How to Tally Survey Results

By Louise Balle

When conducting a survey, whether it be a one-question ballot or a questionnaire with multiple questions, it's important to tally the results correctly. Not only do you need the totals for your survey responses, it will also be helpful to see the results in a visual format, such as on a line chart. You can do this in a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Excel

Step 1

Gather all of your completed surveys. Create a new Microsoft Excel document ("File," then "New").

Step 2

List each field name from the survey in its own column across the first row of the spread sheet (when you read a column, you read it vertically down the sheet, but when you create or move between columns they run across the sheet horizontally and vice versa for rows). For instance, if you have a survey titled "What is your favorite animal?", the field header might be "Cat" in column A, "Dog" in column B and "Bird" in column C.

Step 3

Fill in the answers you received from respondents for each field name in the subsequent rows. Since you are trying to tally numerical results for this survey, place a number one (1) under each selection that the respondent made. For instance, if the first respondent chose cats, place a "1" under that column, then move down to the next row. Place a "1" under the dogs column if that was the choice of the second respondent.

Step 4

Click inside of a blank cell to the right of your spreadsheet columns. Type in "Totals" then hit "Enter" to go to the next row. Type in the names of all of the headers again ("Cats," "Dogs," and "Birds") across that row.

Step 5

Type "=sum" (without the quotation marks) into this cell. Then select the entire first column, excluding the header, with your mouse. Type ")" (without the quotation marks) to close the formula.

Step 6

Click and hold the square on the bottom-right corner of the cell where you just added the formula in the last step. Drag your mouse across the row until you reach the name of the last column header. This will display all of the totals for each column.

Step 7

Select that entire "Totals" section with your mouse (all except the word "Totals").

Step 8

Click "Insert" on the main menu, then select one of the "Charts" that are available (such as line, bar, pie, or area chart). A bar or column graph are two simple ways to display your tallied survey results.

Step 9

Save the spreadsheet with your survey tally results. You can print both the columns and chart as is, or copy and paste the tally chart into another program.