7 survey software tools that every market research company should evaluate

Any software tool for conducting Professional Surveys used in formal market research companies, must go through a rigorous evaluation, selection and bench testing, this evaluation must consider functional features, as well as technical support and quality assurance of the software.

As is well known, a market research business depends fundamentally on three (3) key factors (1) Speed of data collection, (2) High accuracy of results and (3) Low cost of the processes. If a market research agency fails in any of these three KPI (Key Performance Indicators), it will risk being left out of the market or survive with a low reputation. On the other hand, for a market research bussines to be competitive, the software technology developer must include functions that guarantee (4) High employee productivity, which is achieved with user-friendly and intuitive interfaces and (5) Rigorous quality control that ensures that the data collected and the delivery to the end client are reliable. (6) This quality must extend to both the software and the various processes that are executed during all stages of the study.

Taking these premises into account, we have made a selection of the top 7 survey software tools that we recommend to be evaluated by the research agency before purchasing or upgrading the its core software technology. Although there are thousands of survey software tools available on the Internet, we have focused on only seven (7), as they meet the following criteria:

  • (1) Ability to collect data using any device, channel or method, whether online or offline. Including self-administered online surveys, kiosk online and offline surveys, CATI telephone surveys, CAPI offline mobile surveys, paper and pencil surveys, and other methods with low incidence of use. Thus, tools not supporting multi-channel data collection were excluded from our list.

  • (2) Ability to collect data using your own servers (On-premises) or the cloud (Off-premises) when desired. Thus, tools that do not support running on the end client's premises were excluded from our list.

  • (3) Ability to catch just-in-time errors, and/or automated solutions to clean up inconsistent after the data collection is done, thus tools that do not provide intelligent mechanisms to detect errors during and after the data collection process were excluded from our list.

  • (4) Good reputation from expert users, market research specialists and/or endorsement from universities. Thus, tools with a low reputation in professional circles, or without university endorsement were excluded from our list.

Taking these parameters into account, these are the 7 softwares that best fit these criteria:


1. QUALTRICS (USA)

Evaluation of Qualtrics

Based in Utah, USA, this software development company has been growing rapidly and becoming the preferred tool of large Fortune 500 corporations. The system offered by Qualtrics is very comprehensive and includes all kinds of tools such as market segmentation techniques, cluster analysis, cojoins, maxdiff, ANOVA, linear and multiple regressions, among other advanced analytical features, which are demanded both by market research companies and by the research units of large corporations. Qualtrics is positioned as the business intelligence system that allows to address the in-depth study of clients and consumers, the study of the product in its different stages of the life cycle, as well as the measurement of the organizational climate and the 360-degree evaluation of employees.

Advantages:

  • Comprehensive system offering a variety of options demanded by the market research industry.
  • Off-premises and on-premises survey support
  • As a system used in Fortune 500 corporations, it has become a de-facto standard in some industries.
  • Integration with corporate ERP systems such as SAP, as well as with various CRM systems.
  • Easy integration with analytical tools such as PowerBi, Excel, SPSS and Google analytics, among others.

Disadvantages:

  • High cost, unaffordable for small and medium market research firms.
  • High level of complexity to program the logic of advanced flows, which requires advanced training for efficient use.
  • Tech support mainly in English.

Pricing:

Qualtrics does not offer a standardized pricing scheme, but depends on several factors, including whether you want to use your own infrastructure (on-premises) or the cloud (off-premises), the type and quantity of analytical modules required, the number of users, the size of the samples, among other factors. According to our research, the average price paid by customers ranges from US $5,000 to US $200,000 per year.


2. ROTATOR SURVEY (VENEZUELA)

Evaluation of Rotator Survey

Rotator Survey specializes in the collection and analysis of external data for decision making, positioning itself as a comprehensive, user-friendly and productive tool to be run on Windows desktop computers. Rotator is a horizontal system for conducting surveys of all kinds, whether for marketing, social or electoral studies. The interesting thing about this tool is the high level of productivity and efficiency achieved by its users, as well as the quality assurance of the data collected in the field. Rotator manages to automate almost all the processes of the study, thus reducing considerably the number of employees required by the market research firm, which results in significant savings in costs and resources needed to execute any study. Rotator has a strong presence in Latin America with a loyal user base of more than 200 Research companies located mainly in LatinAmerica.

