Rapidly evaluate ideas and issues in business meetings and focus groups

Voting mode

Voting mode is used to obtain opinions about a number of elements which may be people, actions, events or other general ideas. For example, how much resource should be allocated to possible activities.

The purpose of the Voting facility

The voting facility in Impact Explorer™ allows you to obtain feedback about individuals’ opinions, in relation to a number of ideas, issues or risks which have been identified. This information is gathered in the form of: a yes/no, sliding scale, or single choice preference. To generate the list of issues against which you will be voting, you can either select concepts from a Decision Explorer® or enter a list directly into Impact Explorer (either manually or by loading information from a text file). Having established the elements (issues, risks, events etc.) against which you will be voting, you can then specify the form of the vote. For example:

  • A rating scale in the range 1 to 10 (or any other scale in this range)
  • A yes/ no type vote (if supported by your keypads)
  • An alphabetical scale A to E

By varying the form of the rating scale you can use the system either for straightforward voting (the yes/no, A or B, type of situation) or to obtain individuals’ preferences about issues (where a broader rating scale is used, implying degrees of preference and strength of feeling, rather than a clear-cut choice).

The voting facility is used to:

  • Indicate a preference for a particular idea or candidate
  • Indicate on a sliding scale strength of feeling about the sentiments expressed in a statement
  • Indicate agreement (yes) or disagreement (no) with a given statement/idea
  • Provide feedback on performance or a service / product
  • Gauge the strength of feeling about an issue

At the end of the voting session, a graph can be displayed which shows the distribution of opinion.

In use

The voting mode is started using the Activity Wizard, and configured using the page shown here.

You can configure the vote to use any suitable range from 2 response options up to 10 response options. The labels can be shown as Yes/No, A-E, or 1-10 to suit your purposes, as supported by the keypads for easy selection. The prompts are edited in place, and you can use the prompt manager to save your favorite prompt lists.

Once you have your range of prompts set, you click Next to choose how the results graphs are to be shown.

The default is to show the results graph after each element has been assessed, which allows for immediate discussion of the results. It depends on the purpose of your workshop whether or not you choose to show the results graphs immediately. It is obviously faster not to show the results graphs as you go, but to go straight into the next question. If you choose this, you can either show the graphs at the end of the whole activity, or not at all.

Agenda preparation

The activity wizard is very quick to use, and therefore ideal for informal workshops and impromptu meetings, but you can also create a full agenda for a meeting, preparing all the options in advance. Such agendas allow you to quickly load and activate a meeting, and you can save them as templates for repeated use. Of course you can also use impromptu activities in pre-prepared workshops too.


The voting itself is done using a large-font display. An optional display of the full element list can be shown as well as the current one displayed large at the top. The options that the participants can choose are also displayed large. Note that the toolbar is hidden during the vote, to avoid distractions, and the window is normally set to occupy the full screen with no borders.

The bottom of the window shows the number of participants still to vote. Once all the votes have been cast, the display will change according to the graph options selected in the wizard (see above). To move onto the next item, select the large arrow button on the display, or hit the space bar.

Results graph

The form of the display for the results graph is quite flexible, allowing a number of different display styles.

The graph can be displayed vertically, horizontally, or as a pie chart. The votes cast can be displayed as rectangles or cylinders, with a variety of attractive designs. The bars/pie-slices can have a variety of labeling, and the background can be configured to be plain or gradient colored. If you wish to show a corporate logo, or custom background, then you can load an image file. Finally you can choose a 2D or 3D display. All of the options are remembered between uses, so once you have it configured as you like, you can keep it that way.

Meeting review

As with all of the data in Impact Explorer™, the software automatically saves the results graphs to disk as you go, and records the meeting information at the same time. This means that you can be assured that your results are safe on disk, and also that you can review the meeting (or restart it later) for report generation. An export to Microsoft Word® is available to save you typing the basic meeting details in, and can include the full results as well as the pictures generated.