is because each time a retweet is encountered, an additional request has to be made to Twitter for the original. Accordingly, it is possible that all retweets won't be resolved. In this case, wait 15 minutes then click the Resolve Retweets button and Symphony will make an attempt to resolve them.


Import Audio File

The Import Audio File options provide you a streamlined way of getting relevant text from recordings into your Symphony project. It consists of two major steps:

  • Upload an audio file to Symphony. This begins the transcription process.
  • Process the transcript. This is where you edit and make decisions about the text to be imported as codes and comments.

The following topics provide guidance on how to utilize these functions.

Upload & Transcribe File

This option provides you the capability to upload an audio file to your project. After the file is uploaded, the transcription process begins immediately. You'll receive an email when the transcript is ready. It takes about 20 minutes to transcribe one hour of audio.

To upload an audio file for transcriptions:

  1. Click the Menu button.
  2. Click Upload & Transcribe File under Import Content.
  3. Give the file a title. This can be anything that will remind you what the file is from. For example, "Joe Blow" or "March Conference Call".
  4. Click the Choose File button and navigate to the audio file. Valid formats are .m4a, .mp3, and .wav.
  5. Click the Upload button. The upload will begin. When it is complete you will be reminded that an email will be sent to you when the transcript is available.

Process Transcript

When a transcript becomes available, you come here to integrate the text into your project. Much of what you need to do can be done in any order, so use what follows as a loose guide, then modify your approach to your own needs. The last step however MUST BE DONE LAST.

You don't have to do everything at once. Symphony saves your progress so you can leave and return to your work as you see fit.
  1. In the Import section of the Main Menu, choose Process Transcript.
  2. Click the Choose Interview list, then click the Transcript entry for the transcript you want to work on. The transcript will load, as will buttons for each of the speakers identfied in the audio recording. Each paragraph of text will be color-coded to match the correspondent Speaker buttion.
  3. Click a Speaker button, then click the Project Member or Respondent who the correspondent paragraphs belong to. Repeat for each Speaker. Note that there due to imperfections in voice recognition, there may be more Speakers identified than there are actual speakers. You can assign more than on Speaker to each Project Member or Respondent.
  4. Edit the text of individual paragraphs to what you want to actually import.
  5. Combine paragraphs that you want to track as a single comment. To do this:
    • Click at the end of a paragraph then press the Delete button to include the next paragraph
    • or Click at the start of a paragraph and press the Back button to include it in the previous paragraph
  6. Split paragraphs into two by clicking where you want the paragraph break, then press the Enter key.
  7. Create new codes from paragraphs of text belonging to Project Members. You only need to do this with the paragraphs you want to import. You can do this one of three ways:
    • Select the text then drag it onto the code in your coding structure that you want as the parent,
    • Click on a Project Member paragraph then click the radio button in your coding structure where you want the new code to go,
    • Click the code you want as the parent in the coding structure, then click the Create Code button in the floating toolbar above the paragraph.
  8. Turn a paragraph of Project Member text into an existing code by dragging the code from your coding structure and dropping it onto the paragraph. In this case the text of the paragraph will be replace with the text of the code.
  9. Create new codes from paragraphs belonging to Respondents:
    1. Click the code in your coding structure you want as the parent.
    2. Select the text in the Respondent paragraph from whic you want to create a code.
    3. Right-click the selected text and choose Create Code from Selection.
  10. Delete paragraphs of Respondent text that you don't want to import. (Don't worry about paragraphs that consist of "......"; they are ignored.
  11. When you find a paragraph assigned to the wrong Speaker, reassign it by right-clicking on it and Choose the correct Speaker.
  12. Import all remaining Respondent text by clicking the Run Import button. All the Respondent paragraphs will be imported as comments. Each will be coded to the code preceding it in interview.

People View

People View is for managing respondents and their comments. In general, it is more efficient to import respondents from a spreadsheet and their comments either from a document or a survey spreadsheet, but this view provides the capability to add then one-by-on as well as edit their information after they've been added to the project through other means.

People View is organized into four sections:

  • The Left Panel is the Respondent List, showing all respondents in the project.
  • The Center Panel is Comment List, showing all comments attributed to the respondent that is highlighted in the Respondent List.
  • The Content Editor is a text region located below the Center Panel. It displays the complete text of the highlighted comment. You can edit the comment text in the Content Editor.
  • The Coding Structure is located on the right side of the view. It displays your project's coding structure. In addition,

In most cases, Symphony refers to people as "respondents". Comments are attributed to respondents. A respondent does not have to be a person; it can also be an event such as a focus group. Regardless of the actual entity, comments are attributed to respondents, and any attributes such as demographics that belong to the respondent are inherited by the comments attributed to the respondent.

Open People View

To open People View, click the People button on the console toolbar.

Add Respondents

It is usually quicker to import your respondents from a spreadsheet. You can however add them manually as follows:

  1. Click People on the main tool bar to bring up People view.
  2. Click the New Respondent icon above the Respondent List.
  3. Give the respondent a first and last name. If the respondent is a focus group or if the respondent has only a single name, enter it in the First Name field.
  4. Click OK to save the respondent and exit. Alternatively, if you have more respondents to enter click OK/More and the form will stay open and reset for entering another.

Assign Demographic Value

Demographics are custom attributes pertaining to respondents. Examples are Gender, Location, and Tenure. Each demographic has "demographic values" such as Male and Female for Gender.

The primary purpose of demographics in Symphony is to provide ways of grouping and/or filtering respondents to perform deep analysis or targeted reports. For example, with a Gender demographic you can compare the average comment sentiment for Males and Females. Or run a Feedback Report that contains comments belonging to respondents from a particular country.

Symphony implements demographics as "tag groups" and "tags". A demographic such as Gender would be a tag group, and Male and Female would be tags within the group. What differentiates a demographic from other tag groups is that you define the tag group to be used for respondents only.

To manage the demographic values assigned to a respondent:

  1. Open the Tags Widget at the bottom of the screen by clicking its icon.
  2. Scroll down to the Tag Group that contains the demographic you want to change for the respondent.
  3. Click the respondent you want to change. The radio button next to the current demographic value assignment (if any) will become selected.
  4. Either click the radio button next to the demographic value you want to assign, or drag the demographic value onto the respondent. (The other direction doesn't work.)
  5. Repeat #3 for each additional demographic you want to set for the respondent.

Add Comments

Generally if your comments exist in electronic form, it is more efficient to import them using the Excel or Word Import utilities. However, you can add/edit comments for a respondent directly in People View.

  1. In People view, right-click the respondent for whom the comment is to be attributed, and choose New Comment. Alternatively, left-click the respondent then click the New Comment button over the Comments List.
  2. Type or paste the text of the comment into the text field of the Comment Properties form.
  3. Click OK to save the comment and exit, or if you have more comments to enter click OK/More.

Code Comments

Code View has additional features to help you code efficiently. However, if you want to focus on coding comments belonging to specific respondents, you will find People view more suitable since the comments are organized by respondent.

  1. Click the respondent for whom you want to code comments.
  2. In the Comments List click a comment. The code(s) it is currently coded to will become highlighted in the Coding Structure.
  3. Either drag the comment onto the desired code, or click the checkboxwhen a code accepts comments that are coded to more than one code or radio buttonWhen a comment is coded here, it is moved out of any other codes. next to the desired code. The Coding Structure display will update to reflect the new coding.
If the code you want doesn't exist, you can create it by right-clicking the code you want as the parent, followed by New Code in the context menu.

Split a Comment

The ideal comment consists of a single theme relevant to the project. This is so that only the data relevant to a report or analysis is included in filter criteria. For projects such as large employee engagement surveys, this might not be practical, in which case you may want to take advantage of Symphony's multi-codeAllows comments to be coded to more than one code feature. However, for projects such as team assessments or comparisons of job candidates, single-themed comments might add to the overall project quality. Symphony's split comment feature gives you a way to do this efficiently. When you split a comment, Symphony removes the split portion from one comment and creates a new comment with the split portion, and attributes it to the same respondent. The split portion inherits all tags attached to the original comment, but these can be managed separately without affecting the original.

Comments can be split in People view and Coding view. They can also be split directly inside the Comment Properties form any place this form is available.

Split Comment in Content Editor

To split a comment in the Content Editor:

  1. Click the person to whom the comment belongs to.
  2. In the Comment List click the comment you want to split.
  3. In the Content Editor at the bottom of the view (where the entire comment text is displayed) use your mouse to select the text you want to split out.
  4. Using your mouse, click and hold the mouse button down on the hightlighted text and drag it onto a code in the Coding Structure. The selected text will be removed from the original comment and a new one created and coded to the code you dropped it on.

Splitting Comments in the Comment Properties Form

To split a comment in the Comment Properties Form:

  1. Locate the comment you want to split and double-click it to bring up its Properties form.
  2. Using your mouse, select the text you want to split out.
  3. Drag the selected text onto a code. The selected text will be removed from the original comment and a new one created and coded to the code you dropped it on.

Merge Comments

Merge Comments is the opposite of splitting: you want to combine two comments into one. The result is the same as if you select the text of one comment, delete the comment, then paste it to the end of another comment. In addition, if the consumed comment has tags that the consuming comment doesn't have, they are added as well.

  1. Open People view, then click the comment you want to merge -- this is the comment that will be combined into another comment.
  2. Press and hold your computer's Alt key.
  3. Drag the comment onto the comment into which you want to merge it, and drop it.

The text from the dragged comment is appended to the text of the target comment as a new paragraph, and then the comment is deleted. Any tags the dragged comment had are added to the target comment.

Create/View a Field Note

Field notes are basically comments about codes or comments. They are intended to provide you and your team with a way of communicating something about a comment, usually where you want to revisit it later on. For example, you might want to leave a field note asking a team member to reconsider the way they have a comment coded.

Field notes are visible in the comment's properties form. In Review view, an additional icon is displayed next to comments to indicate that they have field notes.

To create or view a field note for a comment:

  1. Double-click a comment to open its properties form.
  2. The comment properties form is divided into two primary regions. The top region is the comment text. The lower region is the field note. If you are leaving a field note, click in the lower region and begin typing. When you close the form or click somewhere outside the form, the field note will be saved.

Edit While Navigating the View

Symphony provides an efficient way of editing respondents, comments, and codes while navigating around the view.

  1. Double-click a respondent, comment, or a code. Its properties form will open and the entity you clicked be loaded.
  2. Make edits to the entity if you have any to make.
  3. Single-click another entity of any type that has a properties form. The entity you edited will be saved and the one you clicked on will be loaded into its properties form.

Coding View

Symphony's Coding view provides the capability to manage your coding structure and the location of comments within it.

Coding View is organized into three main areas:

Coding Structure - Displays your coding structure as a hierarchy tree Content List - Displays the codes and comments contained inside the code that is highlighted in the coding structure
Content Editor - Displays the text of the code or comment selected in the Content List. You can directly modify the text here

Open Coding View

To open Coding View, click the Coding button on the console toolbar.