Advantages:

  • Systematization of all study processes.
  • High quality of collected data and automated detection of human errors.
  • User-friendly graphical interfaces and high productivity.
  • Unified study modeling system applicable to any data collection method, CAWI, CAPI, PAPI, CATI..
  • Easy implementation of customer's own servers (On-premises).

Disadvantages:

  • As it is not a SaaS software, it requires setup installation on a Windows PC.
  • It is up to the user to prevent viruses and malware from affecting the studies locally.
  • To complete certain functionalities, such as voice recording in CATI surveys or mass mailing, it is necessary third-party integration.

Pricing:

Rotator offers 4 plans ranging from $300 per year.


3. SURVEYMONKEY (USA)

Evaluation of Survey Monkey

SurveyMonkey is definitely the leader in massive online surveys, a tool aimed at all types of audiences from student thesis students to large corporations. SurveyMonkey is the reference in online surveys, being the first survey software development company that managed to raise large venture capital to finance its growth, to the point that today it has at least 15 million users and some 400,000 client organizations located around the world. SurveyMonkey provides beautiful-looking, respondent-friendly graphical interfaces that are perfectly suited for both Mac and PC, as well as Android and iPhone cell phones.

Advantages:

  • As the market leader, SurveyMonkey has set the industry standard for both graphical interfaces and data integration for various types of surveys.
  • Hundreds of pre-built templates, making survey modeling quick and easy.
  • Very robust basic and advanced skip logic, supporting all types of surveys, from 360-evaluations to organizational climate measurement surveys, customer satisfaction, product evaluation, among others.
  • Advanced APIs for data integration and immediate export to Excel, SPSS, PowerBi, Google Analytics and other tools.

Disadvantages:

  • Although using the basic functionality is easy, the implementation of advanced options is not, requiring a lot of reading, testing and/or training.
  • The company limits the use of the tool, making it very costly when many concurrent users or large samples are required.
  • The technical support provided is not fast, and some problems can be solved in 2 or 3 days, delaying the field work.
  • They do not provide a specific methodology for CAPI or CATI, leaving the user to improvise with the graphical interfaces.

Pricing:

The company offers individual plans starting at US $408, team plans starting at US $900 and enterprise plans. These prices are per user and each plan has a limit of registries per year.


4. SMART SURVEY (UNITED KINGDOM, UK)

Evaluation of Smart Survey

SmartSurvey is a system developed by the English company SmartSurvey Ltd, with a long trajectory in the field of market research and with great presence in Europe and America. It offers a versatile and integrated system, supporting all data collection methods in a centralized system for Windows or for the Web. SmartSurvey supports CATI telephone interview, self-applied online survey, CAPI survey with field interviewers and even paper and pencil surveys. All of these methods can be applied through centralized modeling.

Advantages:

  • Centralized integration of all data collection methods.
  • Extensive customization of the online and offline survey.
  • Advanced APIs for integration with external analytical tools and expedited export to various software including SPSS, SAS and Excel.
  • Support for on-premises and on off-premises surveys
  • Data security using the ISO27001 standard.

Disadvantages:

  • Some subsystems are very old and have not been migrated to the Web environment.
  • Complexity in the management of multichannel studies.
  • Quality control of post-field data is very manual.
  • Tech support mainly in English

Pricing:

Starting at $900 per user per year for the basic version. They do not show prices for the professional or Enterprise version, these should be consulted through the website.


5. QUESTION PRO (USA-INDIA)

Evaluation of QuestionPro

Question Pro is another of the leading tools preferred by market researchers around the world, with solid development by teams in India with a seasoned technical knowledge, as well as solid quality of the results that can be obtained. Being a direct competitor and follower of SurveyMonkey, Question Pro tends to offer the same features as the leading tool, including similar skip logic and user-selectable templates. As SurveyMonkey, QuestionPro has strong strengths in self-administered online surveys, and a shy presence in other data capture methods, however, the company has recently been adding specialized CAPI, CATI and PAPI functionality as users demand it.

