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What is Survey Software?

Survey Software Explained

Survey software provides users the tools to create quizzes, online surveys, polls, and various other forms. Survey creation tools are even used for complex web systems which can monitor the behavior of consumers. In today’s business environment, internet surveys are an important tool to obtain feedback data from customers and clients in areas such as marketing, statistical research, and other fields.

Some large technology companies have achieved success because they obsess over customer experience, using specialty survey software. Utilizing survey software also aids businesses in developing products.

History of Survey Software

Surveys have changed and evolved over time. Today they are a common method used for researching people, their preferences and buying habits. Survey software platforms have further affected how we collect and analyze data. An interesting fact is that the need to conduct surveys and then manage that data was one reason for the development of early computer technology. Today online survey tools are powerful and flexible and becoming ever more popular and ubiquitous.

Here, we learn of some milestones:

1834 – The first known survey (door to door) was conducted by the Statistical Society of London.

Late 1800s – Herman Hollerith’s punched card tabulator marked the first major breakthrough in the way we collect survey data. This creation saved time and money when the government conducted the census.

1928 – International Business Machines (IBM) introduced an evolution of Hollerith’s punched card tabulator, which was commonly referred to as the IBM card.

1950’s – CASIC (computer-assisted survey information collection) made it easier and faster to compile, store, and analyze data.

Recent times – The ability to oversee the entire lifecycle of a survey from a computer represented a fundamental change in the world of market research.

Pros and Cons of Online Surveys

Pros include:

  • Less expense and labor than other types of surveys such as phone surveys, mail surveys and in-person surveys.
  • Able to reach many people in a short amount of time.
  • Survey responses are saved immediately.
  • The survey feature of shuffling questions can reduce bias.
  • A pop-up help-box can be provided for difficult questions.
  • Absence of an interviewer can make people more honest.

Cons include:

  • Absence of an interviewer can also be a con in the sense that participants feel less accountability to complete the entire survey.
  • If not prevented, some people might submit more than one response.
  • If the online survey is long, participants may not feel like completing it.
  • Demographics of online survey participants may not be the same as the general population.

Survey Software Features

This is an ordered list of survey software features, from the most common to least common:

  1. Download & Export Report: You'll be able to download survey results as CSV, PDF, PPT, XLS, and other types of files so that you can easily export them.
  1. Custom Appearance Design: Lets the survey creator fully control the colors, theme, branding, and other visual qualities of the survey.
  1. White Label / Rebranding: Allows survey creators to have their company logo on their survey.
  1. Conditional Branching: Also called logic branching or skip logic, this feature creates a unique path through the survey that changes according to a respondent's answers.
  1. Mobile Support: Surveys are designed by default to be very mobile-friendly and responsive.
  1. Add Image or Multimedia: Able to add images and multimedia to surveys. This makes them interactive and appealing.
  1. Multilingual Survey: Surveys must be distributed to the participants in multiple languages. Respondents can change the survey language and answer the survey in their preferred language.
  1. Email Distribution: Using the survey platform itself, survey creators can send emails that have an attached link to the survey.
  1. Embed Survey: Allows integrating a survey directly into a website or blog to capture participants.
  1. Generate Charts / Graphs: Survey results generate good-looking charts and graphs.
  1. Results Notification: The survey creator will receive an email, text or SMS notification when new survey responses arrive.

Most Popular Survey Software Tools

According to our recent Survey Software research, these tools have a rating of “Super Nova” on our comparative scatter plot:

  • QuestionPro
  • SmartSurvey
  • SoGoSurvey
  • Alchemy.

If you’d like to quickly and painlessly find a survey software tool that fits your needs, simply complete our custom survey-tools survey. This form allows you to input your own importance rating for each tool feature.

Other popular survey software tools include: SurveyMethods, Survicate, Survey Monkey, CheckMarket, and Novi Survey.

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