Create a Code

New codes are always created either as a top-level code within the coding structure, or as a sub-code of an existing code. These instructions describe using the coding structure's context menu, which is the easiest way to create a code while engaged in coding activities.

  1. Using your mouse, right-click the root of the coding structure, or right-click the code inside which you want to create a sub-code. A context menu will open.
  2. Choose "New Code" on the context menu. The Code Properties form will open.
  3. In the Code Properties form, type the text you want for the code.
  4. Click OK. Alternatively if you have another code to create, click OK/More.

Edit the text of a Code

This can be done one of two ways:

  • Double-click the code in the Coding Structure. This will bring the Code's Properties form, where you can modify the text.
  • Alternatively, if you have the parent of the code selected in the Coding Structure, scroll down through the Content List until you find the code you want to edit, click on it, then modify the text in the Content Editor beneath the Content List. When you click your mouse outside the Content Editor, the changes will be applied.
When you have the Properties Form open for a code, clicking on another code in the Coding Structure saves the code and loads the code you just clicked into the Properties Form.

Change code or comment order

To move a code or comment up or down amongst its peers:

  1. Click the code or comment you want to move
  2. On the toolbar, click the up () or down () arrow, depending on the direction you want to move it. Alternatively, hold the Ctrl key down and press the Up or Down arrow keys on your computer keyboard.

A code or comment will move only if it can. For example, if a comment is the last in a code, clicking the down arrow will have no effect.

You can move multiple codes and comments at the same time by selecting a range.

Move a Code

Depending on your objective, there different actions. These actions can be modified with the Alt Key.

  • To move a code from one parent to another, drag it using your left mouse button onto the code in the Coding Struture you want for the new parent. You can start the drag in the Coding Structure, or in the Content List if it is there. Alternatively, you can click the radio button next to the target code and that will move it.
  • To move a code in or out one level while keep it in its relative order, click it in the Coding Structure, then click the or button above the Coding Structure. Note that the code has to be able to fit logically where the move implies. For example, a top-level code cannot be moved out.
  • To move a code up or down amongst its peers (that is, you want to change its order) click the code either in the Coding Structure or in Content List, then click the up () or down () arrow above it.

Delete a Code

Codes can be deleted only when they contain no codes or comments.

  • Click the code in either the Coding Structure or Content List, then click the Delete () button above it.

Code a Comment

  • Locate the comment in the Content List, then drag it onto the desired code in the Coding Structure.
  • Alternatively: click the comment, then click the radio button next to the code you want to move the comment into.

Edit the Text of a Comment

To edit the text of a comment:

  1. Locate the comment in the Content List and click on it so it is selected. It's text will appear in the Content Editor beneath the Content List.
  2. Make the changes to the comment text. When you click your mouse outside the Content Editor, the changes will be applied.

Split a Comment

Depending on your analysis objectives, you may want to split a comment into two or more separate comments when it contains more than one theme. When a comment is split, each portion is tracked as a separate comment attributed to the original respondent, and has its own coding and tags.

To split a comment:

  1. Locate the comment in the Content List and click on it so it is selected. It's text will appear in the Content Editor beneath the Content List.
  2. Using your mouse cursor select the portion of text that you want to split into another comment. Alternatively you can click at one end of the text then press and hold the Ctrl key as you use the left or right arrow to expand the selection.
  3. Now drag the selection onto a code in the Coding Structure and drop it. The selection will be removed from the comment, and a new comment will be created and coded to the code that was the drop target.
If the original comment has any tags, copies are created and attached to the new comment.

Manage Field Notes

Symphony provides the capability to make field notes for individual codes and comments. An example of a field note for a code is an elaboration on what you had in mind when you created the code. An example of a field note for a comment is you suggest to your team mates that the comment should be moved to a different code. You can use the code and comment field notes for whatever purpose you desire. But the general intent is to provide a way of making a statement or bringing attention to a code or comment.

Field notes are recorded in the lower section of the code and comment properties forms. To make a field note or to read one, simply double-click the code or comment to bring up its properties form.

Display Statistics

You can optionally display a statistic next to each code in the coding structure. This can be useful during analysis to gain a sense of comment distribution across your codes. Values are updated automatically as changes are make to your project. Here are the choices:

# Comments - Deep
This statistic shows you how many comments are contained inside a code, including all codes below it in the coding structure. If you take the branch of the coding structure that starts with this code, the vaue is the all the comments contained in that branch.
# Comments - Shallow
This statistic shows you how many comments are directly contained in a code. It ignores comments inside of codes below the code.
% Comments
This statistic shows you what percent of the comments are in each code, including its subcodes.
# Respondents
This statistic shows you how manu unique respondents have comments inside a code, including all codes below it in the coding structure. Each respondent is counted only once, so if they have more than one comment inside a code, they are still counted onces.

To set the display statisitc:

  1. Click the chart () on the toolbar above the coding structure
  2. Click the statistic you want to display, or to stop displaying a statistic choose None
If you are interested in viewing only certain comments (e.g. ones that contain certain words or belong to respondents in a particular demographic) click the Filter button on the toolbar above the coding structure.

Cluster Analysis

Symphony's cluster analysis assists you with theme discovery and organization of comments around themes. The primary objective is to increase productivity by analyzing groups of comments at a time, as opposed to reading and understanding them one-by-one.

Open Cluster Analysis

To open the Cluster Analysis form, click the Cluster Analysis button on the console toolbar.

  • If you're looking for new themes, use the Exploratory analysis.
  • If you're looking to code comments to exisiting codes, use the Thematic analysis.

Exploratory Analysis

The Exploratory Analysis looks for word patterns. The results are heavily dependent on the frequency of patterns as well as the size of your project. It is further impacted by your settings such as "Min Phrase per Cluster". There is no "right" way to do this analysis other than to run it multiple times with different settings, code some of the results, run it again, and repeat this so long as you continue to get enough useful results to save you time over reading all the comments one-by-one. The more data you have, the better this analysis works.

The purpose of the Exploratory Cluster Analysis is to identify comments that have things in common. This commonality can be leveraged for a variety of other purposes:

  • Identify potential themes and sub-themes
  • Expedite coding to existing codes
  • Tag groups of comments for other objectives such as marking them for further review
  • Quality check on existing coding

As a general rule, the Exploratory Cluster Analysis should be run multiple times on your project. Each time, you will want to set a filter to narrow the scope of comments analyzed. For example, if you are looking for sub-themes inside a code, set a filter on that code so your analysis includes only the relevant comments. Be careful however, there is a point of diminishing returns. You should stop when your goals can be met using other methods.

How the Exploratory Analysis Works

An understanding of these steps that Symphony takes can help you to understand what settings to use, and can help you to understand why the results are what they are:

  1. The longest phrase is identified that occurs at least Min Comments per Cluster times and consists of at least Min Phrase Len words. The longest phrase length is favored over the number of comments. In other words, the phrase length will be expanded so long as there are longer phrases without losing enough commments to go below the Min Comments Per Cluster setting.
  2. The comments from #1 are repeatedly analyzed for additional phrases, starting at the longest length that was found, and working its way down to a single word. Each time, the number of comments is calculated to see whether the additional phrase will cause too many comments to fall off. If it doesn't the phrase is included amongst the match information.
  3. Symphony creates a cluster, with a suggested name for the cluster. The name is a phrase from the comment that it determines is the most representative of the cluster.
  4. These steps are repeated so long as new clusters can be created according to your settings.

When clusters are created, there is no actual changes made to your data. The clusters are merely a way of displaying your data that enables you to view it from this unique perspective and to enable you to act on the comments collectively if you choose to.

Settings and Running

To run an explorary analysis, do the following:

  1. Open Cluster Analysis view.
  2. Choose "Exploratory" from the Analysis Type dropdown.
  3. Set the Min Cluster Size. This is probably the most important setting. It acts as a throttle, in that smaller numbers result in more/fine grained clusters, while larger numbers result in fewer/coarser clusters. The best way to see this is to try a few different settings and observe the effect. From this you can determine a suitable number. A good place to start is a value somewhere around 2% of the comments that will be analyzed.
  4. Set the Min Phrase Length. Symphony locates candidate clusters initially by looking for word phrases. This setting determines the shortest phrase length Symphony will use for finding candidate clusters. In other words, for comments to be clustered together, they all must have a phrase in common of this length or longr. After a cluster is identified, Symphony continues looking for words and phrases to find as much as possible that is shared among the comments in the cluster. If more is found but is not shared across all comments in the cluster, Symphony will drop comments from the cluster down to the Min Comments setting.
  5. Set a Filter. This is very important. The first Exploratory pass, you may not have to set it. But for subsequent passes you must. The reason is that you want to filter out the comments that you have already coded. So you should set a filter that includes only comments that have not been moved to themed codes. The Filter Group is accessed by clicking the Filter button () located toward the top of the Cluster Analysis page. If the comments in your project tend to range in size from very short to long, You may want to consider setting a filter on the number of words in comments and perform separate analyses on different comment length ranges. This can improve the quality of the analyses, and for large projects with millions of words it can speed things up.
  6. Click the Run button and wait. When the analysis is complete the Cluster List will fill with phrases and a count of comments in each cluster along with the number of words the comments have in common.

Code Results to New Codes

The Exploratory analysis results in a list of clusters. The cluster names reflect the phrase that the comments have in common. Clicking on a cluster fills the Comments list with the comments in that cluster. Clicking on a comment in the Comments list reveals the complete text of the comment below the list, where the portion of the text in the comment that matches the cluster is highlighted.

This results in a code being added to your coding structure and comments moved into it:

  • Using your mouse, drag the cluster onto an existing code in your coding structure. A sub-code will be created inside the code you dropped it on, and the comments coded to it.
If you plan to run a cluster analysis more than once, be sure to set a filter each time that excludes comments in the new codes. Otherwise they'll be analyzing the same comments each time.

Code Results to Existing Code

This results in the clustered comments being coded to an existing code. For example, let's say the cluster is named "Good Management" and you have a code named "Management is Great". Assuming the comments in both the cluster and the code reflect this idea, you would want the clustered comments to be moved to the existing code, without creating a new code.

  • While holding your computer's "Alt" key down, use your mouse to drag the cluster onto the existing code. The comments will be moved into the exiting code.

Merge Clusters

Often there will be clusters that in your view should be one. For example, you might see "Teamwork", "Team Spirit", and "Working as a Team" all the same. You can of course code one of them, then use the "Code to Existing Code" technique to combine the others into the code. The same thing can be achieved within the Cluster list:

  • While holding your computer's "Alt" key down, use your mouse to drag one cluster onto another cluster. The cluster you dragged will be remove and its comments will be added to the target cluster. You can now code all the comments by dragging the single cluster onto the coding structure.

