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How to choose a Survey Software
By: Developer Shed
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    How to choose a Survey Software
    by Web Based Survey Software

    Wading through all the information that websites throw at you andchoosing the survey software that's right for you can be quite a task.The key steps in choosing a survey software are:

    • Identify your needs
    • Decide whether to go for Hosted or Product
    • Find the survey softwares that meet your needs
    • Try 'em out
    • Make your final decision

    Identify your needs

    There are two aspects to identifying your needs, identifying thefeatures you need and identifying how often you will do surveys.

    Identifying the features

    To identify the features you need, ask yourself "What kind ofsurveys will I be conducting?" and maybe even create a couple of samplesurveys. That will help you identify the features you need.Alternatively,you can understand the importantsurvey software featuresand decide which ones you need.

    In addition, we have createdthese three user profiles to help you better understand your needs.

    • Small-mid sized companies
    • Simple surveys
    • Simple customer satisfaction surveys, website evaluationsurveys
    • Images, sounds, video
    • Question library, response library, sample surveys
    • Basic respondent validation
    • Email notification upon response submission
    • Small-mid sized companies, small universities
    • Slightly more advanced surveys that need skip logic anddata piping
    • Customer satisfaction surveys, website evaluation surveys,employee satisfaction surveys, course evaluation surveys, instructorevaluation surveys
    • Images, sounds, video
    • Question library, response library, sample surveys
    • Skip logic
    • Data piping
    • Branding
    • Password protected surveys
    • Save and continue later
    • Response validation
    • Response uniqueness control
    • Graphical reports
    • Export data
    • Large sized companies, large universities, market researchcompanies
    • Advanced surveys that could require all kinds of features
    • Advanced customer satisfaction surveys, website evaluationsurveys, employeesatisfaction surveys, course evaluation surveys, instructor evaluationsurveys, market research surveys
    • Images, sounds, video
    • Question library, response library, sample surveys
    • Skip logic
    • Data piping
    • Branding
    • Advanced survey creation features
    • Advanced survey presentation features
    • Handheld device
    • Track respondents
    • Password protected surveys
    • Save and continue later
    • Response validation
    • Response uniqueness control
    • Graphical reports
    • Advanced analysis features (cross-tabulation, sub-setanalysis, 360 degree feedback)
    • Export data
    • Save report in PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint

    Identifying how often

    To identify how often you will be doing surveys, ask yourself "Howoften will I be conducting surveys?" and "How many respondents will Ihave?". These questions will help you understand your use-casescenario. Even if you don't know the answers exactly, how still have toask them and make an educated guess. Different vendors have pricingplans that are "optimal" if you do a certain number of surveys with acertain number of responses, but wasteful if your usage doesn't matchtheir target.

    Also, your requirements may change in the future. But that is trueirrespective of whether the product is a survey software or some othersoftware. You can only make decisions based on what you know now!

    • Infrequent surveys
    • 1-5 surveys per year, 500 totalrespondents
    • Fairly regular surveys
    • 15-20 surveys per year, 5000total respondents
    • Regular surveys
    • 5+ surveys per month, 10000+total respondents

    Decide whether to go for Hosted or Product

    The next thing to decide is whether to go for the hosted or the productversion, and that can be a tough call. Read thisarticle to understand theadvantages and disadvantages of both the methods.

    Find the survey software that meets your needs

    Once you have identified your needs and decided whether to go forhosted orthe product version, you have to find the survey softwares that meetyourneeds. Our Survey Software Findercan help you do that. If you do fit one of our userprofiles for features as well as usage, just select them and theSurveySoftware Finderwill find all survey softwares that match the profile. If you don'tfit one of our profiles, enter your custom needs and theSurvey Software Finderwill still find survey softwares for you.

    Try 'em out

    Once you have narrowed down your choice to say 5 or 10 products, youshould try them out. All vendors say that their product is "easy" and"usable". (We still have to find one that says theirs isn'tusable. :-)) But if you can'tuse it, then it isn't usable!So always try out the products, and make sure that they indeed meetyour needs. And if you can do that without committing any dollars, evenbetter.

    Make your final decision

    After having looked at the products, make your final decision basednot only on price, but also on how well the product matches your needsandusability. Price is of course important, but the other factors areimportant as well. If theproduct meets your needs well, then you won't pay for features youdon't need and responses you don't use up. So you save money. The otherway of looking at it is that you get more of what you need for the sameamount of money, or more bang for your buck! And the same withusability. If you choose a product that's really usable for youruse-case scenario, you will spend more time conducting surveys thantraining your staff on how to use the product. So you will save time,and time is money!


      This article has been copyrighted and has been reprinted with thepermission of WebBased Survey Software. If you want to reprint this article, pleasesend us an emailto inform us and we will grant you the permission. But please ensurethat this message appears at the end of the article and proper creditsare given to WebBased Survey Software.
      DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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