Online Survey Software

Researchers can now breathe easy. Research work and methods have become  efficient and non-cumbersome with the development of survey software. The first  step to any research is data collection, and one of the methods of data  collection is conducting surveys.  For a survey on any topic, a good number of  responses are required to analyze data meaningfully. Here arises the problem of  finding and contacting the appropriate number and kind of people who would agree  to take part. It is indeed tedious, expensive and time-consuming to reach people  and conduct surveys. The survey software has solved these problems in a blink,  and further development of online survey software has beaten all forms of survey  methods.

The online survey software takes just a few minutes to launch, does not need  to be downloaded and is interactive to respondents as well.  All one needs to do  is use the survey wizard in the web browser and get started. The first step to  build a survey is to select from the given templates, where questions and answer  choices can be selected. Questions can be single, multiple response, matrix type  or open ended. An entirely new survey design can be created without any  programming skills. A ‘branching’ option is available, where respondents are  asked or skipped questions depending on the previous answers they give.

Once a survey is created, a ‘publish survey’ link is available to distribute  it as a web link through emails and is also automatically hosted on the vendor’s  website. Results are automatically collected and analyzed.  Data can also be  exported into other programs for analysis.

Vendors offer facilities for customization, such as adding company logos,  graphics and images, and changing the background, fonts and colors. Options are  also available for running multiple online surveys at a time. Online surveys  guarantee that important questions are not left unanswered before the survey is  submitted. Instant email invitations can be sent directly from the server using  the flexible email tool. Options are also available to limit the number of  respondents and prevent them from taking the survey more than once. Passwords  can be given to respondents in invitation-only online surveys.

The online survey software is available at yearly subscriptions from many  vendors. Some provide the options of starter and professional versions. Starter  versions are free with limited features and ideal for budding entrepreneurs or  students, whereas professional versions are paid and include all features  possible.

The online survey method has many clear benefits over other methods of  surveying.  But as simple and easy it may sound, it also can have certain  limitations. For instance, this method may not give a representative sample, as  everybody does not have access to a PC and the internet. In some cases, online  survey software should be used to complement other methods, and not as a total  replacement of conventional methods.

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