Improving Results

If you are not pleased with the results, see if the following helps:

This is what you are getting: Try this:
The comments in your clusters have little or nothing in common.
You get a lot of small clusters Increase the Min Cluster size. This will produce fewer clusters but overall more differences in the comments will be tolerated. That is, they will be less alike.
Comments are clustered around topics just fine, but positive and negative statements are mixed together. Run a few analyses with different sentiment filters. For example, set a filter that requires only comments with positive sentiment and excludes all else. Code the results then repeat with all negative, then all neutral.
If your comments are already grouped at a high level (e.g. your data is a survey that asks multiple questions) you can improve the clusters by setting a filter along this lines so as to include comments that are more likely to have similar meanings. For example, if you ask employees what they like in one question and what they dislike in another question, you want responses such as "my co-workers" to be analyzed within the context of the question.

Themed Analysis

The Themed analysis looks at your existing coding structure and coded comments, and makes predictions as to where the comments in the scope of your analysis belong. In effect, your coding structure and coded comments function as a model for the analysis. It isn't looking for new themes, it merely helps you code within the confines of your existing coding structure.

You would run a Themed Analysis when:

  • You have a predefined coding structure you want to leverage.
  • You feel you've already identified most of the major themes either manually or through the Exploratory analysis, and you want Symphony to help you identify more comments for these codes.
  • You've finished coding and want to see whether Symphony's predictions agree with your coding.

Settings and Running

To run a Themed cluster analysis:

  1. Open Cluster Analysis view.
  2. Click the Analysis Type button until it says "Themed".
  3. Optionally click the Filter button and set a filter to narrow the scope of comments you want to analyze.
  4. Optionally click the Choose Target Codes button and ensure that only the codes to which you want comments coded are checked. This can improve the accuracy by excluding codes that are not logical destinations for the comments being analyzed. The Unassigned code is excluded automatically.
  5. Click the Run button. The codes where Symphony suggests comments will appear in the Clusters list. The Comment indicator to the left of each comments is green when the suggested code is the same as the current coding, and red when it is not.

Coding the Results

Symphony identifies the codes in which it finds the best match for the comments being analyzed. This does not mean the comments belong in the codes it suggests! The results are based in part on:

  • what words Symphony identifies as key words,
  • how many codes each key word appears in,
  • the proximity of key words to each other,
  • and what percent of each comment is made up of key words.

So all it takes to be included is for one key word to exist in the comment. However, since Symphony returns only the best quality results it finds, the likelihood that a comment fits into the cluster is better than random; how much better is dependent on the extent to which comments that have something in common in one code are different from comments in all other codes.

The point being made here is that it is generally not advisable to simply take a code from the Cluster list in a Themed analysis and drop it on a code like you would a cluster in the Exploratory analysis. It is generally better to make individual decisions about comments. But this decision-making process is dramatically sped up by the fact that they have been pre-sorted to themes, and for you it becomes a "yes" or "no" decision as to whether a comment belongs in a code. You can drag a Themed cluster with the Alt key held down and it will code it to the target code. You should do this ONLY if you have already inspected the comments and you believe they belong together.

To code the results of a Themed cluster analysis:

  1. Click on a cluster in the Clusters list. The comments Symphony found as possible matches appears in the Comments list. They are presorted where the best quality comments appear first.
  2. Click on a comment. Its full text appears below the Comments list, and the words that serve as the basis for its inclusion in this cluster are highlighted.
  3. Determine whether the comment belongs in the suggested code. If it does, click the radio button (or checkbox if multi-coding is on) next to the suggested code and the comment will be moved into it. If you see a different code that you feel the comment fits into better, you can click it instead. This is not intended to be a rigid process. It is only intended to steer your thinking in a particular direction, the idea being that many "yes/no" questions can be made quite quickly.

Review

The Symphony Review is intended to enable you to get a feel of the overall flow of your analyzed content toward the end of your coding efforts. At the same time, it provides the same capabilities for creating and editing codes and comments and changing their positions as does Coding view. The difference is that Report view is optimised for viewing as opposed for coding. It provides a continuous flow through your coding structure, the same as it would be for a printed report.

Open Symphony's Review

To open Symphony's Review, click the Review button on the console toolbar.

Code a comment

In Symphony's Review view, the easiest way to code a comment is as follows:

  1. Click the comment you want to code
  2. Scroll the view until the destination code is on the screen
  3. Click the checkbox/radio button next to the code

Change code or comment order

The order of codes and comments matters in that how you see them here in Review view is the how you see them in a Feedback report.

To move a code or comment up or down amongst its peers:

  1. Click the code or comment you want to move
  2. On the toolbar, click the up () or down () arrow, depending on the direction you want to move it. Alternatively, hold the Ctrl key down and press the Up or Down arrow keys on your computer keyboard.

A code or comment will move only if it can. For example, if a comment is the last in a code, clicking the down arrow will have no effect.

You can move multiple codes and comments at the same time by selecting a range.

Modify a Code or Comment

To modify the text of a code or comment:

  1. Double-click the code or comment you want to edit. It's properties form will open.
  2. Make your changes, then either click OK or click another another code or comment. If you click another code or comment, the properties form will remain open and the code or comment you click will load.

Add/View Notes

The code and comment properties forms include an area for entering a field note about the code or comment. This can be used for any purpose you desire, such as a reminder to yourself about next steps related to the code or comment, or instructions to your colleagues. To indicate that a code or comment has field note, the Review displays an icon next to it.

To add or view a field note, double-click the code or comment to bring up its properties form. Also, you can quickly view field note by moving your mouse over the icon.

Decorators

Decorators are additional pieces of information optionally displayed about a code or comment. For codes, decorators are a statistic. For comments, decorators are either tags such as demographics or the name or title of the respondent that the comment is attributed to.

To choose decorators:

  1. Click the Decorators button on the toolbar. The Decorators List will open.
  2. Click the checkbox or radio button next to each decorator you want to display. The decorators immediately appear next to the codes and/or comments.
  3. When you are finished, close the Decorators List either by clicking the Decorators button a second time, or by clicking the list's close button.

Queries

Symphony's Queries view enables you to define and run queries against your project. Queries consist of:

  • A set of columns, each one representing either a Symphony entity, an attribute of an entity, or a predefined statistic.
  • An optional filter for extracting results from a specific slice of your project.

Symphony's Queries view is quite powerful and quick. It makes it possible for you to ask pretty much anything of your data and get an almost immediate response. If your project includes demographics or ratings items defined as demographics, you should find that Symphony's Queries view provides you with the tools you need to gain deep insights into your data.

Open Symphony's Query Utility

To open Symphony's Query Utility, click the Queries button on the console toolbar.

Define a query

To define a new query:

  1. Click the Queries button on the main toobar to open Queries view.
  2. Click the New Query button on the toolbar directly above the Queries List.
  3. In the Query Properties form, give the query a name. The name can be whatever you want it to be, but be aware that if you output the query to Excel, the name will be modified to conform to the worksheet naming limitations.
  4. Optionally provide a description to remind you what the query does.
  5. Optionally choose a Layout. This setting is relevant ONLY if the query will be output to a Feedback Report.

    OptionDescription
    HierarchyThe query rows are arranged into a drill-down hierarchy. On the Feedback Report form you map each query column to a Word style in your template; this determines how the text will be formatted.
    TableThe query results are arranged into a Word table defined in your Word template.

  6. Click OK. The query will appear in the Queries list.
  7. Click the query in the Queries list so it is highlighted.
  8. In the Entities, Statistics, and Attributes lists, check the checkbox next to each column you want to add to the query. Or alternatively drag the entry onto the query results header. As you do this, columns will appear in the Results panel at the bottom of the view.
  9. If you decide to remove a column, uncheck its box or click the "close button" on the row header and it will be removed.
  10. Repeat until all the columns you want in the query appear in the Results panel.

Modify Column Properties

Once you've chosen columns for your query, you can customize various properties for each column. Do this by double-clicking a column header or right-clicking the header and choosing Properties to bring up the Query Column Properties form.

Property Description
CaptionThis is the displayed in the header row of the output. By default this is the name of the column.
Value RequiredThis has different meanings for different types of columns.
Min ValueIf you want to restrict output to rows that meet a minimum value, enter it here.
Max ValueIf you want to restruct output to rows that don't exceed a certain maximum value, enter it here.
HiddenWhen checked, the column is not included in the output. This option is used when you want to use a column to place restrictions on rows but don't want the column included in the results.
Suppress RepeatsThis applies to Entity and Attribute columns only. When checked, the value for the cell is displayed only when the underlying Entity changes. Otherwise an empty cell is produced.
Pre-SortThe pre-sort sorts the query results immediately after the query executes and BEFORE the Max Rows setting is evaluated. This gives you an opportunity to have the desired rows returned in the event that Max Rows is set. For example, if you want the rows where a particular statistic value is the highest, you can have the results pre-sorted in descending order on that statistic; the rows with the highest values will survive the Max Rows test, if it is set.
Post-SortThis determines the final order of the rows returned. Choose the direction from the dropdown. The results can be sorted on multiple columns, in which case the sorts are performed from left to right first on Entities, then Statistics.

Crosstab Query

A crosstab query is a query that calculates a statistic, and then groups the results by two sets of values — one for each row and the other for each column.

Here's a query result that is NOT a crosstab:

OrganizationRegion# of Respondents
Customer ServiceNorth America1025
Customer ServiceAsia546
Customer ServiceEurope438
MarketingNorth America687
MarketingAsia138
MarketingEurope97
TechnologyNorth America254
TechnologyAsia94
TechnologyEurope408
OperationsNorth America2659
OperationsAsia869
OperationsEurope482

And here's the same query with the Region column displayed in a crosstab:

OrganizationNorth AmericaAsiaEuropeTotal Respondents
Customer Service10255464382009
Marketing68713897922
Technology2549460408
Operations26598694824010

Crosstab queries are created by converting an Entity column in a existing query into a crosstab column. Do this as follows:

  • After the query has been defined, right click the header of the Entity column for which you want the statistic calculated, then choose "Convert to Crosstab". The column will be replaced with new columns, one for each possible Entity.

Here are some important things to know about crosstabs:

  • They are limited to 100 Entity statistic columns. If you have more than that, set a filter prior to converting the Entity column that limits the number of columns.
  • If you add or remove Entity values in your project, the query columns set up for the crosstab are not automatically updated. If you delete Entities, delete the corresponding columns. If you add Entities, it will be necessary to remove the columns from the query, then add and convert the Entity column.

Run a Query

  1. Click the Query you want to run in the Queries list. Its columns will appear in the Results panel.
  2. Click the Run button () button on the view's toolbar. The results will appear in the Results panel.

Download Query Results to Excel

After you run a query, you can download it to an Excel file as follows:

  1. Run the query you want to download.
  2. After the query finishes, click the Download Excel button.
  3. Follow your browser's instructions for saving the file to your computer
The Download Excel button always downloads the results of the last query you ran. So if you run two queries and want to download the first one, you must run it again, or you will get the results of the last query.

Delete a Query

If you decide to delete a query you defined, highlight it in the Queries list and click the Delete () button directly above the list.

