Tabulating Surveys Not Designed to Be Tallied Electronically


Occasionally the Visalia Unified School District sends home surveys to gather parents’ feedback. Most surveys are mailed per school and the number of surveys returned is few enough that the schools tally the results by hand. In mid-2012, a survey regarding school upgrades was mailed out to thousands of parents and this time thousands were mailed back.

The survey was created in Microsoft Word and was not designed to be tallied electronically with data collection software as the intent was to tabulate the survey manually. With 2,015 surveys returned from 28 schools, Adam Brown’s department was asked to research the possibility of finding a solution that could potentially tabulate the surveys already received. They were under a deadline, so getting the results from the surveys was very important.


Knowing that manual tabulation would take a considerable amount of time, Adam’s department began researching OMR solutions. After trying a few other products unsuccessfully, Adam found the Remark Office OMR software. To his surprise Remark Office OMR was the only OMR product that allowed them to scan a previously created document, set up the scanning regions to process the surveys electronically, and actually get the data read correctly.

According to Adam, “It was like magic – Remark Office OMR was the only product that provided a solution that would work for our problem.”


The survey was one page with English text on one side, Spanish on the other and a grid of small checkboxes. Some of the survey questions differed between schools but for the most part the surveys were similar in either the English or Spanish version.

The surveys were completed in pens, pencil, and markers of every color, some respondents completed the survey by bubbled the checkboxes, some just checked, others made an “X” over the boxes, while others completely circled the boxes.


Adam said he was impressed that with little effort, they were able to scan and tally thousands of surveys that would have taken days or weeks to tally by hand. In addition, the software allowed them to work with the resulting data in different ways and see trends.

The surveys were separated by school for scanning and were initially scanned using Konica Minolta Bizhub, the office copier/network scanner. Adam then switched to a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner where he was able to scan the entire batch much faster. He scanned all the results for a school into one PDF file then pulled that file into Remark Office OMR to tabulate the completed surveys.

He mentioned that they were able to instantly turn the data into reports and charts, which would not have been possible without Remark Office OMR. Adam also said that, “Remark Office OMR was easy to learn and saved many, many hours.”

Favorite Feature

Adam likes that Remark Office OMR is easy to use, versatile, and accurate. He also mentioned that Remark Office OMR was an amazing solution for the project and they look forward to using the software again when the need arises.

About VUSD

The Visalia Unified School District includes 25 elementary schools, a newcomer language center, four middle schools, four comprehensive high schools, a continuation high school, an adult school, a charter alternative academy, a charter independent study school, a K-8 charter home school, a charter technical education school, and a school that serves orthopedic handicapped students.

The district is committed to providing students young and old with the tools and skills necessary to succeed in life. VUSD is the oldest school district in Tulare County, established in 1885. Over 32,000 students, Pre-K to adult, are served through the Visalia Unified School District. The motto is “EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS.”

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