Surveys are one of the most important market research tools available, as they provide a great way to gather feedback and capture data. In this article, we present you with the 20 best survey software features that you should look for in a free software tool. There are a number of companies that provide free survey software with the features you need. Free survey software is most useful when you already have a sample plan, a fully developed questionnaire, and a detailed research plan. When considering which survey software to use, review this checklist of features and options to ensure that you are using the tool that will provide the features you need: number of surveys you can conduct question limits per survey respondent limits number of question types real-time results and reports randomization of question options, questions per survey, and number of pages export data in CSV/MS Excel format for analysis randomize and sort answer choices branch questions and use skip logic embed images and videos range of survey templates and themes share the survey results through an online link embed survey into a webpage social media integration through Facebook and Twitter custom branding chart generation of a summary of the results question library for survey creation respondent tracking and statistics poll creation to garner quick answers from your respondents optimized for web and mobile   There are many free survey software tools, such as SurveyMonkey, Survey Planet, FluidSurveys, and QuestionPro. Before beginning a research project, make sure that you have a clear objective for your survey and review the many survey software options that are available.  ...

Insightrix recently carried out a series of studies focusing on beer consumption and trends in Saskatchewan, as well as perceptions of various brands. The study included two phases: vox pops with Saskatoon residents and an online survey through our monthly omnibus (OnTopic). The vox pops and survey asked residents about their purchasing and consumption habits, their favoritebrand of beer, and their opinion of the most “Saskatchewan” beer. The video below combines the vox pop and online survey results.  ...

I have spent nearly eight years in higher education and yet I was almost completely unfamiliar with the world of institutional research until I attended the 2013 conference for the Canadian Institutional Research and Planning Association (CIRPA). As a sponsor, Insightrix had a presence at the CIRPA 2013 conference and I was delighted to attend this year’s event. Based on interactions with the individuals I had the pleasure of meeting, I must say that my first CIRPA conference experience was a complete success. CIRPA 2013 was truly a national event, bringing together people from across Canada (and even some individuals from the United States) to discuss important topics facing colleges and universities throughout the country. Although the topics of discussion varied, it became clear near the end of the conference that, no matter where in Canada an institution is located, common challenges exist. Recruitment, retention, inclusion, and development of an institutional culture were the common themes of the conversations I had with several delegates. Though each institution must implement unique solutions based on its specific demographics and geography, homogeneous challenges exist. Above the content and context I gained through conversation, the attitudes of each individual I spoke with truly made CIRPA 2013 a great experience for me. I was able to share laughs, discuss the local economy, and even point out the hip places to visit in Regina to out-of-town delegates. Everyone I spoke with was warm, friendly, inviting, and interested in learning about Insightrix. Something that was true during my time in higher education remains true: the people really make a difference. Blog by Dylan Cody...

Quantifying the potential success of a name, product, creative material, and packaging has always been challenging. A new method called Predictive Markets has shown promising results as a way to achieve accurate insights into the future of a concept, at a fraction of the time it takes to examine through other research methods. When New Yorker financial columnist James Surowiecki wrote the book The Wisdom of the Crowds, he shattered the conventional wisdom that a small group of experts is smarter than the masses. Using a variety of secondary sources, he argued that the aggregate wisdom of a crowd is more accurate than polling a trusted expert few. Insightrix has utilized predictive markets to help clients predict the success of their concepts. The predictive market simulates a stock market as it allows respondents to buy and sell shares in different concepts. The study typically includes the following steps: Insightrix designs an online predictive market tool where respondents can log in and participate in the market. Participants are provided with virtual cash and are able to invest as much or as little as they want into the concepts they feel would be most liked by other participants. Based on these investments, stock prices for the concepts dynamically adjust upward or downward. Price adjustments encourage participants to invest more, hold onto strong investments,      reinvest based on changing prices, or sell the investment in less popular concepts. At the conclusion of the market, the total value of participants’ portfolios determines a market winner. Insightrix can provide a detailed report clearly outlining which concept would perform the best in the market. Each concept’s share price reveals how well-liked the concept is compared with the others. The demonstrated advantages of the predictive market include providing a clearly quantified differential between the different concepts as opposed to traditional ranking questions on surveys. In many cases, Insightrix uses a predictive market to identify quickly those concepts with the most promise and then other methods (such as focus groups or in-depth interviews) to get a “deep dive” into what makes them great and how to improve them....

