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Is the MR industry still overly dependent on installed software!

20th July 2021 in Blogs by Andy Madeley

In an age (now!) where we want access to our survey results very quickly and also on any device, is the MR industry still overly dependent on installed software? The short answer is “yes, in my opinion”!

When we first took on the prospect of bringing a combined data analysis and data visualization product to market, we decided on one key feature which, in line with the Martini advertising slogan (for those of you that remember it!), is accessibility “anytime, anywhere and any place!”.

If we were going to produce a hybrid data analysis and visualisation solution, then it had to be all device friendly. And thus, Tabx was created – it is effectively an “app” in current technology terms and users can access their survey analysis requirements via logging in only. There are no software installation requirements and MAC users will be pleased too, as it works seamlessly on Macs.

I thought it pertinent to start with answering the question from a Tabx perspective as we needed to build this product to cater to our own project needs. We trialled an array of analysis and/or visualization software on the market and realised very quickly that:

i) Sometimes there was a need to install software onto PCs, laptops or devices and
ii) The data being uploaded needed pre-aggregating and
iii) The user needed extensive training to use the software and
iv) The license fees are on the expensive side or
v) All of the above!

I guess, in the position we were in, whilst data processing and preparing crosstab outputs for clients, we decided to take on the challenge to see if we could avoid these 4 criteria for our clients. We’ve used Confirmit and Tableau in the past and we currently use SPSS for data processing reasons but having looked at other software applications too – we really wanted our users to be able to simply log in, point-click and hey presto quickly and nothing has impressed us so far (other than Tabx, of course!)

With as little as 15-minutes training we can give clients sufficient know-how to interrogate their project data or produce crosstabs. Creating dashboards does take a little longer to learn, but we’re pretty much hands on re: help and support. The data architecture we have employed is “raw data” based – you can’t see it (why would you if you are analysing it) and the query return rate is fast! We pride ourselves on being developers who know Market Research survey data and as quoted by one of our early adopters, Global.COM “this is a thing of beauty – (it) is going to be SO helpful, thank you so much for this. Just been playing about with it and it’s so easy to use.”

I know this really does feel like a sales pitch now BUT I promise, it isn’t! I really just want to make you aware that you shouldn’t be expected to pay big bucks for data analysis and visualisation products (or apps) AND you shouldn’t be pigeon-holed by software implementers who say you need to install their product.

So, if you found that this short article has piqued your interest sufficiently to scour the internet and to look around more – then, if and when you do happen upon a data analysis and/or visualization product, as a first litmus test, see if you can import SPSS data or Triple-S XML data seamlessly (i.e. with very little effort). This normally takes a good chunk of products out consideration!

Then, if it passes this test – can you build a crosstab quickly and get results back (i.e. populating the crosstab) in under 5 seconds and then finally, how much does it cost?

Happy to talk more about data analysis and/or data visualization software platforms (or apps) with you as I’ve definitely learnt a lot whilst co-developing Tabx and would be great to help if and where I can. As much as it would be great to impress you with Tabx, do your homework – and on that note, if you need any help with your homework! My direct e-mail address is Look forward to hearing from you!

Written by Andy Madeley, July 2021


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