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Comparison Heatmap

About heatmaps

heatmap uses shades of colours proportional to the numbers in the cell and is easier for our brains to digest large amounts of data. As heatmaps are a lot more visual than standard analytical reports, they are more accessible, particularly to people who are not used to viewing and analysing large amounts of data.

The heatmap also provides easy comparisons between demographic options to assist with identifying outliers.

The Comparison Heatmap takes two surveys being compared and visualises the difference in scores for each question and demographic option in the selected category.


Viewing the heatmap

To generate a comparison heatmap, navigate to the Compare Engine and select the surveys you would like to compare. The Compare tool allows you compare up to five surveys. Once you've chosen the surveys you would like to compare you'll be shown a summary of the questions that match across the surveys. Click Build reports. You can now view all comparison reports for the selected surveys.

To view the Comparison Heatmap:

  1. Click on the Heatmap tab

  2. Select two surveys to compare from the Survey Pills at the top of the page

    • If you only selected two surveys to compare previously, you won't need to do this step

  3. Select a Demographic Category to view from the dropdown

    • The demographic categories available for selection are based on those text-matched between the two surveys selected



Heatmap colours

Best practice data visualisation recommends gradient colours are used on the heatmap charts.  Simple gradients were selected for the heatmap to assist with demographic comparisons, and highlighting outliers and patterns.

There is no legend shown for the comparison heatmap as the colour shading is dependent on the surveys biggest differences in scores. Negative change will be different shades of red, with the greatest negative red the boldest. Positive change will be different shades of green, with the greatest positive change the boldest.

When viewing the comparison heatmap it is important to remember the boldest colours don't indicate the best and worst scores, they only indicate the change between the surveys. For example, if the boldest red was showing -20% but the first survey score for that demographic group was 96%, the latest survey score would be 76%. There could be demographic groups with positive change between surveys and the latest survey score still lower than 76%.

To view the survey scores, hover over the heatmap cell you would like to view, a tool tip will appear showing the demographic scores for both surveys.




Both questions and demographics can be sorted alphabetically and by the overall change between surveys on the heatmap.

By default, questions/categories are sorted by ascending overall change and demographics alphabetically.

Using a combination of sorting the questions and demographics from negative to positive overall change will group the greatest negative change (or smallest positive change if there have been no decreases) into the top left corner to help identify outliers.


Missing demographics

When viewing the demographic heatmap, if any demographic options did not match across the two surveys, Missing demographics will appear to inform you what options have been excluded from the heatmap. The example below shows there were Blank demographics in the Business Survey but no Blank demographics in the Business Survey Retest. This means there will be no comparison between the Blanks shown in the heatmap.




Exporting the heatmap

To export from the heatmap, click the Export button on the right, above the heatmap.

This will export an Excel file which includes the colour gradient from the Heatmap. The exported heatmap can be copied into another report or presentation.