Protobi project management

Updated at August 9th, 2022

Protobi helps you explore your data, answer key questions, and create cool charts for your report while being flexible to your timeline and goals. Here's what you can expect from us, and what we'll expect from your team.

Protobi is software plus service

Protobi is both (a) a software tool you can use and (b) a team to help you do that.  

Plan to schedule one or more half hour work sessions, so we can review your data together online and design visualizations that accomplish your analysis goals.  

In the first projects, lean on our team to do the setup so you'll see what's possible and learn how to do it. In subsequent projects, your team will be increasingly capable for common tasks, and contact us for more advanced and unique tasks.

You can email us at or schedule screen share work sessions on our calendar

Project timeline

Day 1: Create your project 

Projects start once you send us the data. We encourage clients to send us partial data, because we can  set up the project and refine the view before fielding is even complete. 

Send us an email at with your survey data, survey document and analysis plan. 

In one business day, we’ll create a neatly organized view with all your survey data, and grant you access. We'll take note of any questions and ideas we have for your specific project.

Day 2: Design work session

Schedule a time at as soon as you send us the data.

Work sessions typically last half an hour, and are held via screen share (or in person if you're near Boston). We'll review each question with you, refine the design and suggest possible visualizations.

The main goal is to make sure the survey data looks right, but new users also get trained in Protobi. If your team is new to Protobi, we’ll show them how to use and edit the project.

Weeks 1-3: Analysis and collaboration

Your team

Your team has control of project data and edits. How often data is updated, and project customizations depend on your specific project needs. 

After the first design work session, many users are comfortable with making common edits in the tool. You can expect your team to spend anywhere from 2-5 hours editing a project, depending on how many adjustments you'll make to the initial setup. 

Protobi support 

You're focused on creating an insightful presentation and we're eager to help. For complex requests either set up another half hour work session and we'll walk you through it, or task us to do it for you. 

Additional work sessions are often focused on more advanced tasks like data cleaning. We consider these sessions tutorials, and they won't count towards accrued consulting time. 

We turn around most requests to within the same day. For more complex requests, we ask that you give us 1-2 business days. 

Share with colleagues and clients

You can share the project with your client form the very first day, or wait until all the views are polished and the data is final. Grant your end client direct access to the project with "View" or "Edit" permissions

For experienced users

As an experienced user, your team will be able to do much of this independently.

You can create new projects yourself. Sign into, go to "My projects", press "New project" and upload a survey datafile. This will create your new project space.

Protobi automatically creates an initial view where every column in your data appears as an interactive chart.  

The next step is to neatly organize what may be many hundreds or thousands of data columns into higher level groups and tweak how they appear.

Start by running Autogroup to organize your data into sections. 

Make design tweaks so each appears in a form suitable for your analysis:

Data cleaning and prep

Protobi can do sophisticated data prep. A lot of data work you might otherwise have done in R, SPSS or sent to external firms, we can program in Protobi.

Maybe you need to combine countries or waves, merge in translations, calculate respondent weights, untangle a choice exercise, stack patient case data,  etc. 

By processing data in Protobi, your logic is accessible to your team and all in one place. It runs every time you upload new data, and is checked into version control using git. Some time for data prep is included in the base project cost. We'll let you know in advance if it ever gets to the point where we'd need to bill extra.

If you prefer R, we integrate nicely with R as well with the Protobi R library which provides convenient utilities to get data from -- and push data to -- your project.

Project life

A Protobi Professional Project is "active" for three months. During this time you can update or replace the data as often as you like. After this time the data is assumed to be stable, meaning that you're not uploading new respondent data.

You can edit the view, change permissions, export data, crosstabs, etc. indefinitely. This works for a large complex study where the data takes weeks to field, and even a weekly tracking study that runs 12 weeks.  

If your client loves the work and wants the survey updated beyond that, we have additional options for tracking studies.

Tracking studies

Protobi is often used for tracking studies, including weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual studies. 

One mode is to create one project and update the data in place as it arrives. This is typically best for continuously fielded research or weekly tracking studies. Another mode is to "clone" the project every wave (or every quarter), and upload new data into the new project instance. This is best for quarterly or annual studies, where the questionnaire or sample frame evolves over time, and you need a permanent record.

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