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Survey tool? Better than Survey Monkey?
#1
Hello RIPL-ers,

Douglas County Libraries is wondering if anyone can recommend a better tool for creating and crunching surveys than Survey Monkey.  Extra points if it automatically sends those surveys through email or SMS or works with Mail Chimp or Evanced!  We are hoping to move past the status quo!

Thanks for your time attention!

Colbe Galston
Douglas County Libraries
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#2
(06-08-2017, 02:42 PM)Cgalston Wrote: Hello RIPL-ers,

Douglas County Libraries is wondering if anyone can recommend a better tool for creating and crunching surveys than Survey Monkey.  Extra points if it automatically sends those surveys through email or SMS or works with Mail Chimp or Evanced!  We are hoping to move past the status quo!

Thanks for your time attention!

Colbe Galston
Douglas County Libraries

There are really only two kinds of survey software, which I’ll label as professional and amateur.
 
The professional ones are impressive.  You can perform magic with a nice system like Survey System or Snap or SPSS.  You can do interesting question designs, protect the surveys from interference, make the survey match your organization's look and feel, and do a fair amount of sophisticated analysis.  Unfortunately, they’re also very expensive and have a huge learning curve, so they’re not an option for internal use.  You get these by outsourcing the survey to a market research company.
 
As you’ve concluded, Survey Monkey falls into the second group of amateur sites and there are hundreds of them.  They’re pretty much all the same.  They’re easy to learn, but have lots of limitations in design and layout, and they really can’t do any analysis other than simple raw tabulations.  They’re cheap, though, and easy to implement.  I think Survey Monkey has a worse stigma than lesser-known ones, but that’s the only real difference.
 
From what I hear, Qualtrics is probably the best of the amateur survey software.  It's still got a learning curve, though not as big as the professional stuff.  It kind of falls between the amateur and professional sites in terms of quality.  I’ve never used it myself, so I can’t comment more than that.
 
I’ll get on a soapbox for a moment, and I'd like to propose a bigger-picture thought.  This is not aimed at the person asking the question at all.  It’s just a general observation that I'd like people to think about.

I don't think people shouldn't use the amateur survey sites at all.  If it's an important issue to study, do it right.  If it's not important, using the amateur sites diminishes your brand and discourages participation when an important study arises.  If I receive a survey and it’s hosted on Survey Monkey or Zoomerang or whatever, I refuse to participate for that reason alone, because the sender has just given me a clear signal that the survey isn’t important enough to be done in a professional manner.  Why should I spend my time on something if it wasn’t even worth the organization’s time to do right?  (And that’s not just internal – I’ve actually seen paid consultants doing Survey Monkey surveys, and that’s mind-boggling.  Why on earth would someone hire a consultant that hasn’t even mastered the basic tools of their trade?) 
 
Sorry for the soapbox about that.  I just think that the amateur survey sites are overused and abused, and I think we all need to step back and really look at the message that it sends.
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#3
(07-18-2017, 07:25 PM)ResearcheyPerson Wrote:
(06-08-2017, 02:42 PM)Cgalston Wrote: Hello RIPL-ers,

Douglas County Libraries is wondering if anyone can recommend a better tool for creating and crunching surveys than Survey Monkey.  Extra points if it automatically sends those surveys through email or SMS or works with Mail Chimp or Evanced!  We are hoping to move past the status quo!

Thanks for your time attention!

Colbe Galston
Douglas County Libraries

There are really only two kinds of survey software, which I’ll label as professional and amateur.
 
The professional ones are impressive.  You can perform magic with a nice system like Survey System or Snap or SPSS.  You can do interesting question designs, protect the surveys from interference, make the survey match your organization's look and feel, and do a fair amount of sophisticated analysis.  Unfortunately, they’re also very expensive and have a huge learning curve, so they’re not an option for internal use.  You get these by outsourcing the survey to a market research company.
 
As you’ve concluded, Survey Monkey falls into the second group of amateur sites and there are hundreds of them.  They’re pretty much all the same.  They’re easy to learn, but have lots of limitations in design and layout, and they really can’t do any analysis other than simple raw tabulations.  They’re cheap, though, and easy to implement.  I think Survey Monkey has a worse stigma than lesser-known ones, but that’s the only real difference.
 
From what I hear, Qualtrics is probably the best of the amateur survey software.  It's still got a learning curve, though not as big as the professional stuff.  It kind of falls between the amateur and professional sites in terms of quality.  I’ve never used it myself, so I can’t comment more than that.
 
I’ll get on a soapbox for a moment, and I'd like to propose a bigger-picture thought.  This is not aimed at the person asking the question at all.  It’s just a general observation that I'd like people to think about.

I don't think people shouldn't use the amateur survey sites at all.  If it's an important issue to study, do it right.  If it's not important, using the amateur sites diminishes your brand and discourages participation when an important study arises.  If I receive a survey and it’s hosted on Survey Monkey or Zoomerang or whatever, I refuse to participate for that reason alone, because the sender has just given me a clear signal that the survey isn’t important enough to be done in a professional manner.  Why should I spend my time on something if it wasn’t even worth the organization’s time to do right?  (And that’s not just internal – I’ve actually seen paid consultants doing Survey Monkey surveys, and that’s mind-boggling.  Why on earth would someone hire a consultant that hasn’t even mastered the basic tools of their trade?) 
 
Sorry for the soapbox about that.  I just think that the amateur survey sites are overused and abused, and I think we all need to step back and really look at the message that it sends.

At Princeton Public Library, we used SurveyGizmo, which was the least expensive hosted survey tool that met our needs. While it's not cheap (we pay $75/month for a Standard plan under Individual Licensing), it's not prohibitively expensive. It has reasonably good analytical tools and supports multiple languages, among its more-than-Survey Monkey and not-quite-professional grade features. The customer service has also been reasonably good.

Brett Bonfield
Princeton Public Library
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#4
We also use SurveyGizmo and have been pleased with it, particularly in comparison with our previous experience using SurveyMonkey. Compared with SurveyMonkey, we've found SurveyGizmo's customer service reps to be more responsive and more knowledgeable.
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#5
Try SogoSurvey , we are using this tool for last 5 month for our business product and market research. We like the user friendliness and customer support service. Check if you like the same , see https://www.sogosurvey.com/ for more information.

Happy Surveying!
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