Displaying Survey Reports (Data Visualization) within Survey Apps – a complete mobile research solution

We’ve recently been investigating the options available for embedding real-time survey reports within our survey apps. We see this having value for our business and consumer apps. Consider you’re a clinic location using a mobile research device to conduct a patient satisfaction survey and want to quickly see how the survey data is shaping up. Using the same app, you’d be able to enter a password and from the Admin console, see the up to the moment summary statistics for your specific clinic location, and depending on privilege settings, how you compare to the aggregate of all other clinics running the same healthcare survey. Now consider you are a consumer, using our Survey Café app and have just completed a merchant or public opinion survey. At the conclusion of the survey, you’d have the option of seeing the survey results for the entire research study! This in itself could be an enticing incentive for consumer participation.

The benefits for consumers to access this data at the conclusion of the survey seem straightforward, however business users have a variety of needs and we therefore provide a variety of solutions for them!
1. Pull: On-demand Reports – Business clients have full access to the SurveyManager’s robust reporting too. They can login and pull any type of report they wish on-demand.

2. Push: Survey Reports by Email – our system has a report scheduler whereby users can schedule what reports are to be delivered, at what time, to whoever they wish, whenever they wish and in any format they wish (PPT, Excel, SPSS, PDF, Word, etc.)

3. Third party data visualization apps – There are also 3rd party data visualization apps available for data sources such as surveys. These work through simple API call to our DB and the data is presented within this secondary app residing on the device.

4. Embedded – displaying survey data within the app itself: Display survey data (for aggregate or specific locations) within the app itself. This would be a privilege that would be controlled from the SurveyManager administrator. This could be displayed on the device in a variety of ways:

  • After each survey – showing the respondent how their results compared to the rest of the population that have participated in the survey (either for that one location or all locations)
  • Admin console – if you don’t want to display this to the respondent but only to the device administrator, this feature could be nested in the Admin console in the app, requiring a password to access.
  • Push notification – reports could be delivered through Push Notification to the device on a scheduled basis using deep-links (explained in my previous email) and the reports would open in the local browser on the device.

Always, the most important question is to determine the preferred way to deliver location level survey reports for your clients. For example, would our mobile research clients prefer survey reports to reside within the same “TouchPoint” app or within a secondary app on the device, or simply deliver reports specifically to managers by email (re: through our scheduled report’s feature outlined in my previous email)? The good news is OMI is capable of providing all of these options.

The evolution of Mobile Survey Solutions and Research Technology

It’s interesting to consider the impact technology has had on the evolution of mobile survey solutions and techniques. The original mobile survey technology was the paper survey and clipboard, used by researchers conducting intercept surveys in the field.  The paper surveys have for the most part now been replaced by mobile devices.

The first transition away from paper surveys was the laptop computer – which arguably is not truly a “mobile survey solution”.  As technology became faster and smaller, in came the PDA (person digital assistant) which ran a version of Windows or Palm OS software. The PDA, albeit light-years ahead of paper surveys – in terms of automating the data collection and tabulation – the screen size was not necessarily an improvement over the familiar user interface of paper surveys. The next mobile technology to come along was the tablet pc, which was a blend of the laptop computer and the PDA. The first tablet pc’s had full size screens which evolved into the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC).

In my opinion, the UMPC device was the first mobile survey device that actually exceeded the original mobile research technology of a paper survey presented to the respondent on a clipboard.  With the UMPC, the screen size and resolution were optimized, battery life sufficient (6-8hrs) and connectivity included Wi-Fi or Cellular. Cost too was reasonable. The UMPC was available on the Windows and Linux platforms. However, it wasn’t long before the UMPC would be completely overshadowed by the introduction of the iPad and soon thereafter the myriad of tablet manufacturers running Android.

Today, mobile market researchers have a terrific range of hardware and survey software options. As you may imagine, as a market research technology developer, Opinionmeter has supported all of the mobile survey solutions through the years. We were one of the first to develop native mobile survey software for the PDA, UMPC and now iPad and Android. It’s an exciting time for mobile research-hers and were excited to see when the next technological innovation will present itself!

Distributing Customer Surveys using Push Notifications

Delivering mobile surveys via Push Notifications is an interesting alternative to pulling surveys from remotely managed survey devices. In fact, there are many ways to distribute surveys to remote devices through a web-based survey management portal (like Opinionmeter’s SurveyManager):

  • Pull from device on-demand – “Connect to Server” in our TouchPoint survey app.
  • Push from server – Queue up mobile surveys on the SurveyManager (server-side) for download during the next app sync (next time the device makes a call to the server – in our case, after each survey the device will check for a connection and if it finds it will sync with the server).
  • Schedule a Pull from device (batch uploads) – the device wakes up and calls home!
  • Push Notifications – Scheduled or on-demand

But let me return my focus to pushing surveys to devices using the Push Notification Alert feature. As we stated above, there are two ways to distribute pretty much any mobile research survey: you can either schedule it at a pre-determined time or trigger it on-demand (either from the server or device side, i.e. push or pull).

To further elaborate on the variety of ways to distribute mobile research surveys – we should dig into the various methods available for pulling surveys from the app. For example, the above bullet points refer to distribution methods available in our business (b2b) app. Our consumer app (b2c) has a few more pull options:

  1. “Find Surveys Around Me” (within selected radius of device’s location)
  2. Search for a Brand (within selected radius of device’s  location)
  3. Enter Survey Code – listed on onsite call to action signage
  4. Receive Push Notifications
  5. QR Code – scanning QR or barcodes to download surveys

Another consideration when delivering surveys via Push Notification is to include a password option. This would add an assurance that only the intended user had access to a particular or sensitive survey.

Mobile Research - Push Notifications

Sending Surveys by Push Notification


Mobile Research SDK provides in-app Customer Satisfaction Survey tools

Over the years our focus has always been on developing mobile survey apps intended to run as a stand-alone survey solution – converting the resident device into a survey kiosk, mobile survey tablet or handheld intercept survey tool. Recently we’ve received requests from other mobile app developers wanting to embed our TouchPoint survey app within their own mobile apps (this would act as an in-app customer satisfaction survey app). To this end, we are now working on compiling a TouchPoint SDK (Software Development Kit) which will provide a set of development tools that will enable mobile app users to embed our mobile satisfaction survey app within their own apps. This in-app module provides mobile apps to survey their users in real-time while the customer is experiencing the mobile app content.
Although this represents a very different approach for Opinionmeter; providing an SDK to other developers, we find it absolutely consistent with our primary focus of capturing customer service surveys at the point-of-experience. It seems to be a natural evolution of our customer satisfaction survey software technology – finding unique ways of capturing the spontaneous customer satisfaction feedback as close to the consumer experience as possible.

Mobile Research App  iPhone Survey app    Mobile research   Survey app

The TouchPoint SDK will provide survey app plug-ins for mobile app developers to embed into their own apps; however the mobile app developers will also have access to the SurveyManager portal. The SurveyManager is an enterprise-grade customer service survey platform providing access to survey design, survey reporting and mobile device management tools, all in one convenient place. Any developer implementing the mobile survey app SDK, will also benefit from all that the SurveyManager has to offer.