How do I interpret the results of preference order polls?
In voting theory this method is known as a "Borda count"
Based on the number of options in the poll, a score is assigned to each choice. If an attendee puts a choice last, that choice get 0 points from the attendee. If an attendee puts a choice first, that choice gets N-1 points (where N is the number of options in the poll). So, in a preference order poll with 5 choices, the maximum number of points from one attendee is 4 and the minimum (last choice) is 0.
Then we sum up and take the percentage of maximum possible score based on the number of attendees who voted.
So, if 100 attendees vote in the above example, the maximum possible score would be 400 (each of the 100 attendees put that choice 1st). The percentage displayed is the percentage of 400 of the total score that a particular choice garnered from all attendees.
In general, the closer the answer percentages toward the middle 50%, the more even the results are across every voter. Actual values won't matter a lot otherwise, so sorting by the percentage descending will just give you the general preference order.
If one option has a score of 100%, then that means that everyone put that option on top, as their number 1 preference.
If an option has a score of 0%, then everyone put that score on the bottom, as their last preference.
When you have a score of 50%, that could mean that everyone ranked the option in the middle or it could mean that half your audience rated that option as their number 1 preference and half rated it at the bottom.
Note: The CSV export will show you the exact order selected by each attendee.