Choosing Web 2.0 applications: online surveys

August 19, 2007

Web 2.0 applications bring the opportunity to reduce costs while meeting obligations. The challenge is assessing the cost/value relationship. In some cases this is easy, e.g., striking a deal with Google to take over institutional email – including service – is a no-brainer. Not as simple with other appealing opportunities.
What about online surveys? Collecting data to meet requirements, e.g., quality improvement, graduate placements, poses significant challenges for organizations typically under-funded and over-obligated. No-cost online survey sites can put stars in administrators’ eyes. However, as with blog-hosting sites, the no-cost choice offers a smidgen of control compared to the low-cost choice which can offer complete control. The difference in capital outlay can be a few hundred dollars.
For responders the presence of commercial ads on your survey site can be confusing. The option to export a data matrix (instead of accepting percentage outcomes) is a significant advantage for data crunching. And how about linking respondents to an ID code? This feature can be crucial for some reporting. The ability to manipulate graphics and scoring templates to reflect the organizational look is a bonus you will learn to appreciate.
As competition increases among Web 2.0 providers the opportunities for organizations on a tight budget improve. Value can be gained investing with a consultant who has invested in survey tool software just beyond Web 2.0 free-ware. Expect more service, added value and funder-pleasing reports.

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