Variable passthrough in Datagame

  • 05/08/16

Variable passthrough in Datagame

The new variable passthrough functionality with a hosted Datagame allows fully integrated workflows to be created. Variable passthrough allows a Datagame to retrieve a respondent ID or other data from an incoming link and send it back out in the outgoing redirect link. It does this through the use of GET variables included in the incoming URL.

Example use cases for variable passthrough

So why should you care about variable passthrough? It allows you to track and connect multiple data sources. Here are a couple of examples of ways you might use variable passthrough to integrate Datagame with other systems:

  • Use a hosted Datagame as a standalone study. You can send people to your Datagame using your own email list or a panel company, then track those respondents through a respondent identifier and make sure they get properly incentivized.
  • Use a Datagame as a landing page for your survey. Send them to a Datagame using a link with a respondent ID or other data attached. Configure the end of game redirect to go to your survey created using any survey platform. The data attached to the incoming link is sent on in the outgoing redirect link, allowing you to easily link individual Datagame responses to survey responses.
  • Create a roundtrip workflow. With some survey platforms (depending on account level), you can use a custom redirect link for the end of the survey. You could use this to redirect from a survey into a Datagame, passing along with it any data you want. At the completion of the Datagame, it can redirect back to another survey, carrying forward with it any data that was passed along from the first survey.
  • Personalized pages at redirect. Your redirect page can pull variables from the URL and use them to display a custom message. For example, if there is a name variable in the URL, the redirect page can retrieve the value of name from the URL and display personalized text, such as “Thank you, name.”
  • Include Google Analytics tracking variables in Datagame links that you send out via your various social media channels. Create a unique link for each social media channel. You can then track respondents by where they are coming from and see if there are any differences in responses from your different audiences.

 Configuring Datagame to passthrough variables

Setting up a hosted Datagame to passthrough variables is easy. From the Hosted publishing page, you can set the redirect link and passthrough parameter names. Datagame looks for the specified parameters and saves them, then appends them on the outgoing redirect link.

Configuring your hosted Datagame to passthrough variables consists of:

  • Capturing GET variables from an incoming URL in your Datagame
  • Sending GET variables out in an outgoing URL after completing the Datagame
  • Modifying the incoming URL for your Datagame to include GET variables

Capturing GET variables from an incoming URL

A hosted Datagame can capture GET variables from an incoming URL and save them. It can then send those back out with the end of game redirect link.

To configure a hosted Datagame to capture GET variables from an incoming URL:

  1. Go to the Publish Game page for the desired Datagame.
  2. From the list of publishing channels, select Hosted.
  3. In the text box for List of query parameters to forward on the bottom of the page, enter the names of the parameters that Datagame should look for in the incoming link as a comma-separated list. Parameter names should be alphanumeric characters only (no special characters or spaces).

Example: Entering param1param2 will instruct Datagame to look for and save the values for the parameters named param1 and param2 in the incoming URL. Any values that are found will be appended to the end of the redirect link. If a parameter is not found, that parameter will not be listed in the outgoing link.

Sending GET variables out in the redirect link

To specify the outgoing redirect link for a completed Datagame:

  1. Go to the Publish Game page for the desired Datagame.
  2. From the list of publishing channels, select Hosted.
  3. In the text box for the End of game forward URL, specify the target URL for the outgoing link. The specified parameters are appended to the end of the indicated URL.

Example: If you enter as the redirect link, the specified parameters will be appended to the end of the URL as follows:

Modifying incoming URLs to include GET variables

To capture the data from a GET variable, the incoming URL must include those variables. The hosted URL link that is displayed in the Publish Game page needs to be modified to include any desired passthrough parameters. This is done by appending the GET variables to the end of the URL using &var=value, where var is the variable or parameter name and value is the value for that variable. You can passthrough multiple variables with each using the same format. For example, &var1=value1&var2=value2.

The incoming URL can be modified manually or programmatically (the CONCATENATE command in Microsoft Excel makes it easy to combine text from multiple cells into one string). If working with a panel company, they append the respondent IDs to the link when they send it out to their panelists; just check with them for the name(s) they use for the variable(s). Many survey platforms also have a means for creating individual survey links for a mailing list.

Try Datagame today

Use passthrough variables with hosted Datagames to integrate your data. Passthrough makes it easy to use Datagame with research panels or online communities and to track respondents. Sign up for a free account and include a Datagame in your next study.