Integrating R and PollEverywhere

I wrote a short function to extract poll results from PollEverywhere. I frequently use PollEverywhere in classes and executive education programs, but have always found pulling the results clunky.

PollEverywhere does have an api, but it doesn’t seem like something that (at least publicly available) is a big focus of attention. Nonetheless, it is possible to use basic http authentication to get poll results. Here’s the function that will do that.

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## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ##
## This function extracts responses to poll everywhere polls
## This is currently setup just to do a simple multiple choice
## poll. This could be extended to other types of polls and response sets
## More information here: https://api.polleverywhere.com/
## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ## -- ##

pe.responses = function(ids, un, pw) {
    require(httr)
    require(jsonlite)
    ## The id of the poll is at the end of the URL if you open one of the poll
    # in your browser
    ## I could not find a way with the api to list all of the polls for
    ## a given account. This would be ideal, but it's not there as far as I can see

    url.root = "https://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls"

    for(id in ids) {
        # This will just pull the attributes for this particular poll
        url = paste(url.root,id,sep="/")
        # I am only interested in the option set right here, but you could
        # get more information about the poll from this
        ops = fromJSON(content(GET(url, authenticate(un,pw)), "text"))$options
        names(ops)[1] = "response_id"

        # This will pull the responses to this particular poll
        url = paste(url.root,id,"results",sep="/")
        responses = fromJSON(content(GET(url, authenticate(un,pw)), "text"))
        responses$poll_id = id

        # Add the keyword response in addition to the value
        mrg = merge(responses, ops[, c("response_id", "value", "keyword")], by="value", all.x=T)

        if(id == ids[1]) {
            res.out = mrg
        } else {
            res.out = rbind(res.out, mrg)
        }
    }
    res.out$response_num = as.numeric(res.out$keyword)

    # Format the date/time
    res.out$response_date = unlist(lapply(strsplit(res.out$created_at, "T"), function(x) x[1]))
    res.out$response_time = unlist(lapply(strsplit(res.out$created_at, "T"), function(x) x[2]))
    res.out$response_time = substr(res.out$response_time,1, 8)
    res.out$response_date_time = paste(res.out$response_date, res.out$response_time, sep=" ")
    res.out$response_date_time = as.POSIXlt(res.out$response_date_time)
    return(res.out)
}

## Enter your polleverywhere credentials here
# un = "{Your Username Here}"
# pw = "{Your Password Here}"

## Here's a set of poll ids that I was interested in getting the results for
# ids = vector of pollids that you want to extract the results for

o = pe.responses(ids, un, pw)