Several functional extensions were fully integrated into the ESC main software which allow researchers to step up in the sophistication of their research.
- Panel Management
- Conjoint extension (ACA)
- Hybrid extension (Paper & Pencil)
- Mobile Extension
- Application flexibility
- Exchange data with external IT systems
Online panels are increasingly being used in commercial market research and can provide valuable information for a variety of business sectors. As the number of potential applications for panel software grows, customer expectations are rising too. Untrained users want customized, intuitive software solutions with quick and easy orientation. However, professional users also expect a wide range of functions and diversity of methods. Both user groups want the software to be fast and efficient and to enable high productivity.
What’s more, greater emphasis is being placed on the project management functions of such solutions. Rights and role management for teams and filing systems are required to streamline teamwork. Automation of recurring work processes and flexible survey configuration and editing options also ensure a professional approach. In this context, application programming interfaces (APIs) between online panel software and other IT systems are becoming increasingly important.
At the same time, measures which ensure panel quality are becoming ever more relevant. The software must provide transparent management of panel composition, monitoring of panellists, survey participation and incentives. Finally, it is important that the software can integrate all panellist management, incentives, survey and other communication functions closely with one another, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity.
The ESC panel management software provided by Globalpark is designed to meet precisely such requirements. The software can be used to operate several hundred professional online panels of all sizes, from expert panels with a few hundred participants through to customer communities with more than a million panellists. The ESC contains all the functions necessary for panel operation, including a powerful panellist management system, extensive functions for setting up and configuring online surveys and a panel website content management system. The range and depth of the software, in tandem with the compactness with which it integrates all processes critical for success into its management system, set the standard in the market for online feedback software.
The ESC’s Conjoint Extension makes it possible to generate and implement adaptive conjoint analyses (ACA) in web-based surveys. At each survey stage, the participant is faced with a choice of two response options. On the basis of the responses given, the software calculates which questions and response options should be presented to the respondent at the next stage. The respondent’s preferences are ranked during the course of the survey. In this way, for example, price and product preferences can be determined.
Hybrid extension (Paper & Pencil)
The ESC also has an extension option for carrying out paper-based surveys. After the online survey is created, the EFS Hybrid Extension automatically generates a questionnaire which can be printed and filled out by hand. Depending on the volume the results can be integrated automatically or manually into an overall data set.
Due to the increasing popularity of internet-enabled mobile devices, the number of possible participants in online surveys is growing. The ESC’s Mobile Extension prepares surveys for optimal use on WAP-enabled mobile phones and BlackBerrys. The extension can also automatically interface with SMS and WAP Push providers. This allows the method of invitation to be adapted for the target group.
Exchange data with external IT systems
Major benefits are also available with The ESC's interfacing capability. Using The ESC Web Services interface and integration technology, the software can be set up to exchange data with external IT systems. Information can be exchanged with other software platforms, creating wide-ranging possibilities for setting up automated feedback processes. For example, participant data can be transferred from call centre software to initiate a campaign-based customer satisfaction survey when a customer has called a hotline. The survey results can be fed back to the company database after the survey. There are almost no technical restrictions on this functionality. Data transmission using the ESC Web Services is based on compatible standards and is can be configured regardless of the technical aspects of heterogeneous IT systems.