Predefined Queries

In addition to the queries you define, Symphony also creates four queries in every project. These queries can be modified, but they cannot be deleted. Here's what they each do by default:

  • Sandbox - this is a placeholder as a convenience to you, for quickly trying out ad hoc queries. Once you open Queries view, you can simply click the Sandbox query, add some columns to it, and run the query.
  • Codes Only - produces a table with a column for each level of codes.
  • Respondent List - produces a table consisting of each respondent's name and optional title.
  • Default - produces a table where each row consists of the text of one comment and the coding path to the comment. Each code level is in its own column. The rows are organized around the coding structure hierarchy. This query is used as the default for producing feedback reports.

Available Columns

Queries View includes four lists of columns that can be added to queries. This section describes each.

Entity Columns

Entity Columns represent the content in your project such as codes, tags, respondents, and so forth. Entities normally have relationships with other entities -- often many relationships. For example, a code has a relationship with all the codes and comments inside of it. When an entity column is included in a query, it effectively function as a row-level filter. What this means is that a row is output for each entity. If multiple entity columns are included in a query, a row is output for each combination of entities.

Column Description
Project Member ColumnOutputs the name of each Symphony user with access to your project. As a minimum it includes you but can include other users if you have a shared account and you give them access.
RespondentsOutputs the name of each survey respondent or interviewee for your project Respondents are the entities to whom comments are attributed to.
Code Level 1, Code Level 2, etcOutputs your codes at the respective levels.
DemographicsIf you have any demographics defined, they are listed next. Including one of them outputs the values of each of the demographic values. For example, a Gender demographic might output two rows: one for Male and one for Female.
Tag GroupsOutputs a row for each Tag Group in your project. Tag Groups include demographics because demographics are set up as a special kind of Tag Group.
TagsOutputs the Tags contained inside your Tag Groups.
Word/PhraseOutput each word/phrase found in the project.
A key to understanding how to get what you want from a query is grasping the fact that when more than one entity column is included, an output row is created for each combination of values. For example if your project has demographics for Occupation and Gender, you will get a row for each Occupation/Gender pair if you include them both in a query. This effectively gives you the capability to create drill-downs into any slice of your project.

Statistic Columns

Statistic Columns produce numbers for you. They can be used by themselves, but when they are combined with one or more entity columns, a row is produced for each entity combination and the statistic is based on the entity.

ColumnDescription
# of RespondentsThis gives you the number of unique respondents in each row.
# of CommentsThis gives you the number of comments represented in each row.
# of WordsThis gives you the total count of words contained in the comments represented in each row.
Phrase CountThis is used in conjunction with the Words/Phrases Entity column. It gives you a count of how many times each unique Word/Phrase appears in each row.
Avg # of WordsThis gives you the average number of words appearing in the comments represented in each row.
# of Respondents CommentsThis gives you the total number of comments belonging to the respondents represented in each row.
Demographic SizeThis gives you the number of respondents belonging to the demographic(s) included in the query. If no demographic columns are included, this is always equal to the number of respondents in the project.
# of Respondents - OverallThis is the number of unique respondents included in the query.
% of Demographic ValueFor each row, this is the percent of unique respondents from the demographic(s) included in the query.
% of CrosstabFor crosstab queries.
% of RespondentsFor each row, this gives you the percent of respondents included in the query. If the query doesn't included a filter, the percentage is based on the total unique respondents in the project.
% of Respondents - OverallThis gives you the percent of respondents in the project represented in each row.
Demographic % of RespondentsFor each demographic value, this gives you the percent of respondents in the query.
% of CommentsFor each row, this gives you the percent of comments included in the query. If there is no filter, this is based on the number of comments in the project.
% of Comments - OverallFor each row, this gives you the percent of comments included in the project.
% of Demographic CommentsFor each demographic represented in the current row, this gives you the percent of comments belonging to the underlying respondents.
Positive SentimentThis gives you the average positive sentiment associated with the underlying comments. The average includes comments whether they have positive sentiment or not.
Positive Sentiment - StrictThis is the same as the Positive Sentiment, but the calculation includes only comments that have positive sentiment.
Negative SentimentThis gives you the average negative sentiment associated with the underlying comments. The average includes comments whether they have negative sentiment or not.
Negative Sentiment- StrictThis is the same as the Positive Sentiment, but the calculation includes only comments that have negative sentiment.
Net SentimentThis is the average sentiment. If the value is more than .5, the overall sentiment is positive.
Count of Level 1 CodesThis gives you the number of top level codes used by the comments represented in each row.
Count of Level 2 CodesThis gives you the number of second level codes used by the comments represented in each row.
Count of Level 3 CodesThis gives you the number of third level codes used by the comments represented in each row.
Count of Level 4 CodesThis gives you the number of forth level codes used by the comments represented in each row.
# of TagsThis is the number of tags used by the codes, comments, and/or respondents represented in each row.
% of TagsThis is the number of tags used by the codes, comments, and/or respondents represented in each row presented as a percentage of the total tags.
Count of Tagged ContentThis is the count of entities in the current row that have tags associated with them.

Attribute Columns

Generally speaking, these columns provide additional information about an Entity (code, comment, respondent, etc.). These are similar to the Entity columns, but they give you control over what is being displayed for the entity.

ColumnDescription
Comment TextThis column produces a row for each comment, consisting of its text.
Comment IDThis column produces a row for each comment, consisting of Symphony's internal comment ID assigned to the comment.
Comment Field NoteThis column produces a row for each comment, consisting of the comments's field notes.
Code TextThis column produces a row for each code irrespective of code level, consisting of the text of the code.
Discussion 1This column produces a row for each top level code, consisting of the notes for the code.
Discussion 2This column produces a row for each second level code, consisting of the notes for the code.
Discussion 3This column produces a row for each third level code, consisting of the notes for the code.
Respondent TitleThis column produces a row for each respondent, consisting of the respondent's title.
Respondent First NameThis column produces a row for each respondent, consisting of the respondent's first name.
Respondent Last NameThis column produces a row for each respondent, consisting of the respondent's last name.
OutlineThis column produces a row for each comment, consisting of a dot-separated number that shows the coding hierarchy path to the comment.

Chart Columns

Charts you've defined in Charts View can be included as query columns. This results in a chart being generated in the corresponding cell for each row. The data for the chart comes from the query assigned to the chart, and the data for the chart's query is the subset of data for the row the chart is being generated in.

With chart columns, you can:

  • Display a chart for each row of data in Queries View.
  • Display a chart for each row of data output to a Feedback report.

Set a Filter

You can set a filter to narrow the scope of content included in a query. For example, you can have a query return comments only for respondents belonging to a particular demographic.

To set a filter:

  1. In Queries view, click a query in the Queries List.
  2. Click the Filter button toward the upper-left corner of the view.
  3. Click the tab that contains the type of entities on which you want to filter.
  4. Change the settings on the tab to the criteria on which you want to filter.

Spawn a Chart

Symphony's Spawn a Chart feature is a short-cut for creating a chart. After you define a query, you can simply tell Symphony to spawn a chart, and the new chart that uses the query will be available immediately in Charts view.

To spawn a chart:

  1. In Queries view, right-click the query you want to use.
  2. Choose Spawn a Chart from the context menu. A new chart with the same name as the query will be available in Charts view. (An arrow appear next the the query name, which when clicked will take you to the chart in Charts view.)

Charts

With Symphony Charts you can produce charts of your data. The charts use data from queries you define in Queries view. The charts are displayed in real-time from the queries, and can be included in Feedback reports.

With Symphony Charts, you can

  • Display ad hoc graphic representations of your project's data.
  • Save generated charts to .PNG files on your computer.
  • Have charts displayed in your Feedback reports.
  • Include as columns in queries.

As a minimum, all charts require the query to include at least one Statistic column. A single Entity or Attribute column can be included to produce a drill-down. If extra columns are included, they are ignored. Exceptions to the data requirements are noted in the table below.

ChartDescriptionQuery data requires
ColumnVertical bars where the height of each is determined by an assigned value
BarHorizontal bars where the eight of each is determined by an assigned value
PieCircle divided into slices, where each the size of each slice is an Entity whose size is determined by an assigned valueThe pie is sliced using the first visible Statistic column in the query; subsequent Statistic columns are ignored.
LineSeries of line segments connecting Entities represented by dots, the vertical position if each determined by its value
ScatterDisplays Entities in an XY grid
  • Two Statistic columns; subsequent Statistic columns are ingmored. The first is used for the X axis, the second is used for the Y axis.
BubbleSame as Scatter, but a third statistic is used to define the size of each data point.
  • Three Statistic columns; subsequent Statistics columns are ignored
RadarDisplays Entities in a circular grid, where the distance of each entity from the center is a measure of the relationship strength to another Entity.
  • Entity column (e.g. Respondent)
  • One or more Entity or Attribute columns.
  • Statistic Column
TreemapDisplays Entities in a retangular grid, where the space occupied by each is a percentage of an aggregate statistic. Ideal for presenting the relative predominance of items in a hierarchy (e.g. how many Respondents are coded to each code throughout the coding structure)
  • At least one Entity or Attribute column. Each column produces a drill-down into the previous. For example, If the first Entity is Code Level 1 and the second is a Demographic, each top level Code box is sub-divided into the Demographic value.
  • Statistic column

Open Symphony's Charts Utility

To open Symphony's Charts Utility, click the Charts button on the main toolbar.

Create a Chart

To create a new chart:

  1. Open Charts view.
  2. In the Queries list, right click the query you want to use as a data source and choose Spawn a Chart. The new chart will appear in the Charts list and its properties form will open.
  3. In the Chart Types list, click the radio button next to the type of chart you want to use.
  4. Drag the lower-left corner of the chart to resize it or choose from one of the presets on the toolbar above the chart.
  5. Change other settings as desired on the Chart Properties form then click OK.
When the Chart Properties form is open, only the settings relevant to the Chart Type are displayed. You can change the Chart Type, Query, and size of the chart with the Chart Properties form open or closed.

Set Query

The data used by charts is provided by queries defined in Symphony's Queries View. By default, new charts are set up to use the predefined "Sandbox" query. You can change this to any query in your project.

  • In the Queries list, click the Radio button next to the query you want to use. The query will run automatically and the chart will be updated.

Set Chart Type

To choose the type of chart you want to create:

  • In the Chart Type List, click the radio button next to the type of chart you want. If the query selected for the chart meets the minimum data requirements for the current chart type, the chart displayed will be updated.

Run Query

The query used by a chart is run automatically when you make a change. If however you modify the query itself -- for example you switch to Queries view and add or remove a column -- the query will not run. To force it to run, click the Run Query button.

Resize Chart

To resize the chart, either

  • drag the lower-right corner of the chart region in any direction, or
  • choose dimensions from the Preset Size list on the toolbar above the chart.

Clone a Chart

Symphony's Clone a Chart feature creates a new chart from an existing one. You can for example experiment with the built-in Sandbox chart, then when you have something you want to keep, clone it.

To Clone a Chart:

  1. Open Charts view
  2. Modify the Sandbox or other chart until you have what you want
  3. Right-click the chart and choose Clone
  4. Double-click the new chart to open its properties form and modify its name

Save as .PNG file

After you've generated a chart, you can have it saved to your computer as a .PNG file. The dimensions of the file are the same as the chart region.