Advantages:

  • The basic options are user-friendly and intuitive.
  • Very comprehensive tool, supports most of the market research techniques required by users, both basic and advanced, including Maxdiff, Clustering, Net Promoter Score, multivariate analytics, among others.
  • Easy modeling of CAWI surveys and ease of defining flow, skip logic and formulas.
  • Good software quality.
  • Good documentation available.

Disadvantages:

  • Users have reported severe data loss due to poor server administration.
  • Using the client's own infrastructure (On Premises Survey) is cumbersome and costly.
  • The service is expensive for large samples, or when concurrent studies or concurrent users are required.
  • Tech support staff are not experts, and most have little experience in market research.

Pricing:

From $1,300 USD per year per user, limited to 25,000 responses per year.


6. SURVEY TO GO, DOOBLO (ISRAEL)

Evaluation of Dooblo

SurveyToGo (Dooblo) is one of the pioneering tools in the market research industry which has been evolving since the 1990s, offering a lot of advanced functionality for various data collection methods. Although its strength has been more in the area of offline CAPI surveys, it has recently included the Online survey and CATI modules. SurveyToGo is preferred by advanced researchers who require great complexity in the CAPI survey, with voice recording, advanced quota management, video recording, maps, photo-taking, and other multimedia features required at the point of interview. It also provides advanced randomization options, question rotation, choice rotation among others. SurveyToGo makes a online centralized management of the study, which allows several users located in remote places to monitor and manage the field work.

Advantages:

  • Efficient management of complex or extensive studies.
  • Centralized administration of studies.
  • Advanced options for quota management and randomization of sections, questions and modalities.
  • Excellent survey performance on tablets, even with voice recording.
  • Possibility of using exclusive servers.

Disadvantages:

  • Complexity of use, not recommended for novice users.
  • Given its complexity and centralization, users have reported unrecoverable data and model losses.
  • Primitive support for CATI telephone interviews.
  • Do not offer unlimited options, the price is fixed according to the number of surveys collected (Registers).
  • Tech support in English only.
  • Expensive for large samples.

Pricing:

From $690 for 1,000 interviews, up to $3,000 for 12,500 interviews.


7. IDSURVEY (ITALY)

Evaluation of IdSurvey

Of all the multichannel market research software offered on the Internet, IdSurvey is one of the most comprehensive tools we have reviewed. The professional approach of its interfaces and the good quality of the development makes it a solid and reliable tool for the demands of professional researchers. IdSurvey provides all capture methods in one centralized system including CAWI, CAPI, CATI and multi-mode. They focus on Market Research, Social Research, Customer Experience, Employee Experience, Academic Research and Data Analytics.

Advantages:

  • Professional approach.
  • Smooth multi-mode surveys, combining CAWI, CATI, CAPI.
  • Solid professional data analysis skills.

Disadvantages:

  • Support in Italian and limited English only.
  • Limited documentation.
  • Small customer base, which makes it risky in the long term.

Pricing:

The company does not publish prices on its website, but indicates that its licenses are tailored to specific needs; for CATI, annual licenses can be rented for long-term needs, or to use short-term daily licenses for one-off projects, or to expand stations temporarily. For CAWI and CAPI, packages can be purchased to cover project or annual needs.


SURVEY SOFTWARE TOOLS, THE CONTENDERS ARE...


If the need of the market research company is to conduct studies using one or two capture methods, instead of multichannel surveys, the options available on the Internet become wider and more varied. According to the well-known software search engines Capterra (Garther Group), G2, SourceForge and Software Advice, we made a selection of the best survey software, based on the reputation they have on these sites, as well as the availability or not of their prices. It is important to mention that most of the system prices shown below are for only one (1) user.

