- Administration Support. Will the survey tool create a random sample from a list of contacts? A stratified random sample? Will it tell you an approximate sample size you need for a certain level of statistical accuracy? Can you restrict access to the survey only to those to whom you’ve sent an invitation? Can you send out reminders to those who have not completed the survey?
As you can see, the capabilities of survey software tools can be quite extensive – and the above is not even a comprehensive list! Do your homework and think about your true long term needs.
How to Select aWeb Survey Tool
Finally, how should you go about selecting a web survey tool?
- Determine Your Needs. This should seem obvious, but it’s not. I’ve worked with companies where senior managers have become enamored with SurveyMonkey, QuestionPro or some other product because they had taken a survey as a respondent from that tool. It shows great marketing! But when I ask them if they know if Survey Tool A will meet their requirements for their survey, the tone of the response told me to back off. The basic tools, including SurveyMonkey, have limitations.
- Cost Comparison. Cost comparisons can be difficult since there are various pricing algorithms. Pricing may be driven by the number of:Survey projects in a period of time
- Responses to a specific survey
- Invitations sent for a survey
- Questions in a survey
- User accounts with access.
Also, advanced features may drive you to a higher-level package — or customization. Create your expected scenario of how you will use the survey software and then calculate the price for the various tools.
- Take a Test Drive. All of the tools — or all that you should consider — will allow you to download or use the software in some limited fashion. Check out their ease of use. You’ll be driving this car. Wouldn’t you like to know how comfortable the seats are for a long trip?
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In summary, online survey software tools can make the job of conducting survey research much easier and less expensive. When selecting a particular tool, you have many factors to consider. The most important factor is your level of knowledge of good survey research practices. Without that, you may well be driving blindly without knowing you’re blind.