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VIDEO: Datasource Question

The datasource question types allows you to create a text response question that suggests answers to respondents as they type. For example, create a question that asks for a respondent’s state of residence, respondents who type a “C” into the box are show the possible answer choices of California, Colorado, or Connecticut. The question links to an external list of possible answer choices and automatically updates anytime your list changes. Use question settings to restrict respondents to answers in your list.

screenshot of a datasource question

To set up a datasource question:

  1. Drag and drop a datasource question from the Advanced Questions section of the palette to the canvas.
  2. Phrase your question in the Question Title and optionally add an Extra Description.
  3. Enter Datasource URL. This URL should return a JSON encoded dictionary like this one. Respondents will be able to see and choose values of your key value pair.
  4. Configure your question’s Options settings. See below for details.
  5. Save your survey.


OptionalMakes question optional. Uncheck to make it required.
Datasource URLURL to a valid JSON dictionary of answer choices.
Error MessageError text that will display if user are not allowed to enter their own choices and they enter a value not on the datasource list.
Default ValueEnter an answer choice to be pre-populated.
Allow users to type their own choicesAllows users to enter answers that are not on the datasource list. Uncheck to restrict to your list.
Hide suggested optionsHides suggestions from respondents. Unselect to autocomplete suggestions based on what the respondent is typing.
Match on sub-stringSuggests all list options which contain the typed letters. So tying an “a” would bring up “Alabama” and “California”.