Choosing Survey Analysis Software

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The easiest option for analyzing survey data is usually to use the analysis tools that come for free in the Data Collection Software that has been used to collect the data. Where only rudimentary analysis is required, such as working out the proportion of people to select each option, this is usually the best approach. However, if there is a need to share reporting with others, to fix problems with the data or to conduct more sophisticated analyses, it is generally necessary to use software specifically designed for the analysis of survey data.


Contents

General-purpose software for analyzing surveys

Most people that analyze surveys do so using general-purpose survey analysis software. Some of the main programs for doing this are described in the table below. The next table provides an overview of more specialized types of software used in survey analysis.

The best way to evaluate whether the software is likely to be useful is via having a trial. This link takes you to tutorials which you can use to evaluate the different programs.

Program Typical user Key features Key limitations
DataCracker[note 1] Little or no experience in analyzing surveys Ease of use and sharing results

Advanced analysis

Creation of complex crosstabs is less flexible than in WinCross, Survey Reporter and MarketSight

Does not support Tracking studies

MarketSight Market research consultants and the internal research departments of large companies Easy to learn/use

Quickly create large numbers of crosstabs

No advanced analysis
Q[note 2] Market research consultants and the internal research departments of large companies Easier to learn and use than SPSS

Advanced analysis

Weighting Automation (e.g., exporting to office, updating trackers)

Creation of complex crosstabs is less flexible than in WinCross, Survey Reporter and MarketSight
Survey Reporter Market research consultants and the internal research departments of large companies Well-integrated with SPSS data collection products No Advanced analysis

Assumes you have access to a DP department that uses SPSS data collection products

WinCross Market research consultants Efficient and flexible creation of crosstabs No advanced analysis

Requires the user to do 'programming'

SPSS Statistics Market research consultants, internal research departments, statisticians and 'advanced quant' teams More than 10 times as many features as the programs listed above Difficult-to-learn and generally less efficient to use than the other programs listed above
R Statisticians and 'advanced quant' teams Automation

Customization

More features than any of the other programs on this table

Poor at creating crosstabs

Almost everything has to be done by 'programming' which makes it very slow to use relative to the other programs

Overview of specialty survey analysis software

Types of data analysis software General-purpose survey analysis software Data Processing Software Variance Estimation Software General-purpose statistical software Data collection software that can can conduct basic analyses
Typical users Consultants, marketers, market researchers Data Processors (DP) people that create large numbers of crosstabs for their clients (where the clients are typically market research consultancies) Statisticians Statisticians and similar data analysis professionals Students, industry associations, HR, small businesses conducting their own research
Examples DataCracker

MarketSight

Q

SPSS Custom Tables

SPSS Survey Reporter

Wincross

MRDC

Quantum

SurveyCraft

Uncle

AM Software

Bascula

CENVAR

CLUSTERS

Epi Info

IVEware

Generalized Estimation System (GES)

R packages: survey and pps

SAS

Stata

SUDAAN

VPLX

WesVarPC


SPSS Statistics

Statistica

R

Stata

SAS

Confirmit

Insightify

Polldaddy

Obsurvey

Qualtrics

QuestionPro

Snap Surveys

Super Simple Survey

Survey Gizmo

SurveyMonkey

Toluna QuickSurveys

Wufoo

Survey Crafter


Previous page

Data Preparation - Cleaning, Tidying and Weighting

Next page

Getting a Data File

See also

Data Collection Software

Notes

  1. There is a commercial relationship between the author of this page and DataCracker
  2. There is a commercial relationship between the author of this page and Q
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