Choosing the Right Market Research Software - by Survey Magazine

Choosing the Right Market Research Software
: Published on 06/05/2015 : Survey Magazine

Technology is a key ingredient most innovative way to conduct research. A craftsman can only go as far as the tools that he or she has available, right? That said, there is no shortage of tools to choose from. Selecting which one is right for you can be challenging; decisions don’t always just boil down to considering cost and cool features. There are many factors to weigh, from respondent experience to data output and everything in between. I’ve highlighted a few major areas that are crucial to examine when selecting the software tool that is right for your current needs and future objectives.

Here is your checklist:

Capabilities: Dynamic capabilities: If you plan on having dynamic questions, such as mimicking a shopping cart experience or determining areas of interest via heat map, then you’ll need a ro- – tion surveys on recent hotel stays, you won’t need an overly complicated tool. Integration with outside software: Do you have the capability to integrate with other software or incorporate computer language for custom research studies? Does your research need that capability and, if so, to what extent? Media streaming: Do you need to include videos and other media into your studies? If so, does the system allow you to upload and play it securely or do you need to implement a media host service? Bandwidth: Approximately how many respondents do you expect to have coming through your system at a given time? If you need to test 5 video ads with 3,000 respondents in only a week of bandwidth capabilities and how they affect pricing. User Expertise: Consider the technical expertise of the individual that will be using the software – how does their skill set align with the complexity of the tools that you’re considering?

While a majority of software companies are leaning more towards user friendly GUIs (Graphic User Interface) designs, many require advanced knowledge in survey logic and functions.What kind of data do you need?  It’s essential to work backwards when considering a tool. Perhaps the most important question that you’ll ask yourself is what do you need from the output? What kind of data do you need to deliver or present? There are many tools that offer real time data tracking and topline reporting and you will need to weigh which one fits your research needs the best.

Recording capabilities:  Do you need to track the order of events in a survey, such as the order of concepts shown in a randomized presentation of concepts? Or do you need to know what menu item was se- simulation? Reporting options:  Some survey tools offer an abundance of robust reporting capabilities including charts and graphs that are easy to deliver and present. Alternately, there are solutions in which you can manually build the necessary charts and graphs. Dashboard:  Does this software offer a dashboard or reporting link for clients to access the data fairly easily? Extra software: Will you need extra software (such as SPSS) to deliver the data set? Some clients will require deliverable.

Future tips:  Thinking about your long term goals, how advanced do you see your needs becoming?You may want to ask yourself the following questions in order to license a tool that not aligns with your future goals. Outgrowing the software capabilities:  Do you foresee your programmers outgrowing the capabilities of the software? If they’re constantly creating custom code to meet the demand of new, but commonly requested, functionalities, the answer might be yes. Cutting edge technology: Do your goals require you to have cutting- edge technology, or are more rudimentary consider the software company’s long term plans and how it intends to improve its ca- pabilities. Many survey tools have constant upgrades and new releases to stay up to date with new technology trends. Is the software mobile friendly:  Will this survey tool keep up with the ever changing mobile and tablet technology? Is mobile research important to your business? What is your price point:  Will your number of completed interviews be within your price point? Some companies have minimum contracts so make sure these are thought out ahead of time.all solution to choosing a software tool for research. Keeping in mind the global picture beyond just the technical aspects is vital to achieve the best results for your research. Feel free to comment below with any questions!