Using activity filters

Defining a filter on the Sample Manager Filters tab allows you to restrict the sample base to include or exclude panellists based on defined criteria.

There are two filter types: Profile and Activity. This article explains how to use activity filters.  Activity filters allow Sample Manager to include or exclude a panellist based on previous activity stored in their contact history.  Metadata fields can also be made available to use in an activity filters.

Multiple Activity & Profile filters can be applied simultaneously but the types cannot be mixed within a filter definition.  Each type must be created separately at the top level with the appropriate Filter Type setting.

An activity filter defines a set of exclusion or inclusion rules based on participation criteria such as how frequently a panellist has been invited for interview or in what samples he/she has participated. You can choose not to select panellists with these characteristics (an Exclude filter) or to draw your sample only from people with these characteristics (an Include filter).

For example you could apply activity filters to

  • exclude panellists who have had three or more invitations within the last three months
  • invite only panellists who have not been invited to participate in the last four weeks
  • exclude panellists who are invited to take part in another sample
  • include panellists who took part in a specific sample

The Include/Exclude filter option is applied at the top level.

We will add some activity filters to our sample project.  Our first filter will exclude panellists who have completed two or more interviews within the last three months.  To do this we need to use two elements to our filter; the first based on interview date, and the second based on outcome code.

  • Open your sample project and click on the Filters tab.

We need to create a new filter of type Activity.

  • Click the Add button.
  • In the Add Filter dialog enter the Name Max 2 Interviews in 3 Months.
  • Set the Filter Count to be Per Element.
  • Accept the default Filter Option of Exclude.
  • Click OK.

If the count is set at the filter level it will apply to all elements. Set the count at the element level when you need to set different counts for each element. If our example had a further rule such as Max 4 Invites in Last Month we would need the count (5 or more) to be set per element.

Our new filter looks like this:

Example 1: Exclude based on interview date

To filter out panellists who have already had two or more invitations in the last 3 months:

  • Now click Element 1 and change its name to Two or more Invitations Sent.
  • Set the Row Count as At Least 2.
  • Click OK.

Review your Filter so far; it is set up to exclude all panellists with an event that has happened at least twice. The event itself will now be defined at the Criteria level.

  • Click + Criteria.
  • In the Add Filter Element Criteria dialog select InterviewDate.

Behind each item on this list of filter element columns is a further dialog which is specific to the column selected. Some are based on a date range as in our example, others on a code or a match on text.

  • Click OK and you will get the Add Interview Date Criteria dialog.
  • Set a date range of from 3 months before to 1 month after the Project Date.

This dialog gives you great flexibility in setting the From start date and To end date of your range:

  • you can have a Virtual Range based on the Project Date (the date set by the user on the Parameters tab), or
  • you can base it on the Run Date (the date when the sample project is processed by the Job Queue) - this is useful if the project dates are subject to change - you can set any period before, during or after these dates, or
  • if you prefer, you can use absolute dates, by clicking on the Fixed Range radio button and entering the dates required.
Dates after the project date – excluding ‘reserved’ panellists

The range can be set to run After the project date. This allow a sample to be ‘reserved’ for future use. Q_Panel holds panellist ‘history’ (project date) for projects with output, which may have a project date later than yours. You can exclude panellists already selected to take part in other projects due for example 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after your project’s date.

  • Click Save.
  • Click Save again on the toolbar to save your new filter.

Your filter looks like this:

This filter tells Sample Manager to Exclude those who have been invited to an InterviewDateWithin range [ from 3 Months prior to Project Date to 1 Months after ].

As our filter is called Max 2 Interviews in 3 Months we still need to add another element to it to ensure that we exclude not just the panellists who received two or more invitations, but those where two or more interviews were successfully completed as a result of the invitations.

Example 2: Exclude based on outcome code

To filter out panellists who have had two or more completed interviews.

Add another element to the Max 2 Interviews in 3 Months filter with a count of At Least 2 and called Two or more Positive Outcomes. Add a column to that of type Outcome Code. This will bring up the list of outcome codes that have been implemented for your installation:

  • For our example select Complete (1). Click Save.
  • Click Save in the toolbar.

Our filter now looks as follows:

Example 3: Exclude based on sample project name

Now let us suppose that you do not wish your sample to include panellists who took part in a similar campaign that was run by your predecessor last year. You need an Exclude activity filter. You could add this as an element to the filter just created but it is as easy to create one from scratch.

  • In the Filters tab click Add. Call the new filter Exclude Similar Campaign. The other defaults are fine so click OK.
  • Now click + Criteria and this time select Sample Project. Click OK.

This takes you to the Add Sample Project Criteria dialog:

Sample project searches always need a date range.

  • For the date range, select Last and put in 3 Years to be on the safe side.
  • Type ‘european’ into the Sample Contains field. Select All Owners. Click Search.

This will perform a text match on the sample project Name field. In our example ‘european’ should be enough to find the relevant sample project(s).

The Search Results window shows the matching sample projects listed in their prototypes. (Because sample project names can be duplicated between prototypes the prototype name is needed here also).

  • Find and select the one you want and click the right chevron > to copy it across to the Selected panel:

       Click Save to close the dialog.

       Click Save in the toolbar.

You have successfully created an activity filter that will exclude only panellists drawn for sample project European Travel Survey in prototype Travel.

Once a filter has been defined it can be saved as a Project Filter and re-used later in other prototypes and samples.