August Software Feature Updates

August Voxco Survey Software Feature Updates

Another month, another round of survey features being added to the Voxco platform. We’re excited to update you on what’s new now that the software was updated overnight. Here we go!

SFTP Support

When uploading survey results to an external site, or downloading raw data files for importation into the Voxco survey platform, we now offer full SFTP support in addition to the pre-existing FTP service.

SFTP is an even more secure method of transferring data that uses a private and safe data stream. Its major benefit is that it encrypts the connection between your computer and the FTP server, never sending file data or passwords as clear text.

SaaS Support for Twilio

Twilio allows its users to programmatically make phone calls and send text messages using its web service APIs. Now, Voxco clients who regularly use Twilio’s short codes when auto-sending SMS text messages can now be fully compliant with provider requirements by enabling an automated response for keywords like ‘help’, ‘stop’, or ‘unsubscribe’.

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July Software Feature Updates

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Voxco regularly integrates brand new features to our online survey software. Sometimes these are based on client requests, sometimes they’re just add-ons that our hard-working development team thinks would be an awesome addition to what is already the industry’s most flexible survey platform.

We’re going to get in the habit of sharing these new features with you via the blog each month as they are released. The features below were updated onto our SaaS platform yesterday, July 20.

Keep an eye out for future updates. For now, here’s what’s new this July!

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Events Season Recap

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May and June are always a flurry of industry events. And Voxco attends as many of them as possible – the level of insight that can be gained and connections that can be made via networking at these events is unmatched. Roll the highlights reel!

In May, Vincent and Jeb attended AAPOR in Austin. There is literally no better event for hearing North American pollster thought leaders share what’s trending in the world of public opinion and survey research. It’s awesome to have detailed conversation about survey strategy with people who love the topic as much as we do – shout out to a few clients we spent time with there: NORC, Precision Opinion, Siena College, Recon MR and Roanoke College.

At the end of May, Voxco had a different kind of event experience. C2 Montréal is one of the largest and most influential business conferences in North America, and it happens right here in our home town. We reached out to C2 this year and offered our platform and our professional scripting services to help them get a better attendee feedback system than they had been getting from the lower-end DIY platform they used in years past. For the first time, they combined post-event online surveys with in-the-moment mobile interviews, which gave them a much more robust level of feedback. Keep an eye out for a more detailed client success story, coming soon.

Speaking of Voxco having the home field advantage, MRIA was also held in Montreal this year. Two and a half jam-packed days of Canadian-focused #MRX insight from some of the premier industry thought leaders. Our booth was a center of attention both for our own clients and new friends we met for the first time. The Canadian crowds always put a smile on our faces, and it was awesome to welcome them to our own city!

New this year was our first appearance at ICES-V just last week. The once-every-four-years International Conference on Establishment Surveys brought us into contact with a number of leading statisticians from across Europe and the world. Our CEO, Raymond, is especially numbers-savvy, so he was gleefully absorbed with talking shop with many of the world’s leading national statisticians. The advanced professional capability of our platform really drew in the crowds to the Voxco booth and software demonstration, and we can’t wait to tailor a the right platform for many of them.

So now the summer is here. And with it comes a short lull in industry events. As we put our nose to the grindstone and plan our run up to Fall and our first few conferences (ESOMAR and others) it’s nice to have a short moment of focus on what matters: making killer multichannel survey tools. But gosh do we love the chance to share our survey nerdery with like-minded industry colleagues! 😉

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Canada Privacy Act-Compliance in Survey Hosting & Access

Survey Hosting & Data Access that’s Canada Privacy Act-Compliant

Market Researchers who have been following the news about data privacy and protection in the past few years know that there are major concerns with any data that is hosted in the US, or accessed by US parties.

Recently, we’ve seen that US survey software providers come under fire from provincial governments, even those who have operations in Canada. The major problem is that US employees of these firms often have access to their Canadian clients’ personal information data even when it is stored on Canadian servers. This is in direct conflict with many Canadian Privacy Acts.

We’re proudly Canadian, and have been for over 25 years. So we understand Federal and Provincial Privacy Acts and how they relate to safeguarding our Canadian clients’ data, including the secure access of personal respondent data. Voxco’s secure servers host our Canadian clients’ data here in Canada, but with Voxco your data will never be accessed by any party in the United States.

We’re currently providing survey tools and secure-access data hosting to Federal and Provincial governments, universities, and Canada’s largest research firms. Many of them have chosen us because Voxco offers industry-leading survey software with the added confidence of knowing that your data is securely stored in Canada, only accessed by Canadian parties.

Let us know if we can help you keep your Canadian survey data in Canada.

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Online surveys are not enough

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Part 2: Get surveys noticed in the offline world

You don’t have to read Part 1 of this blog series to be aware of the worrying issue facing market researchers: online surveys are being ignored in growing numbers thanks to survey fatigue in respondents. While online remains an essential part of any survey program, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that they are getting noticed – they’re just too easy for respondents to ignore.