TOOL OR SOFTWARE STRONG METHOD AVERAGE MIN PRICE AVERAGE MID PRICE AVERAGE MAX PRICE
TYPEFORM Online Self-applied $300 $600 $996
SURVEYCATE CAWI, CAPI $1,068 $2,148 $2,148
ALCHEMER Online Self-applied $660 $1,980 $3,300
QUALAROO Online Self-applied $828 $1,778 $35,800
SOGOLYTICS CAWI, CAPI $792 $1188 -
SURVEY LEGEND Online Self-applied $170 $300 $780
POINTERPRO Online Self-applied $828 - -
NICE REPLAY Customer experience $1,428 $2,868 $4,308
CHECKMARKET CAWI, CAPI $720 $1,440 -
MOPINION Customer feedback $3,108 $5,000 -
ZOHO SURVEY Online Self-applied $240 $300 $720
EVAL & GO Online Self-applied $228 $468 $1,260
ENCUESTA.COM Online Self-applied $276 $420 $900
SAWTOOTH Multi-channel $4,500 $11,900 ?
SURVEY LAB Online Self-applied $588 $1,188 $2,988
ONLINENCUESTA Online Self-applied $169 $279 $599
SURVIO Online Self-applied $888 $3,000 $5,000
STARTQUESTION Online Self-applied $1,188 $2,388 -
ZONKA Online Self-applied $588 $1,188 $2,388
REFLECTIVE RESEARCH Online panel $360 $960 $14,00
BREWSURVEY CAWI, CAPI $348 $588 -
GOSURVEY CAPI $404 $780 $1,480
SURVICATE Online Self-applied $1,068 $1,548 $2,148
SURVEYCTO CAPI $2,376 - -
RESPONSTER Online Self-applied $250 - $490
ENCUESTAFACIL Online Self-applied $228 - $708
REFINER Online Self-applied $2,388 $948 -
SURVEY KIWI Online Self-applied $468 - $828
STARTQUESTION Online Self-applied $588 $1,188 $2,388
QUICK TAB SURVEY CAPI - - -
QWARY Online Self-applied $348 $948 1,308
SPARK CHART Online Self-applied $300 $480 -
KEY SURVEY Online Self-applied - - -
EASY-FEEDBACK Online Self-applied $790 $1,470 -
SURVEY GALAXY Online Self-applied $350 $1,200 -
SURVEY APP CAPI, CAWI $288 $1,920 -
ATTEST Online Self-applied $500 $2,200 $5,500
SUPER SIMPLE SURVEY Online Self-applied $190 $490 $990
ODK CAWI, CAPI $2,028 $5,148 -
SURVEYSPARROW Online Self-applied $588 $1,199 $5,988
SURVEY PLANET Online Self-applied $180 $350 $1,750
PRO PROF SURVEY Online Self-applied $228 $588 $1,488
INFORMIZELY Online Self-applied $1,020 $2,028 $3,228
INTELLI SURVEY Online Self-applied - - -
NG SURVEY Online Self-applied - - -
SURVEY SYSTEM Multi-channel - - -
YOU ENGAGE ME Online Self-applied $228 $588 $1,788
OTHER MULTI-CHANNEL SURVEY TOOLS WITHOUT PRICE INFORMATION
TESI GANDIA Multi-channel - - -
VOXCO Multi-channel - - -
LESPHINX Multi-channel - - -
NIPO Multi-channel - - -
SOFTWARE FOR QUESTIONNAIRES AND FORMS
COGNITOFORMS Online Self-applied $180 $420 $1,180
TYPEFORM Online Self-applied $300 $600 $996
123 FORM BULDER Online Self-applied $444 $840 $2,400
JOTFORM CAWI, CAPI $468 $1188 -
FORMS.APP CAWI, CAPI $300 $420 1,188
MICROSOFT FORMS Online Self-applied - - -
FORMALOO Online Self-applied $108 $228 -
AIDA FORM Online Self-applied $144 $288 $480
WUFOO Online Self-applied $449 $888 $2,199
CLEEVY Online Self-applied - - -
SURVEY SOFTWARE BASED ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
POLLFISH Online Self-applied - $1 140 -
DRAGNSURVEY Online Self-applied $250 $500 -
POLLTHEPEOPLE Online Self-applied $600 $1,200 $120,000
SOFTWARE TOOLS FOR CONDUCTING SURVEYS 100% FREE OF CHARGE
LIMESURVEY ONLINE - - -
GOOGLE FORMS ONLINE - - -

Other survey software tools and systems, both online and offline, saas and telephone interviewing systems can be found at: software world and free online surveys