Difficulties with surveys?

Everyone who does survey data knows the nightmares associated with getting the questions right, and how many things can go wrong during the process. While there is not a piece of software on the planet that can help you pick your constructs or hone your questions, there are many that will help you distribute and count. After a chance meeting with an employee of Qualtrics, I requested they send me a blurb on why it was a worthy addition to our Ph.D. toolbox, and this is what they sent back. It is important to note that there are a *LOT* of survey tools out there, and if they want to be featured on OCISPhD.com, we welcome their input as well. This is not an official Academy endorsement of Qualtrics, or their service, but I felt that it was useful for student members to become acquainted with one of the tools of the trade that I have found to be consistently useful.

Top 10 Reasons to Use Qualtrics for Your Online Research

There are hundreds of online survey tools out there, but nothing compares to the simplicity or sophistication of Qualtrics. Here are 10 reasons why you should be using Qualtrics for your online research:
1. Qualtrics gives you the best tools to engage your respondents.
Point-and-click, drag-and-drop—create your surveys with the most intuitive survey interface on the planet. Along with 86 different question types, you’ll find that you can embed videos, pictures, RSS feeds, javascript and a variety of other advanced features to make surveys as creative and flexible as you are.

2. Qualtrics handles advanced survey design with ease.
Qualtrics was built for researchers by researchers, which is why you’ll find advanced features like: branching and logics, piped text, embedded data, triggered email alerts, the ability to carry data forward from previous questions, conjoint analysis, panel management and question randomization. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

3. Qualtrics delivers the highest survey response rates.
It’s true. With interactive question types, a pre-survey test, email triggers, survey panels, a more professional survey look-and-feel, and the ability to track, remind and thank respondents through the Qualtrics Survey Mailer, you’ll see higher response rates than ever before. After all, what is a survey worth if you aren’t getting the response rate that you need?

4. Qualtrics provides flexible reporting and analytics.
Novice and expert users alike are really impressed with the customizable reporting features and dynamic analytics of Qualtrics. The Public Report option is one of the key reporting features that enables you to monitor the results of your survey as responses roll in and share the report with others in real-time. Qualtrics also allows users to email scheduled reports, filter responses by partials and/or completes, run CrossTabs, drill-down, and export data to SPSS, PDF, MS Excel, Powerpoint and Word.

5. Qualtrics ensures responsive, unlimited customer support.
Award-winning, friendly, brainchildren of Q—the Qualtrics Support Team provides in-house support for all users. Qualtrics also provides live training sessions for new users, weekly webinars and an online “user’s manual” better known as Qualtrics University. For everything from research helps to training tutorials to a survey glossary, users can go to Qualtrics U and find virtually everything they need. It’s constantly being updated with new features, housing enough research information to deem itself a “university.” Not to mention, tuition is free.

6. Qualtrics offers on-the-ground capabilities that will revolutionize your research.
With Qualtrics, you can collect research on any device with an internet connection (any smart phone: Blackberry, iTouch, iPhone, Palm Pilot, etc.) And, no matter how many different devices collect the data, they can all be integrated into one report. Customized skins for the iPhone and Blackberry also give a professionally tailored look and feel to mobile device data collection.

7. Qualtrics has unparalleled multilingual capabilities.
Wishing you could go global with your research? Language barriers shouldn’t keep you from collecting the information you need and neither should your online survey software. Qualtrics surveys can be translated into more than 42 different languages, enabling you to collect feedback from respondents across the globe. Qualtrics translation features make it easy to translate questions side-by-side, review results in one data-set (even if the survey was taken in multiple languages), and enable web browsers to auto-detect and deliver surveys in the respondents’ preferred language.

8. Qualtrics is used by all 30 of the U.S. Top 30 Business Schools.
When elite universities like Stanford, UCLA and Princeton use Qualtrics to fuel their research initiatives, you know the software is top-notch. Business schools throughout Asia, Australia and Europe have also incorporated Qualtrics into their research programs, training the leaders of tomorrow to use a tool that will sustain them throughout their professional careers. In addition, 17 leading market research textbooks are published with Qualtrics as the recommended research suite.

9. Qualtrics offers an organization-wide solution.
There is no reason for students, co-workers or faculty members within the same university, let alone the same department, to use eight different survey softwares. That is why leading organizations and universities have been so pleased with the opportunity to share one streamlined solution by switching to Qualtrics. They’ve found Qualtrics has made it easier to share and download data, work together more efficiently on projects, save time and make more informed decisions. Qualtrics also offers quick and easy collaboration features enabling researchers to share surveys or team-up on projects with colleagues from the East Coast to the Cote d’Ivoire.

10.  Qualtrics knows academics.
How? Because the researchers at the Q have been there. Qualtrics knows that an easy-to-use online survey solution robust enough to cater to the complexities of experimental design and research is requisite for researchers in academia. Research that once took hours to program can be designed, tested and distributed in minutes, no matter the level of the user. With the versatility to cater to college freshmen’s experimental studies as easily as graduate students’ compound Boolean logic with complex branching assignments, Qualtrics is used daily at leading universities around the world. Qualtrics is also used to conduct institutional research such as course evaluations, and many institutions have revamped their research programs to  incorporate teaching Qualtrics in the classroom.

Click here to learn more about Qualtrics and try out a free account!

4 comments to Difficulties with surveys?

  • Gerard McGrellis

    I am working on my dissertation and have to survey Fortune 100 companies. Can you give me any advice on the best technique to survey Fortune 100 companies?

    Thank you,
    Gerard

  • Gerard,

    There are a number of factors to consider which have an impact on my suggestions. The first is, are you looking to secure the opinions of a particular position, such as CIO?

    You should check to see if your school has a research center, which will have names, emails, etc of alumni and strategic partners in the community that would be more likely to take a survey. They are obviously not all at Fortune 100 companies, but it is a good place to start, and they can direct you to other resources.

  • Natasha

    It is discussed that qualtrics can run cross tabs and drill-downs…and it also says that it can export data to SPSS. I wish to use qualatrics as a means of distributing my online survey (for my dissertation)but when it comes to my data analysis…. I am not sure whether my analysis is required to be done using qualatrics, SPSS or a mix of both?! Can you clarify which data analysis procedures qualtrics can do “on its own” and perhaps different ones where I am required to use SPSS?

  • Natasha,

    My experience is that all data analysis is better done through other means. Qualtrics will give you the survey results with the standard mean/min/max/SD, and “drill down” will give you the option to create a frequency table or graph, but for critical statistical analysis, a program such as SPSS or R is much better suited for academic work.

    The only functionality beyond data collection that I have found useful has been the survey use “stats”, which show time stats such as average duration, question response rate, and survey completion percentage.

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