Confidentiality and the number of respondents

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This article is part of Effectory's resources on confidentiality. For more information about our commitment to the confidentiality of participants' answers and the measures we take to guarantee it, please refer to this article.

 

To ensure that answers cannot be traced back to individual respondents, Effectory has established various business rules to ensure confidentiality. These are based on the number of participants per group (i.e., per team) that respond to a survey. The rules we apply can be categorized as follows:

 

Group size and response rate

To safeguard the confidentiality of participants' answers, we have established specific group size and response rate criteria for surveys. These are:

  • Minimum group size: We only report group scores for groups with five or more participants. Organizations may opt to increase this minimum group size, typically between five and ten participants, with five being the absolute minimum. Groups falling below this requirement will not have their results reported separately, ensuring individual respondents remain untraceable.
  • Minimum number of respondents: In addition to group size, we establish a minimum number of required respondents for each group, which can never be below five. If this requirement is not met, the group's results will not be reported at the specific group level but instead included in a parent group. You may opt to increase this threshold if needed.
  • Limited insights: The results dashboard will display limited insights (see picture below) for groups that do not meet the minimum response rate but have at least three respondents. These insights provide an indication of the group's performance without revealing the actual scores, maintaining a high level of confidentiality for respondents. For groups with less than three respondents, no insights are shown at all.

 

Confidentiality of underlying groups

Sometimes, certain groups' scores may not be reported, although they have reached the minimum number of respondents, as doing so would endanger the confidentiality of participants from other groups on the same level.

Generally, three rules determine whether groups within the same parent group can be reported without compromising the confidentiality of participants:

  • Any group must have at least five respondents to be reported individually.
  • The sum of all non-reported respondents within a level must be at least five.
  • The difference in reported respondents between two overlapping levels must be at least five.

When one or more of these rules is not respected, reporting exceptions may occur.

Confidentiality scenarios

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Distribution of answers

The results dashboard shows the distribution of answers for most questions to provide additional insights into the range and frequency of responses.

To protect the confidentiality of participants' answers, My Effectory applies one of two approaches depending on the number of respondents in the group in question:

  • More than 50 respondents: A 5-point scale is used.
  • Fewer than 50 respondents: A 3-point scale is used.

 

The number of responses to a question

Effectory handles the number of responses per question by implementing a 5/5 threshold at the group level rather than on an individual question basis. This means that, without exception, all survey questions are always reported, even those that have gathered fewer than five responses.

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