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Factors to consider when choosing survey research software

Posted on 7/6/2016 by Elizabeth in category: survey software articles
Online survey research software is the perfect way to gain feedback from your audience and engage with them. There are a number of ways you can use online survey software such as:
  • Conducting Market Research
  • Getting Product Feedback
  • Learning What your Readers Want to Learn
  • Gauging the Satisfaction of Employees
  • and more
You have a wide array of software tools out there on the market that can all meet these demands differently. Because of this, many researchers find it challenging to choose which one is best for them.

Factors to Look for in Survey Research Software

Basically, any decent online survey software will let you use an online interface to define your survey questions with ease as well as potential responses and then send your online survey link to respondents. However, there are other survey tools that have more sophisticated functionality which can really help you plan things that are more than a basic survey. Other factors to consider include:

The Look, Feel and Flexibility of the Survey

If your software brands the tool itself instead of your company, it can put off respondents, decreasing your response rate. You will want to have the flexibility of being able to change the header and font graphics, colors and other areas of the survey to match your company branding.

Skip Logic

If you have more complex surveys, you should allow your respondents the ability to skip an entire section of questions if they feel don't apply to them.


With this feature you are able to pull answers from one section of a survey into another. For example, if a respondent states they live in Massachusetts, you can then follow-up with them with a question asking them what they like most about living in Massachusetts but simply pull the name of Massachusetts from the previous question.


Your survey responses and data quality can be affected by the order of a question set or set of answers to a particular question. To avoid this issue, your software should be able to randomize the order of specific questions or answers automatically.

Website Integration

Although many surveys are created on the vendor's webpage, some allow you to embed the surveys into your own website. This allows you to do quick polls or one-question surveys or simply gather opinions in a longer survey from web visitors.

Data Analysis

Being able to analyze and understand data is important and can be a main differentiator between expensive or inexpensive software programs. Some packages will give you basic reports that summarize the answers of each question. Others will allow you to download them into tools like Excel so you can further analyze them. Then there are the more advanced packages that allow cross-tabulation so you can see data relationships between complex statistical analysis or different question sets.

Since there are so many survey tool options out there, it can be difficult deciding on which one will meet your specific demands. This is why it's best to take into account the above survey research software factors when considering your options.
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