Microsoft Forms Preview for Office 365 Business tenants - First Impressions


It's great to see that Microsoft has made the Forms product available to non-Educational tenants.  But now that many of us have it available in our toolbelt, questions started around its use and purpose and how it would play along with other related products.  Here's my initial thought on this topic.




Microsoft Forms is a cloud-based product that was created specifically for the education sector for managing surveys and quizzes.  Recently, a preview of the tool was rolled out to Office 365 Business tenants.  Using Forms, you can create surveys in minutes and share them with others to start collecting responses immediately. 




Today, there are only four types of questions available to be added to a Form - text, multiple choice, rating, and date. 


question types.JPG


Like some more advanced survey solutions, Microsoft Forms lets you add branching for single-answer multiple choice questions.  Branching lets you build your forms such that questions that are irrelevant to a responder can be avoided. 




You also have the option to shuffle multiple choice questions (not that anyone would ever share the sequence of answers to their question :).


Education-specific Options


The Forms version available on Office 365 Education tenants contain several additional features that are more geared towards testing and evaluations.  A Quiz question option exists, which lets you specify which options are correct for multiple choice questions. 


Overall, at the survey level, you can apply specific settings that are typically used when creating tests or assessments, as noted below.Survey Options.png


Two of the main appealing features I found are external sharing and mobile access.  The ease with which Forms can be shared with external users is important when trying to collect data from users who are not in my organization.  A good example of this is when I work with clients on satisfaction surveys.  In the past, these would be run through Excel Surveys or other applications that would require importing of the data into my tenant.  The second main feature is around the mobile accessibility.  Let's face it, when many of us receive a message about a survey, we usually try to do it outside of our core hours.  With the mobile-friendly interface, you can complete the surveys virtually anywhere and on any device.




Microsoft Forms provides you with real-time responses, which is great if you’re trying to use it to gather a specific number of responses, for example if you are running an adoption campaign. The Responses tab provides a summary that shows the number of responses for each multiple-choice

question, average score for ratings, and specific responses provided for text questions.





You can also export your Form responses into an Excel document for further analysis.




Accessing Data


One of the first questions that came to my mind was how easily I could interact with the surveys as they are being completed. Microsoft, it seems, anticipated this demand by introducing trigger in Flow that initiates a workflow when a new response is submitted. As Microsoft Forms and Microsoft Flow are both tied to the same tenant, you are able to simply select the specific Form from a drop-down list.





Once the trigger has been configured, additional actions can be added to leverage the submitted Form data.  More details on this integration is covered in Microsoft Forms and Flow - Leveraging Real-Time Survey Results in the Cloud.




As a Preview release, Microsoft Forms looks promising for several reasons

  • Easy to create surveys
  • Collect responses from authenticated and anonymous users
  • Surveys are accessible on mobile devices
  • Survey data can easily be extracted into Excel and other systems
3 Replies

My experience, virtually useless. 


Doesn't have a name box, instead shows everybody as Anonymous. 

Feedback not viewable on excel download

User cannot use same link and look at the feedback a teach gives them.


Wasted a good few hours building 10 quizzes here. Where is the thumbs down button!

Hi @Paul Donnelly,


Sorry to hear that your experience wasn't a positive one.  Was the survey you created one that is shared within your organization (tenant) or public?  When you create an internal one, then the Email and Name fields are filled-in.  Otherwise, they are marked as anonymous.  


I'm not sure what you mean by Feedback not being viewable.  Are you using an Education tenant?  If so, then some of the functionality may be limited.


Have you considered using Flow to extract the survey results?  Please feel free to reach out to me if you have further questions.


Hi @Haniel Croitoru 

Great read.

We've recently introduced Office 365 into our business and are running through all the GDPR and Retention Policies for our staff when they use the apps.  One query I can't find the answer to is WHERE is the data actually stored for Forms?  I know you can click the "Show Results" button and the data appears, but where is that data physically held and how long is it there for?

Just because, if we have any queries on the data that we have held on people (should we gather such information from a Form), then we need to be able to get hold of it.  At the moment, if a member of staff creates a Form and collates data... if he/she goes off sick, would anyone else in the tenancy be able to get that data?

I've read that Flow can be used to move data into Excel Spreadsheets and stored locally... but what about the data BEFORE it goes there.  Where is it exactly?

Thanks in advance,