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Gainsight Inc.

Survey Flattening Overview

This article explains the basics of how Survey Flattening operates within Gainsight. By default, survey response data is spread out among several objects. Survey Flattening places this information into a single MDA object formatted with survey respondents in rows and each question in its own column to allow for easy reporting and insights into survey data.

Enable Survey Flattening

Surveys 1.0

Survey Flattening will need to be turned ON within the Properties section of each survey. For more information on the properties section, refer to Configure Survey Properties.

IMPORTANT: Only enable survey flattening after your survey question configuration is finalized.


After the survey flattening has been turned on, click the option “Reset the flattened reporting” and click Save. This automatically creates a new MDA object with the same name as the survey suffixed with “flattened”. 


You will now see the new Survey object in the MDA table as “Survey Name-Flattened”.


After this process has been completed, your flattened survey data is now available in Report Builder under the object name “Survey Name-Flattened”. The table will contain information such as survey questions, recipient responses, and the response date. For more information on building reports in Gainsight, see the path How to Build Reports.


Surveys 2.0

Survey Flattening is enabled by default for Surveys 2.0. An object containing response data for the survey will be created after the survey receives its first response. To create a report on a flattened survey 2.0 object, navigate to Administration > Report Builder, and select the object with the same name as your survey.

Updating the Flattened Table

The MDA table created through this process will flatten new data automatically through a job running in the background. The sites used for flattened surveys will need to be secure in order for this functionality to work properly. When survey responses are logged the flattened survey table is updated with the response in as close to real time as possible. The use of a secure site is required for this update to complete on the backend of the system.

You can identify secure sites by locating https:// at the beginning of their URL. To learn more about setting up survey sites, see the article Setup Salesforce Survey Domain & Test Survey Setup.

Users can also manually refresh the table with up-to-date data by selecting the option “Reset the flattened reporting” under the survey’s properties. 

You will then receive the following message “Request to reload data in Survey Name-Flattened initiated, will be notified via email once completed.”


  • The option to manually refresh the table is only available for Surveys 1.0.
  • It is not possible to add or edit fields within the flattened MDA object.


Using Flattened Labels

A flattened survey will have each survey question saved as a separate column within the flattened MDA table. By default, the header of this column will be the full text of the survey question. Since the full length of a question would often be difficult to display in a report, users have the option to change the label of the question column.

Surveys 1.0

Question labels be configured by locating the “Flattened Label” field within the question’s settings.


This label will then be reflected in the table:


Surveys 2.0

Flattened objects based on Surveys 2.0 surveys will have the same name as the survey. It is not possible to change this object name at this time.

You can update the label of any survey question within the flattened object by editing the questions Flattening label. To access the Flattening label, navigate to Surveys 2.0 (Beta) > Design > edit the question and update the Flattening Label text under Settings.


For more information on editing 2.0 survey questions, refer to Surveys 2.0 Design.

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