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Dialogue reporting - an overview

Rowena Farr -

Dialogue can be used for policy crowdsourcing, idea generation, pre-engagement prior to a formal consultation, and even participatory budgeting. A dialogue process combines the flow of debate and ideas with a structure to help you reach defined outcomes. To get actionable results, it’s essential to be able to easily work with the information submitted.

This article gives a summary of the different ways in which you can access your data in Dialogue. Step by step instructions with screenshots showing how to do so can be found in this article here. 

What reporting is available

You can get hold of your data at any time during the challenge or after it has closed. Here’s a quick overview of the information that Dialogue provides:

1. Top-line stats

Use these for getting hold of quick, up-to-date statistics about the challenges.

You can get at-a-glance updates for all challenges from the Manage Challenges page. For each challenge this shows the number of ideas and comments, as well as when the challenge was created, when its last activity was and its current status. You can also sort the list of challenges by any of these metrics.


If you need more detail about an individual challenge, its dashboard shows how many ideas have been moderated, had an admin comment, and had a topic applied. It also shows how many comments have been moderated.

2. Summary Report

The summary report is an easily-generated, editable report for your challenge showing all the ideas and comments in an easy to read format.

It can be opened by all common word processing software (such as Microsoft Word) and details the ideas received along with their ratings and comments. It also provides overview figures on the number of ideas, comments, contributors and ratings for the challenge.

3. Challenge Data Export

You’re most likely to need this information after the challenge closes, for performing more detailed analysis or to archive the results for your own records.

This export provides a complete record of the challenge. It is provided in .xslx format (Compatible with Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs) and includes details on:

  • The challenge posted
  • The ideas submitted, including who submitted it and when, how many comments it received, its rating and topics (tags)
  • The comments submitted, including who submitted it and when
  • The topics (tags) applied

4. Site-wide Data Export

A bulk export of data from across the site is available from the Site Settings page. The following datasets are available for download in .xlsx format:

  • Full user profiles (username, email address, mailing list opt-in status, custom demographic information)
  • All ideas (title, description, username of submitter, date, average rating, number of ratings, number of comments, list of topics, moderation state) sorted by creation date
  • All ideas (as above, sorted by average rating)
  • All ideas (as above sorted by number of comments)
  • All comments (idea that comment is associated with, challenge that it was posted to, username of submitter, date that comment was posted, comment)
  • All topics (topic name, number of uses)

.xlsx files can be opened in spreadsheet packages such as Microsoft Excel

5. Web Analytics

Dialogue is compatible with Google Analytics (and other online web monitoring analytics tools if required). Google Analytics are not automatically applied to a Dialogue site, but this can be done on request. This provides information about your site’s visitors, including:

  • Number of visitors to the homepage and to individual ideas
  • Breakdown of visitors geographically
  • Breakdown of visitors by operating system, web browser and capabilities
  • How visitors arrived at your site (search engine, link from another site etc.)

This article will help you with setting up Google Analytics if you don’t already have an account.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a hyper-local challenge that attracts tens of users and results in a dozen great ideas, or a highly-publicised national debate that gives you 50,000 ideas and a quarter of a million ratings to analyse. We’ve helped clients with both of these, and a great many in between so we're always here to lend a hand.