Get With the Program: Choosing the Right Survey Programming Technology

Posted by Op4G Staff on November 23, 2020
High quality market research has several key ingredients: defined goals, clear questions, honest subjects. Just as important, however, is the underlying survey programming technology. Also known as the “platform” or “solution”, survey programming technology allows an organization to actually reach research subjects, as well as capture and understand their responses.
A helpful analogy is a suggestion box at work. The manager may pose thoughtful questions and staff may have brilliant ideas. But if the manager can’t find the box or fails to analyze suggestions, the whole scheme is useless. Therein lies the value of programming technology!
Of course, not all programming technologies are the same. Each has different features, strengths, and weaknesses. For this reason, your organization must do its research before selecting the appropriate platform. To get you started, we’ve evaluated several popular solutions on the market today:
Decipher: Op4G’s own pick for our full service projects is FocusVision’s Decipher survey platform[i]. Decipher claims to be the “most comprehensive” professional survey and reporting solution[ii]. Capable of running everything from a “just-in-time quick poll” to a large “multi-country, multi-language survey”, it is unparalleled in its scale[iii]. The surveys are customizable, interactive, and mobile-friendly. Plus, deciphering the results is quick and simple thanks to a centralized data hub, chart controls, and advanced filters for segmentation. Want to understand how a specific demographic answered a question in your survey? Basic cross tabs can be built directly in Decipher. Cross tabs and topline summary reports are made available through live report links. A simple click and they can be exported in an array of formats. Just need the raw data? Our data processing team has the ability to export or convert Decipher survey files into nearly any format imaginable. Op4G also has established capabilities to program MaxDiff and CBC Conjoints directly in Decipher. User comments reveal that Decipher can be difficult to master. Luckily, Op4G's project management team is highly trained in Decipher. 
Survey Monkey: Survey Monkey is a DIY market research solution. The company’s basic free plan has become quite popular. Users can select an existing template or draw from a sizable “question bank” of different question types[v]. But the plan does come with limitations: users can only ask up to 10 questions and view up to 100 responses[vi]. To unlock more, a paid package is necessary. Paying users will also get greater customization (e.g. branding in the footer and URL), superior features (like integrations with apps), and more “robust analytics”[vii]. 
Confirmit: “Built by insight professionals”[viii], the Confirmit platform receives high marks from industry insiders. Thanks to an open API, it can easily connect with other (compatible) applications. It has enormous data collection capabilities, allowing users to add new data sources without compromising existing data. Moreover, its “genius” feature uses the “latest machine learning technologies… to draw meaning and deep insights from unstructured text” (in survey verbatims, chatbot records, emails etc.)[ix], sparing users the hassle. Still, Confirmit has its flaws. Many users agree that the solution is too expensive[x] and requires a dedicated team to “learn and use it”, making it less attractive to smaller organizations. Certain features are also not supported in Chrome or Firefox browsers[xi].[xii] 
Qualtrics: Initially designed for academia and marketed to students, Qualtrics has come a long way since its inception. While not as powerful and customizable as other tools, users can get by without any prior programming experience. Large enterprise companies took notice since existing staff can easily be trained to operate this program. The platform also deserves praise for its reporting visuals. Its “survey flow” screen clearly illustrates the various paths respondents can take, while its preview option conveniently displays the desktop and mobile versions of surveys[xvi].
Whatever platform your organization typically uses, Op4G can likely meet or exceed your expectations! 
Op4G is your one stop shop for programming, banners, translations, coding and other advanced research services. Daily data reviews always take place by your assigned project manager, saving you time by weeding out any less than excellent respondents. In addition, the size of Op4G's programming team and daily coverage windows allow for lightning turnaround times, weekend coverage upon request, and sometimes overnight delivery. Op4G's internal staff offers end-to-end Project management, Fieldwork management, Survey Design, Consulting, Optimization, Data Review, and Transactional Email Services. Additionally, through our close industry partners Op4G offers advanced survey programming in other platforms like Sawtooth, advanced analytics (including TURF), translations, and localizations. 
So what are you waiting for? Let's get started on a live kick off call with one of Op4G's US-based project managers and decide which solution is best for your next survey. 




Topics: Market Research, Research Technologies