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We’re always trying of find interesting ways to play with data and we like to do mini sociological inquiries within the office. When they meet: kismet. While bitching that a passing rain shower dare ruin a precious June day, we started comparing notes on our favorite and least favorite months. Eventually, we all ranked them 1-12—a forced ranking.

We use forced ranking a lot in our research because we believe clearly articulating priority is equal parts difficult and important. When doing online surveys, it’s easy to leave the scoring and calculation up to the software. If the data comes from card sorting or a similar activity, no such luck. In an effort to learn a few new tricks in Google Sheets developer Josh Randall and Creative Director Evan Keller built a sheet using arrays that would handle all the calculations. Here’s a link to that sheet. Please feel free to use it to tabulate your own research. Basically, each response is assigned a numerical value (1 being most negative and 12 being most positive). You can see these raw values at the bottom of the first sheet. With the values assigned, manipulation is a breeze. You’ll need to edit the absolute range values in the formulas if your data set is larger or smaller than ours. This same formula could be used to quantify results of questions based on a Lichert scale as well, with each choice assigned a numerical value.

Also, our cumulative ranking of months is below. Face it, everyone knows February sucks, but what do you think?

Justin Kunkel
Alumni

By Justin Kunkel

Former Director of Research & Experience Design

Published on June 19, 2015

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