  1. Click the Save as .PNG button
  2. Follow your browser's instructions for saving the file you to your computer.

Word Cloud

Symphony Word Cloud Generator creates a word cloud from text your project. A word cloud is an image that has words arranged in a way that conveys their relative frequencies. There is a variety of ways to depict word clouds. Symphony does it by varying the font size. Words are arranged in alphabetical order for ease of finding a specific word.

After you generate a Word Cloud, you can right-click a word a jump to Coding view where a filter will be set on that word.

Open Word Cloud Generator

To open Symphony's Word Cloud generator click the Word Cloud button on the console toolbar.

Create a Word Cloud

All settings for a word cloud are optional. You can simply click the Create Word Cloud button.

  1. Click the Word Cloud button on the tool bar.
  2. Optionally set a filter by clicking the Filter button.
  3. Optionally set the maximum number of words to include in the word cloud. The word cloud will include the most frequently used words up to this number of words.
  4. Click the Basis button to choose how the calculation are to be performed. This enables you to choose from different ways to calculate the occurances of words.
  5. Optionally set a phrase length. If the setting is two or three, the output will consist of phrases instead of words.
  6. Optionally check the Show Count button to display the Basis calculation next to each word.
  7. Click the Create Word Cloud button.

Resize Word Cloud

This setting lets you control how large the word cloud is in terms of pixels. If you don't have much text you might want to make it smaller. Or if you have a document you want to include the word cloud in, you might want to set is to a size ideal for the document. These instructions assume that you have just generated a word cloud and it is currently being displayed.

Using your mouse, drag the lower-right corner of the word cloud region until it is sized as desired. As you drag, the current width and height in pixels is displayed above the region.

Blacklist Words

After you generate a word cloud, you may find words that you don't want included. You can exclude them by adding them blacklisting them. Symphony automatically excludes some words such as "the" and "is". If you see additional words that you don't want included, you can add them to the blacklist. When you update the word cloud, it is generated without those words.

  1. In the word cloud, locate a word you want to blacklist.
  2. Drag the word from the cloud and drop it on the Blacklist. The word will disappear from the current word cloud, and will appear in the Blacklist. If your browser doesn't support this, click the Blacklist and manually type the word; it will be included as a blacklist word the next time the wordcloud is created.
  3. Click the Create Word Cloud button.

Word Filter

This setting lets you specify a word that you want to make the subject of the analysis. When you specify a filter word, Symphony uses only paragraphs from your text that have that word in it. Paragraphs that don't have the word are ignored.

  1. In the word cloud, locate the word you want to use as the filter word.
  2. Either drag the word from the cloud and drop it on the Filter Word field, or left-click the word with your mouse and choose "Set as Filter Word". Depending on the version of your browser, these actions may or may not word. If you have difficulty, you can simply type the word into the Filter Word field.
  3. Click the Create Word Cloud button.

Word Proximity

This setting works in conjunction with the Filter Word field; it has no effect on the result unless a Filter Word is specified. the Word Proximity is an additional filtering setting. It limits the words included in the analysis to those within the Proximity setting of the Filter Word. So only words that are within the proximity of the Filter Word are included in the analysis. If the Proximity is zero, the entire text of each paragraph containing the Filter Word is used.

  1. Click the Proximity field and enter the distance away from the Filter Word you want to include.
  2. Click the Create Word Cloud button.

Save Word Cloud

You can save your word cloud to your computer. The file is saved as a .PNG image file. Simply click the "Save Word Cloud to .PNG file" button.


Feedback Report

Symphony's Feedback Report option produces a Microsoft Word report from your project data. By default, the report consists of your coding structure and comments organized into a hierarchy around the coding structure. It can also include tables of data from Symphony Queries and charts from Symphony Charts.

The report is produced from a Word document that you provide as a template. As such, the report has the look and feel that you provide. You tell Symphony what content you want included in the report by placing Word Bookmarks where you want output from Symphony to start.

Open Symphony's Feedback Report Utility

To open Symphony's Feedback Report Utility, click the Feedback Report button on the console toolbar.

Create a Template

A feedback report template is a Word document to which Symphony outputs the feedback report content -- datasets produced from queries defined in Queries view and charts defined in Charts view. The template can consist of anything from a simple blank Word document to something much more complex that contains your organization's branding, boiler-plate text about your analysis methodology, and a summary of your analysis findings or other information related to your project but not in the scope of Symphony.

The data for a Feedback report is provided by queries defined in your project and accessed in Queries view. You can have data from any number of queries output to the report. For example, you can include a table of Respondents, tables of various slices of demographics and statistics, and your coding structure with supporting comments all in one report. You can also include charts from Charts view driven by the queries.

To assist you with getting started, Symphony includes a template called "Symphony Default Report Template.docx". You can use it to get a sense of how Symphony Feedback reports work. You can also download a copy of it and make modifications, then upload the revision to see their effects.

Add a Query

To include the results of a query in a report, you create a Word bookmark in your template where you want the output to start. (See your particular version of Microsoft Word on how to insert a bookmark.) Symphony looks for bookmarks with the same names as queries in your project, with these qualifications:

  • Symphony ignores case, so a query named "My Query" will match with a bookmark named "my query".
  • Microsoft Word requires bookmark names to start with a letter, so the Symphony query needs to as well. Numerals can be used thereafter.
  • Bookmarks are limited to 40 characters.
  • Bookmarks cannot include spaces. If a Symphony query or chart name contains spaces, use underscores ("_") in the bookmark and Symphony will match them up.

Each query has a "layout" setting, which instructs Symphony on how to process the query results.

If your template contains no bookmarks that match queries or charts in your project, Symphony will run the predefined "Default" query and will output starting at the end of your template.

Add a Table

You can have query results output to a table in a Word document. To do this, you add a Word bookmark in your template where you want the results to go. If you place the bookmark in a table cell, the results will start there and a row will be added to the table for each row from the query. If the bookmark is not inside a table, Symphony will create a table and move the bookmark inside it. To add a table:

  1. In Query view define a query that produces the data you want in your table. Make sure to set the Layout setting to "Table".
  2. In the list of Queries, right-click the query name and choose "Copy Bookmark Name". This copies version of the name that is compatible with Word bookmarks to your computer's clipboard.
  3. Open your report template. (If you want to use a template that is already in Symphony, download it first in the Feedback Report page.)
  4. Navigate to where you want the table of data.
  5. If you want Symphony to create a Word template for you, simply click where you want the table. Otherwise define your own table and click in the cell where you want the query results to start.
  6. Add a Word bookmark. For the bookmark name, paste your computer's clipboard. This will ensure that the name is formatted to match the query.
  7. Save and close the template.
  8. In Symphony open the Feedback Report page.
  9. Upload the template.
  10. Click the template's radio button and run the report.

Add a Chart

To include a chart in your report, you create a Word bookmark in your template where you want the results to go. (See your particular version of Microsoft Word on how to insert a bookmark.) Symphony looks for bookmarks with the same names as queries in your project, with these qualifications:

  • To distinquish bookmarks used for charts from those intended for queries, the Bookmark name must end with '_C'
  • Bookmarks cannot include spaces. If a Symphony chart name contains spaces, use underscores ("_") in the bookmark and Symphony will match them up.
  • Symphony ignores case, so a query named "My Query" will match with a bookmark named "my_query_C".
  • Microsoft Word requires bookmark names to start with a letter, so the Symphony query needs to as well. Numerals can be used thereafter.
  • Bookmarks are limited to 40 characters.

Symphony makes this easy for you:

  1. In Chart view, right-click the chart you want added to the template.
  2. Choose Copy Bookmark Name. This will copy text to your computer's clipboard that is properly-formatted for this particular query.
  3. Open the template in Word and create a new bookmark where you want the chart to go.
  4. Save, close, and upload your template to Symphony.

Table of Contents

A Table of Contents (TOC) is a Micosoft Word field that is dynamically built from the contents of the document. What goes in the TOC is determined by the Word styles used in the document. Whenever Word encounters a paragraph of text that uses a style specified in the TOC field, it adds a corresponding entry to the TOC.

  • Symphony outputs contents using Word "styles". Heading 1, Heading 2, and Normal are examples. Decide in advance what styles you want to use, and make sure they are defined (font, paragraph format, etc.) the way you want them to look.
  • When you use the template, Symphony looks for styles named Code Level 1 to Code Level 4 plus Comment for the respective content types. If they exist, it assumes you want to use them. If it doesn't fine them, it assumes you want to use Heading 1 to Heading 4 and Normal. This is to make style-to-content mapping simpler for you.
  • If your template includes a Table of Contents, be sure it is defined to use the styles used for your top level codes down to whatever coding level you want included in your template. (A Table of Contents is a Word field. Symphony cannot update it for you. When the report is finished you can update it in Word. Just right-click the field and choose Update.)
  • By default, Symphony runs the "Default" query and adds its results to the end of the template. You can have it start anywhere you want. Just add a Word Bookmark called "Default" where you want it to start.
  • As with the "Default" query, you can have results from other queries added to the report as well. Simply add a Word bookmark where you want it to start, using the name of the query. (There are constraints on the names of Word bookmarks, so for this to work you need to give names to queries that are within those limits. One exception is spaces: if your query name contains spaces, the bookmark must have an underscore ("_") in place of each space.)

Upload a Template

Symphony lets you maintain a collection of templates. Templates can be used on each project, or you can have templates that are customized for specific projects. This can be any .DOCX file, but ideally should be one that is designed for your project, including boiler plate text and images, your organization's headers and footers, and so forth.

Symphony provides you with a starter template that you can use as-is or customize to look the way you choose.

By default, Symphony adds the report content to the end of the document. You can however tell it to begin inserting at a specific location by creating a Word Bookmark named "Default" inside your template where you want the output to begin.

To upload a feedback report template:

  1. Open the Feedback Report form.
  2. Click the Upload Report Template button.
  3. Navigate to the .DOCX file you are using as a template, then after its name appears in the form, click the Submit button. It must be a .DOCX file; Symphony does not read the older .DOC fies.
  4. Click the Submit button. The file will appear in the Word Templates list. The Output Fields table will be filled with the columns that will be used in the query, and the Word styles embedded in the template will show up in the Style list. Symphony will try to match output fields with styles for you, and any successes will show up with check marks next to them.

Choose a Feedback Report Template

The Symphony Default template plus any you upload appear in the Word Templates list. The first step in generating a report is to specify which template you want to use. Once a template is chosen, the styles it contains are loaded into the Word Styles list. Symphony also makes an attempt to map content columns to styles.

  • If you have only one template, or if you have previously chosen another template for this project, it will be loaded automatically.
  • You can tell Symphony which template to use by clicking the radio button next to the template name.

Map Output Fields to Word Styles

Queries that use the Hierarchy format rely on Word styles for their presentation. If you are not familiar with Word Styles, a quick Google search will yield you more than you ever want to know.

When an Output Field is mapped to a Word style, a checkmark appears next to it. If you click on the Output Field, the style it is mapped to is highlighted and its radio button set.

