Data collection made easy




Generic Questionnaire Module (GQM) 

Many applications, particularly those belonging to local or central government departments, need to collect data from users before using it within a business process.  Frequently a dedicated forms engine is employed to do this, placing constraints on the architecture and necessitating the construction and maintenance of interfaces to the back-office systems where the data is required.

GQM is delivered as a module within the kinodb platform, allowing seamless integration with line of business applications to enable the collection of data from external and internal users.  The presentation of questionnaires can be configured as required; a Government Digital Services (GDS) theme is included and can be tailored if needed.

Its many features include full versioning of questionnaires, conditional flows, an expressions engine that can calculate scores or user-specific texts, save and resume functionality, document uploads, administrator review / approvals of uploaded documents and much more.

GQM is included within datb's Local Government Platform and can also be used by any application with a public-facing data gathering requirement.

Who is it for?

Enterprise scale applications typically have users of many types and with greatly varying requirements and levels of involvement with the application as a whole.

The kinodb platform implements clear and consistent user interfaces across very large systems.   A system's internal users will quickly become familiar with the highly functional default interface, which is designed to maximise productivity.  

However, where external users of the system require access to parts of its functionality, an entirely different user interface is appropriate.

Public sector and other organisations with large numbers of external stakeholders are familiar with this issue, and frequently address it by the use of a separate externally facing system or systems, often based around a forms generation capability, used to gather information from members of the public or external organisations.

This requires that a set of interfaces is implemented and maintained to transfer information between the externally facing system and the various back-office systems that use the information.

By contrast, GQM is built within the kinodb platform, removing the need for interfaces and enabling administrators, not developers, to create and manage questionnaire definitions within the environment where the data is required.

As its simplest, this provides functional benefits and significant reductions in cost and complexity.  At the other end of the scale it enables a degree of integration with back office systems that enables the implementation of highly functional client portals where all of an individual's interactions with a large system can be centralised.



Camden Council uses GQM within their homelessness reduction system. 

Read the case study to see how datb delivered an application to meet the requirements of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (HRA).

Using questionnaires for data collection

Questionnaires are defined by system administrators, allowing data collection without development.  Questionnaires are versioned so that a change doesn't impact previously submitted information.

Questionnaires can perform calculations and access external data sources as the user completes a submission.  In some cases (for instance a questionnaire to assess eligibility for a particular service or benefit) the questionnaire can contain all of the logic required to make a determination.

Many processing requirements, such as emailing confirmation of an accepted submission, or building a message to the user based on calculated values, can be implemented using GQM’s built-in scripting language.  More complex processing can be handled by kinodb's Actions functionality.

GQM is included within our Local Government Platform (LGP), enabling submissions to access (for example) parking and other permit information, to determine availability and costs, and to create permits to be issued and assigned to account holders.

GQM submissions can be anonymous or can require that the submitting user is registered within the application.  Configuration extends to full self-service functionality and can enable a user to create an account within the system before applying and paying for services.

Benefits of GQM

  • Create and deploy single or multi-page forms in minutes
  • Version control allows changes without impact to existing submissions
  • Questionnaire definitions can be copied between environments and shared between organisations
  • Inbuilt mapping, address search, vehicle information, email, account management and other functions
  • Extensible as required within the kinodb platform (so that any application that you have built on the platform can benefit from this module).


GQM comes with an extensible set of functionality, including:
  • Built-in GOV.Notify capabilities for email / SMS communications
  • Integration with Google Maps for geographic presentation of locations
  • Integration with address location / validation services such as Loquate and commonly-used local authority gazetteers
  • Integration with DVLA’s Vehicle Enquiry Service (VES)
  • Simple integration with payments processing systems
  • Straightforward configuration to integrate with existing internal or public web services
  • Support for a wide variety of data types
  • Support for document upload, including assurance that insecure documents cannot be uploaded
  • Automatic image resizing to retain legibility without huge storage requirements
  • A variety of presentation options, for instance to allow an administrator to review a complex submission as a set of tabs
  • Ability for submissions to reference or embed other submissions, enabling the capturing of complex data structures and facilitating the implementation of case management and similar workflows
  • Maintenance of submission status, allowing full management of submission lifecycles
  • Easily implemented ‘save and continue’ functionality enabling a user to save an in-progress submission and to return to complete it later
  • Assignment of administrative or other responsibilities for individual submissions to teams or staff members
  • Control over visibility and editability of content by section or item, additionally by user type and submission status if required
  • Full version control over questionnaire definitions, allowing changes to be made to existing definitions without disruption to previously submitted information
  • Portability of questionnaire definitions between environments, allowing the creation of a library of template questionnaires that can be downloaded for tailoring and reuse by any organisation using GQM.


GQM makes data collection incredibly easy.  The user interface works on any desktop, laptop or mobile browser and is designed for use by non-IT literate users.

The implementation of questionnaires is an administrative function, allowing business units to refine the information gathering process.

Full integration with the kinodb platform means that any kinodb application can put it to use without additional systems or interfaces.

To find out more, or arrange for a demonstration, click on the contact button below and one of our team will be in touch.