So how can your survey stand out? By changing channels completely, and using the personal touch of an interviewer. There’s something to be said about the old-school survey method: it’s harder to say no to a real person’s interview request than it is to ignore one of hundreds of web links seen online each day. There is a reason face-to-face interviewing is often referred to as ‘intercept.’ You are literally intercepting a respondent in the middle of their day and getting noticed.

Adapt. Existing survey methods are in decline, and only the flexible will survive. Managing effective survey programs in 2016 requires you to complement online surveys with offline channels that can help create a more representative tapestry of insights. Here are some of the major advantages of complementing online surveys with other, interviewer-lead channels:

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5 Reasons to support the 2016 Canadian Census

Why Marketers Should Support the 2016 Canadian Census

When Justin Trudeau’s newly formed majority government announced the reinstatement of the mandatory long-form census in its very first Liberal caucus meeting, researchers and businesses across Canada celebrated. The mandatory long-form census was a huge step back in the right direction for lovers of data across the nation that Voxco calls home.

Here’s a great article by Jan Kestle, Chair of CMA’s Customer Insights & Analytics Council, first published on the Canadian Marketing Association website here:

Starting at the beginning of May, Canadians are being asked to complete the 2016 Census. And there is good news for businesses, consumers and citizens alike.

As you’ll recall for the 2011 Census, the mandatory long-form census was replaced by a voluntary survey. This move resulted in a non-response bias that meant a lot of small-area data for 2011 could not be released—including data on income, education, labour force activity and special populations like immigrants and aboriginal peoples. The loss of the long-form census was a significant blow to policy makers, researchers, data scientists and marketing professionals.

But today we can breathe a sigh of relief because the mandatory long-form census is back, and the complexity of the Canadian population will once again be documented in a comprehensive and statistically sound way. Support for the restoration of a “proper” census came from all corners of Canadian society and has reinforced the fact that the Census of Canada is a national treasure to be protected and supported.

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Online surveys are not enough

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Part 1: The oversaturation of online surveys.

Online will remain the #1 survey channel for the time-being, and deservedly so. The channel offers the ability for respondents to privately complete surveys on their own time. For researchers, data can be processed immediately, and there are no additional costs for interviewers.

But because of the simplicity and efficiency of online surveys, the market is quickly becoming oversaturated and respondents are getting overwhelmed. Online survey invitations are everywhere, and the surveys they link to are often sloppy. And the resulting online survey clutter leads to survey fatigue, which leads to a range of data collection issues, none of which are good news for researchers:

  • Declining response rates. Many online surveys see single-digit response rates as low as 2%. And respondents who do complete the surveys generally have an extreme opinion: they’re either ecstatic or livid. It’s difficult to get a balanced opinion when you’re only talking to outliers.
  • Reduced respondent attention span. For respondents who still complete surveys, the increased frequency can affect their in-survey attention span. The more survey questions they see, the higher their tendency to burn through questions too quickly without adequate thought.
  • Market saturation. With so many surveys vying for a respondent’s attention, how can one organization get their survey noticed and completed?

So are online surveys doomed? Of course not – but researchers tasked with deploying them are certainly being challenged. We’ve discussed numerous times in the past how to make online surveys more engaging. Here is the TL;DR version:

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C2 Montreal will use Voxco MultiMode to measure 2016 event success

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This year one of the world’s premiere business events celebrates its fifth year, and we’re super-excited to play a pretty important role. C2 Montreal combines Commerce and Creativity by bringing together over 5000 international creative minds to explore trends, opportunities and disruptions on the horizon.

The event includes big name talks, innovative brainstorming workshops, and a massive outdoor village with daily entertainment. It has been called “a conference unlike any other” by the Harvard Business Review.

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For a modern event that celebrates what’s trending in creativity and commerce, it’s essential that the organizers keep a finger on the attendee pulse during the show. They then also need to use post-event attendee feedback to ensure that their show is constantly evolving and will keep attendees coming back year after year. And that’s where Voxco is lending a hand.

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Avoid these 10 mistakes when managing panel communities

11 mistakes to avoid when running an online MR community

Stephen Cribbett of Dub Research in London recently published a post that was picked up by Quirks. The article perfectly highlights the downfalls that many researchers face when planning and launching a new panel community.

The article was written from the POV of focus groups and qualitative communities, but the concepts are still heavily influential for launching and nurturing survey panel communities. We’ve shortened and a little and highlighted the most important tips below.

In short, remember that panelists are busy people. Busy people who have a genuine interest in participating in your research. So be sure to cater to them – acknowledge them, make them feel welcome, and ensure that they feel comfortable enough that they will stick around and share their experiences with you. On with the list:

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Survey Panel Pains – What is Really Going On?

OMG Survey Panel Pains – WTH is Really Going On?

Matt Dusig recently published a great article on his Innovate MR blog. It was a solid counterpoint to the decreasing lack of confidence that researchers are feeling with the state of online panels.

Commenters like Adrianna Rocha and Dave McCaughan have positioned online panels as no longer responsive, email click-through rates are abysmal, panelists must try 10 surveys before earning a significant reward. So is there a solution for online panel quality or are we doomed for all eternity?

Well, good news from Matt: the sad state of online survey panels is really no one’s fault!

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