You may not know this but if you have ever used Microsoft Word, you are already familiar with styles. Heading 1, Heading 2, Title, and Normal are all examples. Word uses the Normal style by default. Styles determine how the text applied to it will look.

To map an output field to a Word Style:

  1. Click on an Output Field that you want to map to a style.
  2. Locate the desired style in the Styles List and click its radio button.
  3. Repeat for each Output Field.

You may not need to map all the columns. For example, if your report only includes two levels of coding, you don't need to map styles for field that never get used. If while generating the report Symphony encounters a field that needs a style, it will tell you so can fix it.

Set a Filter

You can optionally set a filter to limit the scope of data output to the report.

  1. Click the Filter () button to open the Filter form.
  2. Click the tab that contains the type of type of entity you want to filter on.
  3. Uncheck the entities you want excluded.
  4. If you are setting a filter based on the specific words, click the Words tab and enter the words you want, along with the other optional settings. (Mousing over a setting's caption displays a description of its purpose.)
  5. Close the Filter form either by clicking its close button or by clicking the Filter () button a second time.

Add Decorators

Decorators are additional pieces of information attached to codes or comments and are displayed along with it. In the case of codes, a predefined statistic can be used as a decorator. In the case of comments, decorators can be the name or title of the owning Respondent, or Tags (e.g. demographics) associated with the Respondent or comment.

A code can be decorated by at most one statistic. Comments can be decorated by as many items as are chosen, each separated by a comma.

To add decorators:

  1. Click the Feedback Report button on the main toolbar.
  2. Click the Decorators button on the toolbar. The Decorators List will open.
  3. Click the radio button or checkbox next to each decorator you want to include.
  4. Click the Decorators button again to close the Decorator List.

Restart comment numbering with each code

The look and feel of Feedback Reports is provided by the Word styles you use in your template. One thing that can be tricky is getting the comment numbers right if the style you use for comments includes them.

To make this easier, Symphony makes available an override that will restart the numbering in each code. When used, this option supercedes the bullet/numbering settings for your comment style.

To force comment numbers to restart:

  1. Click the Feedback Report button on the main toolbar.
  2. Check the check box labeled "Restart comment numbering with each code

New Page For Top Level Codes (except first)

Word styles can be defined such that a new page is started each time a style is encountered. This is useful for large sections of documents. Many Symphony users like to have a new page started for each top level code.

Quite often, Symphony users want the first occurance of a top level code to be treated differently. An example would be when your report template includes text such as a heading or explanatory paragraph that you want to appear right before the first code is output to the report. If the style used for top level codes specifies to start a new page, then your codes and comments would start on the next page, leaving your heading and/or explanatory text orphaned on a page by itself.

Symphony provides a workaround, which is to start new pages for you as the report is generated -- except for the first code. In turn, you omit the start new page setting from your Word style and the result is as expected: the first top level code is output where it is should be, and thereafter a new page is started for each of the remaining top level codes.

To get this effect:

  1. Click the Feedback Report button on the main toolbar.
  2. Check the check box labeled "Start a new page before each top level code except for the first one"

Where to Send the Report

The Report Distribution panel has settings for determining what to do with the report. To choose where to send the report:

  1. In the Report Distribution panel, check the box next to each team member you want the report emailed to, if any.
  2. If you want the report to be downloaded directly to your browser, ensure that the "Download to your computer" box is checked.

Run the Report

To run the report, click the Run () button and wait for your report.

When the report finishes, it will be downloaded to your computer. Follow your browser's instructions for saving and opening the file. If you have fields in your report (e.g. a Table of Contents) Word will prompt you to see if you want to update it. The message itself is somewhat misleading in that it suggests that there may be external documents that it is dependent on. Ignore the meaning of the prompt and choose "Yes".


Filter Group

Symphony's Filter Group lets you limit certain output on a variety of criteria. It is available in the following views/forms:

  • Coding
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Queries
  • Word Cloud
  • Feedback Report

When a filter is set, subsequent actions in that view/form behave as if your project consists only of data that fits the filter. Filters can be set on codes, tags, respondents, words, and sentiment.

When filters are set on items within one of these broad categories, the results are broader with each additional item. For example, setting a filter on two codes results in output related to either of the two codes.

When filters are set on more than one of these broad categories, the results are narrowed. For example if a filter is set on codes and tags, the results consist of the content related to the subset of filtered code further limited by the content that is related to the filtered tags.

Open the Filter Group

Where the Filter Group is available, a button is provided that looks like this: Filter. Clicking the button toggles the Filter Group open and closed.

Filter on Codes

When a filter is set on one or more codes, only content that is related to the included codes is included in the results. For example:

  • Comments that are coded to the included codes
  • Respondents with comments in the included codes
  • Tags attached to the comments, respondents, or codes in the included codes.

All codes that are checked are included in the filter.

To set a filter on one or more codes:

  1. In the Filter Group, click the Codes button.
  2. Uncheck the top-most node to uncheck all codes.
  3. Check the codes you want to include in the filter. Checking/unchecking a code causes all sub-codes to become checked/unchecked.

Filter on Tags

When a filter is set of one or more tags, only content related to the included tags is included in the results. For example:

  • When a filter is set on a tag, respondents with comments attached to the tag are included.
  • When a filter is set on a Tag Group, codes, respondents, and comments related to any code, respondent, or comment related to any of the tags in that group are included.

All tags or tag groups that are checked are included in the filter. Checking/unchecking a tag group causes all tags in that tag group as well as tag groups contain in that tag group to become checked/unchecked.

To set a filter on tags:

  1. In the Filter Group, click the Tags button.
  2. Uncheck the top level Tag Group button to uncheck all tags and tag groups.
  3. Check the tag or tag group you want to include.

Filter on Respondents

When a filter is set on one or more respondents, only content related to the included respondents is included in the results. For example:

  • Comments belonging to the included respondents.
  • Tags attached to the included respondents, comments belonging to the included respondents, or codes where the comments belonging to the included respondents are coded.

To set a respondent filter:

  1. In the Filter Group, click the Respondents button.
  2. Uncheck all respondents by unchecking the top-level Respondents node.
  3. Check the individual respondents you want to include.

Filter on Words

You can limit filter results to comments and their related entities by the words contained in the comments, or by the size of comments. For example:

  • Respondents with comments containing a particular word or phrase.
  • Codes with comments containing a particular word or phrase.
  • Comments consisting of at least 5 words and no more than 20.

To set a word filter:

  1. In the Filter Group, click the Words button.
  2. Type the word or words on which you want to filter.
  3. If you entered more than one word, enter how many of them must be present to be considered a match.
  4. Also if you entered more than one word, enter a number to indicate how close they have to be to each other to be considered a match. Zero means there is no restriction; they only have to appear in the same comment.
  5. Set a Min/Max value for the number of words comments must contain. (This is particularly useful when you are performing an Exploratory Cluster Analysis.)
When you set a Min/Max Words per Comment range, the number should be exclusive of prepositions and conjunctions, as they are automatically blacklisted.

Filter on Sentiment

The sentiment filter lets you filter output based on comment sentiment. For example:

  • Comments with positive sentiment and no negative sentiment.
  • Codes where the contained comments have a net positive sentiment.
  • Respondent demographic tags where their comments have a net positive sentiment.

The sentiment filter consists of a group of radio buttons whose collective settings capture your intent. For Positive, Negative, and Neutral sentiment, you specify what to include as follows:

  • Maybe -- The specified sentiment is not a consideration in the filter.
  • Yes -- Comments must have the specified sentiment.
  • No -- Comments must not have the specified sentiment.

All settings are assessed for their impact but where they become mutually exclusive, the Neutral settings take precedence.

To set a sentiment filter:

  1. Open the Filter Group by click the filter icon on the tool bar.
  2. Click the Sentiment button.
  3. Choose whether Positive sentiment may exist, must exist, or must not exist.
  4. Choose whether Negative sentiment may exist, must exist, or must not exist.
  5. Choose whether Neutral sentiment -- that is, where the comments have neither positive nor negative sentiment -- may exist, must exist, or must not exist.

Miscellaneous

The Miscellaneous tab currently has one setting: Max Comments per Code.

The Max Comments per Code settings isn't a filter attribute in the sense of the other Filter Group settings, all of which when applied to the project produces a copy of the project that consists of only content that passes the filter. This attribute instead functions as a marker that tells a query to stop outputting rows that rely on comments. It applies only in scenarios where comments are output. A typical application would be when you want to produce a Feedback Report that prints the text of comments, but you only want a small number of "representative" comments in the report. Any statistics that rely on the comments are unaffected.

By default, the Max Comments per Code is set to All, meaning the setting has no effect. To set a limit, you choose a value from the dropdown. A value of zero results in all other output being produced but no comments included.


Language Translation

If you have content in one language but need it in another, Symphony can translate it for you. Symphony accesses Google's Translation API on your behalf, translating text from virtually any language to any language. Google detects the source language, and translates it to the language of your choice.

To open the Language Translation tool

The Language Translation tool is opened by clicking the icon at the bottom of the Symphony screen. Clicking it more than once toggles it in and out of view.

The tool displays the quota balance on your account, the number of characters you will be charged to translate the current scope, and the projected quota balance.

Set Translation Scope

Translation scope is based on what content is selected:

SelectionScope
A commentThe comment you clicked on
A group of comments (e.g. a selection range inside a code or belonging to a respondent)The selected comments
A Respondent in People viewAll the comments belonging to the Respondent
A group of respondents (by selecting a range)All the comments belonging to the selected respondents
A CodeThe comments inside the code and sub-codes.

When the scope is changed the calculated usage is updated in the Language Translation tool.

If the source language is the same as the language you want to translate to, it will still be processed and the utilization will be charged against your quota.

Start Translation

To start the translation:

  1. With the Language Translation tool open, ensure that the scope is set as desired.
  2. Choose the language to which you want to translate in the Translate To dropdown
  3. Click the Translate button. A progress bar will display, showing you how many comments are being translated.

Replenish Quota ()

Every Symphony license and license renewal comes with a quota of 50,000 characters -- roughly 15 single-spaced typed pages. If you need more, you can add to your quota by purchasing additional characters in blocks of 10,000.

  1. With the Language Translation tool open, click the Buy button. Symphony's Order form will open.
  2. Choose how many 10,000 character blocks of characters you want to purchase.
  3. Complete your order by choosing a payment method. After you return, the purchase will be reflected in your balance.

Sentiment

This is a work in progress. Language features are being implemented gradually to improve the quality of the sentiment numbers.

Symphony attempts to measure the sentiment of each comment. This is done in the background as each comment is either added or edited, so there is nothing more you need to do. You can access the values by defining queries that include sentiment columns.

Sentiment reflects how someone making a statement might feel when making the statement, and whether that feeling is positive or negative. Most would agree that the statement "I love the people I work with" has positive sentiment. This is what Symphony's sentiment analysis is looking to identify for you.

