Taking Surveys to the Next LevelBy Anne Chen | Print
Applications can gather all kinds of data if companies know what they want to know.
Enterprises spend a significant amount of money every year on survey technologies, trying to figure out how to satisfy their customers, employees and partners. For organizations looking to collect data online, Web survey solutions such as Inquisite Inc.'s Inquisite 6.5 and WebSurveyor Corp.'s WebSurveyor 5.0 fit the bill.
But there are also organizations that wish to do more than collect data from survey respondents, and an increasing number of such companies are turning to solutions that build a workflow into data collection.
Applications such as Perseus Development Corp.'s SurveySolutions/EFM (Enterprise Feedback Management) 1.1 and BenQ Quask Corp.'s FormFlow let survey builders create forms or forms-driven applications that allow a survey to be routed around an organization in a particular order while allowing certain individuals or groups to access the information contained in those forms.
SurveySolutions/EFM 1.1, for example, extends the functionality of survey software by including workflow processes.
Using SurveySolutions/ EFM, which is priced starting at $25,000, organizations can control the survey process in a secure, shared environment. Organizations can also obtain the feedback they seek while providing centralized control over the survey process, ensuring a standard look and feel across all surveys. For example, an organization using SurveySolutions/EFM could have members of a workgroup simultaneously collaborate on a survey. Permission-based access to reports and analyses can be assigned based on role and department, so other workgroups in the organization could also get access to the survey.
Quask's FormFlow handles workflow differently. Released earlier this month, FormFlow allows organizations to map business processes to forms and surveys. Priced at $5,900, FormFlow builds on the capabilities of Quask's FormServer by allowing survey builders to logically route surveys to the appropriate users and customize the storage of forms so that the information they contain can be used intelligently.
Using FormFlow, a human resources manager could, for example, deploy a hiring form on the company's Web site and define workflow rules that ensure that any information provided in a job application, such as qualifications or job experience, is directed to the correct hiring manager.
Because these and other applications define workflow so differently, organizations should determine their goals in deploying survey software before purchasing any solution.
Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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