In a focus group, a moderator interviews several people at the same time. A typical focus group comprises six to 12 people (participants), but smaller groups can also be held. The reason that focus groups are held is to create and observe group dynamics. Group discussions stimulate dynamic conversations, which lead to discovery, exploration, direction, and insights regarding specific topics. Focus group sessions typically last between one and two hours: the length of a group will depend on the specific goals and the number of topics. Usually, a focus group research project consists of two to ten groups, although there can be more. The number of focus groups varies and depends on research goals number of topics segments schedule budget It is recommended that at least two groups be conducted. There are three ways to conduct a focus group: face-to-face, online, or by telephone. In each of these, moderators direct a free-flowing discussion about topics of interest such as products, services, brands, and advertisements. Focus groups usually occur in specially designed facilities where the rooms have one-way mirrors allowing managers and executives to listen to and observe the participants. The rooms also typically include audio and video recording equipment. A moderator asks questions, follows up with more questions, and keeps the conversation on track. A good focus group moderator makes focus group moderating look simple, yet it requires moderating skill and practice to do well....

Market research helps decision makers shift from intuitive information gathering to systematic and objective investigating. Some decisions, where there is a low cost for error, can be made quickly and based on instinct or other informal methods (such as feedback from salespeople or industry experts). Other decisions, where the cost of error is greater, require market research. Typical market research studies that are frequently conducted include the following: market segmentation studies advertising research and tracking customer satisfaction or experience surveys attitude and usage studies brand equity studies concept testing employee satisfaction research competitive intelligence market share studies mystery shopping price elasticity testing citizen consultation white When performed correctly, market research will reduce the chances that an organization will fail by providing the evidence needed to make the proper decision....

For some people, the term “research” conjures up images of scientists in laboratories studying furry little animals and conducting chemistry experiments. The term “marketing research” is often associated with telephone surveys or people standing at the exits of the local mall to “just ask you a few questions.” These latter examples of marketing research are only a small fraction of what market research comprises. In essence, marketing research yields relevant, accurate, and timely information about customers, members, and/or stakeholders and plays a critical role in managerial decision making. By knowing what customers, members, and/or stakeholders think, do, and want, organizations can put their marketing research results to creative use and make better decisions. Market research involves asking questions, listening to, and observing customers, members, and/or stakeholders. The methods used in market research include quantitative (e.g., surveys) and qualitative research (e.g., focus groups, in-depth interviews). There is, however, a very wide range of techniques that are used, including mystery shopping, online communities, ethnography, facial expression analysis, social media monitoring and analysis, and literature reviews, among others. The methods used in market research are based on a variety of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, business/marketing, and statistics. The method that is chosen will deliver the best research design given the time and budget limitations....

A recent study of salaries for Calgary-based SAIT Polytechnic 2011 graduates conducted by Insightrix Research, Inc. for example, showed a median salary of $48,000 for full-time-training-related employment. Eighty-four per cent had found training-related employment, and a vast majority of those had stayed in Alberta. The apprenticeship model in particular can pretty much pay for itself from the outset, Mr. Thorson contends. “Typically these programs take four or five years to complete because they require a combination of on-the-job training and education. During that time they get paid a salary that is about 60% of what a certified journey person would make. In some cases, their employers also pay for the cost of the educational portion of the training. When certified, starting salaries range from $40,000 to as much as $100,000 depending on the market demand and skill.” For complete news story, click here. Source: Financial Post...