Symphony considers comments to have:

  • Positive sentiment
  • Negative sentiment
  • Positive and negative sentiment
  • No sentiment

To truly capture the sentiment of text, one needs to take into consideration context as well as a human values system. The absence of either is a significant constraint. You should view Symphony's sentiment analysis with this in mind. Fortunately, Symphony does its analysis consistently, so comparing different aggregations (e.g. net sentiment across a demographic across codes) can still be informative.

Available Sentiment Statistics

Symphony makes five sentiment statistics available in Query view. These in conjunction with query filters, entity columns, and range constraints on the sentiment query columns provide you with considerable possibilities for the values you can extract and their meanings. As with other statistic columns, new values are calculated for each query row based on the row data.

Statistic Description
Positive Sentiment This is the sum of the positive sentiment found in the underlying comments, divided by the number of comments.
Positive Sentiment - Strict This is the sum of the positive sentiment found in the underlying comments that have positive sentiment, divided by the number of comments that have positive sentiment. Effectively it is as if the data is filtered to return only comments that have positive sentiment.
Negative Sentiment This is the sum of the negative sentiment found in the underlying comments, divided by the number of comments.
Negative Sentiment - Strict This is the sum of the negative sentiment found in the underlying comments that have negative sentiment, divided by the number of comments with negative sentiment. Effectively it is as if the data is filtered to return only comments that have negative sentiment.
Net Sentiment This is the sum of the positive sentiment minus the sum of the negative sentiment, divided by the number of comments. The statistic tells you whether the sentiment is truly positive or negative and to what extent. (A value of one means all the comments are positive and have no negative; a value of zero means they are equal.)

Tag Groups and Tags

Tags are custom attributes you create for content. They can be associated with codes, comments, respondents, or any combination of these, and can serve a wide variety of purposes.

Tags always exist in Tag Groups. Tag Groups are merely containers that identify one or more tags as having something in common. Gender as a tag group for example would have Male and Female as tags. A tag group called Sentiment might have several tags, each one representing a different measure.

In addition to containing Tags, Tag Groups can contain other Tag Groups, so it is possible to define any level of complexity you need.

Tags are available in all views via a "Tags Widget", which floats above the view. When you click on a content item in a view, it becomes the "focus" of the Tag Widget, resulting in the attached tags to be highlighted. Tags can be attached to and detached from the focused item by clicking the radio button or checkbox next to the tag.

Open Tag Widget

To open the Tags Widget, click the Tags () button at the bottom of the page. Hide it by clicking a second time.

Create a Tag Group

  1. With the Tags Widget open, click the New Tag Group on the toolbar at the top of the widget. The Tag Group properties form will open.
  2. Give the tag group a name. This should be something that captures the meaning of the tags that will be inside the group. Examples: Gender and Location.
  3. Set the maximum tags from this group that can be attached to any single entity. For demographics such as Gender, it is usually 1. If you don't want a restriction, leave the setting at zero.
  4. Check the Lock on Set box if you want to prevent tags that are attached to entities from being unattached. This would be suitable primary in situations where there would be no reason to change it, such as a rating item from a survey. If you are not sure, leave the box unchecked.
  5. Choose the type of data that the tags will represent. For most purposes this would be Text. But in special situations where the tags will be Dates or Number, it is best to set accordingly should you need to have query output sorted on the tags.
  6. For Allowed Content, check the boxes next to the types of entities you want to allow tags in this group to be attachked to. You much choose at least one type but can choose any combination. What should be checked is dependent on the purpose of the group. If it is a demographic, Respondent should be the only box checked. If the tag group is part of a competency model, Codes and/or Comments would make sense.
  7. Click OK to save the tag group and close the form, or click OK/More to save the tag group and begin defining another.

Modify a Tag Group

After Tag Groups have been created, you can change their attributes through the Tag Group Properties form.

  1. Open the Tags Widget by clicking its icon at the bottom of the page.
  2. Double-click the Tag Group you want to modify. Its properties from will come up. You can modify any of the original settings. Bear in mind however, changes to most of the settings can result in conflicts with existing tags and tagged entities so you should resolve them first. Generally speaking, Symphony will apply new constraints only to new tags and tagged entities.
  3. When you are finished, either click the OK button to save the changes and exit the form, or click on another entity such as another tag group or tag to bring up its properties form.

Delete a Tag Group

If you no longer need a particular tag group or if you want to get a fresh start with it, you can delete it. Deleting a tag group also deletes all the tags and tag groups inside of it, as well as all tag attachments to entities, so be sure this is what you want.

To delete a tag group:

  1. Open the Tags Widget by clicking its icon at the bottom of the page.
  2. Click the tag group you want to delete.
  3. Click the Delete button on the toolbar Tags Widget toolbar.
  4. Confirm that you want to delete the tag group.

Move a Tag Group

By default, tag groups appear in the Tags Widget in the order they are created. The order of the tag groups matters in two cases:

  • You may want the tag groups you most frequently view or access to be near the top of the list.
  • If you display multiple tags as comment decorators in Report View or in a Feedback Report, they are displayed in the order they appear in the Tag Widget.
  1. Open the Tags Widget.
  2. Click the tag group you want to move.
  3. Click the up or down arrow on the toolbar in the direction you want to move the tag group.

Create a Tag

To create a tag:

  1. With the Tags Widget open, click the tag group to which you want to add a tag, then click the New Tag button on toolbar near the top of the Tag Widget. The Tag properties form will open.
  2. Give the tag name. For example, if your tag group is a demographic called Gender, the name of the tag could be Male. The name MUST be compatible with the Data Type you assigned to the group.
  3. Optionally give the tag a Value. The Value is available for producing sumations across tags and tag groups. For example, if you define a competency model, this could be the relative value of a particular competency. Or if you are defining ratings (e.g. Strongly Agree, Somewhat Agree, etc.) this could be the numeric value on your ratings scale.
  4. Click OK to save the tag and close the form, or click OK/More to save the tag and begin defining another.

Tag Content

To tag content:

  1. Click the Tags Widget in the lower-right corner to open the Tags Widget.
  2. Open a view (e.g. People or Coding) that contains the content you want to tag.
  3. Click an item (respondent, code, or comment) that you want to tag.
  4. Click the radio button next to the desired tag.

Modify a Tag

  1. With the Tags Widget open, double-click the tag you want to modify. Tag properties form will open.
  2. Modify the tag Name or Value as desired, then click the OK button to save and close the form, or click on another entity to save and bring up its properties form.

Delete a Tag

To delete a tag:

  1. With the Tasg Widget open, click the Tag you want to delete.
  2. Click the Delete button on the toolbar near the top of the Tags Widget. Deleting a tag deletes all the attachments to entities for this tag, so be sure this is what you want to do.

Move a Tag Up or Down

You can move a tag up or down amongst its peers, or you can move a tag to another tag group.

To move a tag up or down:

  1. In the Tags Widget, click the tag you want to move so it is highlighted.
  2. Click the Up or Down arrow on the tool bar above the list.

Move a Tag to Another Group

You may want to move a tag from one group to another for a variety of reasons. For example, it is possible to define a tag in one group when you intended to define it in another. When you move a tag to another group, all attachments to the tag remain in place, so be sure the move is consistent with the constraints that have been defined for the destination tag group.

To move a tag to another group:

  1. With the Tags Widget open, click the Tag you want to move.
  2. While holding the left mouse button down, drag the tag onto the desired tag group. The tag will be moved.

Combine tags

You will want to combine tags when you have two or more that have the same meaning. For example, let's say your data comes from a survey where respondents typed their Tenure into a free-style field and some entered "more than three years" while other entered "3 yrs". In such a case you will want the tag group to consist of tags that are a normalization of the values provided by the respondents.

When you combine tags, all content tagged by the consumed tag is tagged by the consuming tag unless it is already tagged by it.

To combine tags:

  1. With the Tags Widget open, click the tag you want to get rid of (the one to be consumed).
  2. While holding your keyboard's Alt key down, drag the tag with your mouse and drop it on the tag you want to keep (the consuming tag). The dragged tag will be deleted and all its entity attachments will be moved.

Detach a Tag From an Entity

If you attach a tag to an entity by accident, or if for some other reason you no longer want to have a tag attached to it, you can detach it as follows:

  1. If the Tags List isn't already open, click its icon at the bottom of the page.
  2. Locate the entity (code, comment or respondent) of interest and click it so it is highlighted. The attached tags in the tags list will become highlighted.
  3. Locate the tag you want to detach and click the checkbox/radio button to its left.

Chat Widget

Symphony's Chat Widget provides chat capabilities between you and other team members that have the same project open as you. You can optionally invite Symphony Support to join your chat.

The Chat Widget displays a list of all team members currently connected to the project you have open. When a team member makes an update to the project, their name briefly changes color and an icon indicates the view they were in when they made the change. When anyone sends a chat message, all members in the list receive it. If a connected team member doesn't have the chat open, a notice is displayed for them to let them know that chat is available.

How to Open the Chat Widget

To open/close the Chat Widget

  • Either click the Menu button then choose Open Chat Widget, or click the chat icon in the lower-right corner of Symphony.
  • To close the chat window, either click it's close button or click the chat icon in the lower-right corner. (Toggles the chat window.)

Send Message

To send a chat message, click the area to the left of the Send button then type your message. When you are ready to send it, either click the Send button or press the Enter key.

Invite/Dismiss Cecil

Cecil is our help bot. It is familiar with Symphony's help file so it is able to display topics or links to topics based on chat messages that you send.

To invite Cecil to chat, click his icon on the Chat Widget toolbar. Clicking again sends Cecil away.

Minimize Chat Window

When you minimize the chat window, it is removed from the screen but remains active. So if a team member sends a chat message, the window opens back up. This is in contrast with closing the window, where receipt of a chat message only displays a notice.

To minimize the chat window, click the minimize button on the chat window caption.

Down-vote response from Cecil

When Cecil returns a list of topics in response to your chat question, it includes a thumbs-down link. When you click this link, it lets Cecil know that the results it returned didn't answer your question. Cecil performs a deeper search to see whether there is anything else it can give you that might help.

Go to Topic

When you view a topic that Cecil has returned, you have available a link that takes you to the same section in Symphony's help file. When you click this link, Symphony's help file is opened in another browser instance and you are placed at the relevant topic.

If Symphony's help file appears not to open, check you other browser instances. Depending on your browser and if it was alreay open, it might not come to the front automatically.

Email Chat Transcript

To have a chat transcript sent to your email account, click the icon on the Chat Widget's toolbar.


Miscellaneous

This section covers various topic that don't fit into main topics.

Code Suggestion Component

Symphony's Code Suggestion Component assists you with coding by creating a short-list of codes from you coding structure that a comment might belong in. Symphony does this by analyzing the text of your codes as well as the text of the comments in each code and determines which ones best match the text of the comment. The text of the code is given more weight than individual comments, and a balancing algorithm is applied to account for differences in the number of comments in each code. The effect of comment being analyzed is removed so that it doesn't bias the results toward the way it is currently coded.

The Code Suggestion Component is optionally available in most places where a coding structure is displayed. It contains the following visual attributes

  • The code text of the top five suggestions
  • A radio button for quick coding of the a comment. If a comment is already coded to a suggestion, the corrsponding radio button is highlighted.
  • A score with each code that shows how well the comment fit. Higher scores mean better fits.
  • Mousing over a suggestion highlights the words from the comment that contributed to the score.

To use the component, do the following:

  1. To bring the Code Suggestion Component into view, click the lightbulb on the toolbar above a coding struture (e.g. in People view or Coding view).
  2. Click on a comment. Suggested codes from your coding structure will appear in the component.
  3. To code the comment to one of the suggestions, either click the radio button next to the code, or drag the comment onto the code.
  4. To hide the Code Suggestion Component, click the lightbulb a second time.
The Code Suggestion Component can be used as a way of reviewing coding after you're done. Try opening the Clusters tab and run a Themed analysis.

Content Editor

Symphony's Content Editor provides a quick way to make edits to the text of codes and commentss. It is located in most views, beneath the center list of codes or comments, and it displays the text of the currently-highlighted code or comment. It provides an alternative to opening the code or comment Properties form.

In the Content Editor you can:

  • View the complete text of a code or comment
  • Make changes to the code or comment's text
  • Add highlight formatting
  • Split a comment into two comments

To edit the text of a code or comment:

  1. Click the code or comment in the list above the Content Editor. It's text will be displayed in the Content Editor.
  2. Modify the text to your liking.
  3. To format some text, select it with your mouse then click the button on the Content Editor's toolbar that provides the desired formatting. (The toolbar includes a Reset button as well, which clears all formatting.)
  4. To split a comment, select the desired text then drag it onto a code. The selected text will be removed and a new comment will be created inside the destination code.
  5. To save the changes, simply click on anything outside of the Content Editor to cause it to lose focus. The changes will be applied automatically.

Import Feedback Report Edits

Let's say you generate a Feedback Report and while reading it you discover typos in some comments, or maybe you want to change the wording of some codes. If this is the last revision of the report that you'll be running and if you are finished with the project file, this is fine. If however you have more work to do, you will want the edits to be reflected in the project file so that the next time you run the report the edits will be carried over to it.

Symphony's Import Feedback Report Edits feature synchronizes report edits with Symphony content. Specifically, Symphony can apply text changes you make in a report to the corresponding codes and comments in your project file. Note that the imports are limited to text changes to existing items; new parapraphs are not added, and the order of codes and comments is not carried over.

To import report edits:

  1. Make the desired edits to your report, then close the file.
  2. From Symphony's main menu, choose "Feedback Report Edits" in the Import section.
  3. Navigate to and upload the Feedback Report you edited. A list of differences between the Symphony project and your report will load.
  4. Check the checkbox next to each paragraph you want imported, or check the "check all" button.
  5. Click the Import Changes button. The items that were updated will disappear from the list.

Search Widget

Symphony's Search Widget enables you to find comments containing a specific word or phrase, and optionally replace it. The Search Widget functions in People, Coding, and Review views.

Launch the Search Widget by doing any of the following:

  • Press Ctrl-F
  • Click the Search Widget icon at the bottom of the screen
  • Click Symphony's Menu button followed by Search

Good to Know/Tips

Here's a list of some useful things to know.

  • If an item you want to drop something on has a checkbox or a radio button, you can click the checkbox or radio button instead. It has the same effect as dropping the item on it.
  • Most functions that involve doing something to a selected or highlighted item can be done to multiple items at the same time. Just select a range or hold the Ctrl key down and click items to add them individually.
  • Lists that have multiple columns can be sorted on individual columns by clicking their sort direction indicators. Clicking a second time reverses the sort.
  • When you make a change, it appears on your screen only after it has been processed on the server. If more than one person is working on the same project, the changes are propagated to everyone at the same time.
  • If you have a properties form open then click on another item, any changes you made to the item in the properties form are saved, and the properties form for the item you clicked on will open -- even if it is a different type of item.
  • Most windows can be resized by dragging one of their edges.
  • In many cases, a context (short-cut) menu can be invoked by right-clicking on an item such as a code, comment, or person.
  • No need to save your project file; Symphony performs an auto-save every several minutes plus saves any unsaved changes when you exit.

Glossary

This section defines various concepts and how they are implemented in Symphony.

Demographics

Demographics are custom attributes pertaining to respondents. Examples are Gender, Location, and Tenure. Each demographic has "demographic values" such as Male and Female for Gender.

The primary purpose of demographics in Symphony is to provide ways of grouping and/or filtering respondents to perform deep analysis or targeted reports. For example, with a Gender demographic you can compare the average comment sentiment for Males and Females. Or run a Feedback Report that contains comments belonging to respondents from a particular country.

Symphony implements demographics as "tag groups" and "tags". A demographic such as Gender would be a tag group, and Male and Female would be tags within the group. What differentiates a demographic from other tag groups is that you define the tag group to be used for respondents only.

Interview Guide

An interview guide is used for transcribing interview notes. In addition to representing the results of an interview with an interviewee/respondent, it is the means by which interviews are usually imported into Symphony. Here are formatting guidelines:

  • The document is a Microsoft Word file.
  • The document contains a text paragraph for each high level category (example categories: Strategy, Culture, and Infrastructure)
  • Each high-level category is followed by the exploratory questions for the category, each questions being in a paragraph by itself..
  • Each question is followed by at least one blank paragraph where the response to the question can be transcribed.
  • All text in the document uses styles that capture their semantic meaning. For example, all high-level categories should use one style, questions should use another, and responses to questions (comments) should use another. If the document contains other text not of interest to Symphony (e.g. instructions to the interviewer) it should use yet another style Symphony will use these styles as guidance on how to parse the contents of the document
  • If the document contains styles called Code Level 1, Code Level 2, and Comment, Symphony will assume that the underlying texts are high-level cateories, second-level codes or questions, and interviewee responses (comments) respectively.
  • If the document does not contain those styles, Symphony will look for text using Heading 1, Heading 2, and Normal respectively.
  • By default, Symphony will assume that any text using the built-in style Heading 2 is a second-level code or question.
  • Each comment paragraph is imported and tracked as a separate comment.
  • Each copy of the interview guide must contain the responses to one interviewee. That is, you create a separate file for each one-on-one interview.

Tag/Tag Group

Tags and Tag Groups are used to "mark" content. Tags can be used in many ways:

  • Designate content items as part of a filter.
  • Demographics
  • Ratings
  • Elements of model

Troubleshooting

Having trouble? This section covers some of the more common issues.

I can't see my project in the Project List.

  1. If a team mate created the project, check with them to verify that they shared it with you. (If they use Symphony Desktop, they need to synchronize after adding you to the project.)
  2. Notify tech support

Things just don't look right, or things that used to work no longer do.

The most likely cause is there has been a Symphony update and your browser has cached versions of files. Try to get your browser to download the updated files by doing the following:

  1. Go to the Home page of Symphony, where the list of projects appears.
  2. Try forcing your browser to reload the page. One a PC you do this by pressing Ctrl + F5. On some computers you press Ctrl + Fn + F5. If you are using a Mac press Command + R.
  3. Check to see whether the issue is resolved. Continue to the next step if it is not.
  4. Ensure you are still on the Home page, then press the Menu button and choose the Refresh option toward the bottom of the menu.
  5. If the issue is still not resolved, close and reopen your browser.
  6. If the issue is still not resolved, check with technical support. They will see whether an update could be the cause, or whether there is some other cause.

Browsers are all different when it comes to caching files. Chrome is very aggressive with caching, and is known to be stubborn about refreshing files that it has updated recently.

The more time that goes by, the more likely your browser will be willing to refresh updated files.


Process Guides

This section provides a high-level outline for various types of projects. Consider each process step to be a major task that needs to be performed; the specifics should be aligned with the way your organization works and with the goal of your project.

Interview-based Team Assessment

This type of project usually seeks to answer questions pertaining to relatively small groups of people that have a shared knowledge or interest that brings them together. Sample are:

  • Board Members
  • Division or Product Line heads
  • Function heads (e.g. Accounting, Production, Marketing, HR)

Each task does not necessarily need to be finished before continuing on to the next. Symphony fully supports an iterative approach to project completion. For example, you can add more demographics at any time.

TaskDetails
Create a new project. For this type of project all you need is to give it at Start a new project. Leave the Multi-coding box unchecked. When you have comments that contain more than one theme, you should use the Split Comment feature. Coding the same comment to more than one code makes your verbatim reports confusing.
Add information about the team members being assessed. As a minimum, this is the name of each interviewee and an optional title. It is often useful to include at least one demographic that might provide deeper insights into how or why interviewees are grouped around themes.
  • If you have a spread sheet with this information, import it using the Import Excel Spreadsheet feature.
  • If you are manually entering this information:
    • define demographics as Tags in Tag Groups
    • create new Respondents in People view
    • assign demographic values (Tags) to each Respondent
Add Comments from Interviews Comments can be typed in manually, but the most common approach is to transcribe each interview to a copy of your interview guide then import it using the Import Word Transcript feature. In so doing, you can leverage the structure of your interview guide to create initial category codes and have the comments placed inside them. For example, if all your "Strategy" questions are grouped together in the interview guide, the related comments can be automatically inserted into a "Strategy" code created by Symphony.
Code the Comments How you go about this is a function of how you approach qualitative analysis in general, and is also dependent on the amount and composition of data you have. Here's what Symphony has to assist you:
  • Coding view is optimized for a theme-centric analysis, where you focus on comments contained inside a specific code.
  • People view is optimized for an interviewee-centric analysis, where you focus on comments from a specific Respondent, regardless of theme.
  • You can get ideas for potential themes by producing Word Clouds. Unlike most word clouds that function more as digital art, Symphony's word clouds help point you in the direction of potential themes.
  • When you think you have a significant number of codes identified, open Symphony's Code Suggestion component anywhere your coding structure is visible. The Code Suggestion component performs an analysis on each comment you click on and in real-time gives you a short list of codes that Symphony thinks it fits in.
  • Also after you have a significant number of codes identified, run a Thematic Analysis in Cluster Analysis view. This is like a super-charged Code Suggestion component. It also can serve as something of a quality check on your coding.
Perform post-coding analysis This is when you develop your narrative around your findings and is where your talent as an analyst prevails. To support you in your analysis, Symphony provides the following:
  • Symphony's Review tab displays your codes and comments laid out the way they would flow in a report. Here you can get a sense of the story the data tells by navigating through it in the order it will appear in reports. This is an ideal time to recode comments that don't fit well where they are, and to move the most representative comments up among their peers. The Code Suggestion component is a great companion here.
  • Symphony's Queries tab enables you to define queries against your data. A Sandbox queries is provided for the purpose of doing ad hoc queries.
  • A graphical representation of your query results is available on the Charts tab.
Create Feedback Report

Guidance on how to create a template is available here. It is a best practice to create a general template that you can make a copy of and modify for each project.

Run your report in the Feedback Report tab and distribute it for review.

Reviewers' edits to codes and comments in the report can be imported back into Symphony using the Feedback Edits import option.