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Current Questionnaire Generation Tools - A Market and Product Overview

Seminararbeit 2006 45 Seiten

Informatik - Wirtschaftsinformatik


Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Internet-based research – an introduction
1. Internet-based research projects
i. Online Surveys
ii. Online Experiments
2. The choice of when to conduct an experiment online
3. Advantages and Disadvantages of online research
4. Standards for online research

III. Market Analysis
1. Past market development
2. Current market state
i. Supply side
ii. Demand side
3. Trends

IV. Product Analysis
1. Comparative features
2. Current suppliers and their products
3. Analyzing performance via score points
4. Product positioning
5. Globalpark versus ask4more – a comparison
a. Features
b. Usability
c. Pricing scheme
d. Outcome

V. Summary



List of Tables

Table 1: Evaluated Products

Table 2.1: Technical features

Table 2.2: Technical features

Table 3: Business features

List of illustrations

Figure 1: Results of score points per level of functionality

Figure 2: Results of overall score points compared with maximum

Figure 3: Portfolio map of product positioning

Figure 4: ask4more’s GUI (trial version)

Figure 5: Globalpark’s GUI (demo version)

List of Abbreveations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

I. Introduction

Adapting to Stephen W. Hawking’s illustrative metaphor of the universe put into a nutshell[1], one could envision the world encrypted into the internet. There is nothing in the real world, where its interactive counterpart could not be found in the endless network of the World Wide Web – may it be obvious or hidden. Despite the early stages of the internet’s preceding forms in the 1970s, today’s internet especially experienced a tremendously fast development during the last decade, becoming a medium of the masses for the masses. User statistics are constantly rising and even if, in the early stages, the internet user was in average of higher education, English speaking and male, he is now a counterpart of the inhabitant of the real word. The internet is a medium for everybody. Statistics[2] show an ever growing participation. Of course, there are still demographic deviations from the real-world counterpart. However, considering the German-speaking regions of Germany, Austria and Switzerland only, demography and social status hardly differ, thus making the region quite homogenous. Data[3] for Germany subsequently estimates a high current digital media universe of over 55% of the current population, with an active digital media usage of about 39%, where females account for 41%, teenagers below the age of 18 represent about 10% and people of 55 years of age or older, account for 14.5% of all internet users. As a consequence, the reason for social scientists and marketing researchers to discover the internet as a new research medium is quite obvious.

Online-Research in the German-speaking region still has a young but already moving history behind. It started off with simple HTML-programming and continued, accordingly to the overall technical development, to derive standards and rules for quality, reliability and validity. A new market developed, providing software tools for the development of online surveys and experiments due to more complex programming languages. The main characteristic of the new market: lacking transparency.

II. Internet-based research – an introduction

1. Internet-based research projects

In the beginning of the mid-nineties of the 20th century, using the World Wide Web as a method of research was the choice of only a small number of first movers among experimental researchers. Ten years later “we are in the midst of an Internet revolution in experimental research” (Reips, 2002a, p.243). However, what does “internet-based research” mean? To begin with, it is important to mention that several terms are used simultaneously: web research, online research, internet research, web-based research, World Wide Web research. Historically, as for the example of the term “web experiments”, the term “web” was the first term used. On the other hand, the terms “internet-based research” or “internet-based experiments” do also include internet services such as e-mail, telnet, ftp or messengers for communication (e.g. ICQ, MSN Messenger) that are no web services as such due to their definition and functionality. What this paper focuses on, is research done in the World Wide Web via a web browser using the web as the underlying tool. However, due to the fact that many authors use the term “online” for describing the above mentioned version of research, this paper will adapt this term analogously. In the further paper “online research”, “online surveys” and “online experiments” will thus refer to research, surveys or experiments conducted in the World Wide Web using the web with the help of a web browser.

The history of online research is strongly tied with the development and success of the internet. Attributable to the development of the number of internet users, the critical mass, necessary to conduct experiments in order to achieve a validity that coincides with the sociography and demography of the real world, was reached[4]. Due to the fact that research objects could now be recruited in a large amount within a short time, in order to be interviewed and from which to derive data, the entrance barriers for professional and empirical research sank and allowed research within a wider range. Subsequently, the internet and especially the World Wide Web with all its occurring social processes did not only become the subject of research, but a research method itself.

As mentioned before, online research can be conducted in different ways. According to Reips[5], there are three main possibilities to collect data online that will allow conclusions to be drawn on the behavior of humans: none-reactive data collection, online surveys and online experiments. The last two mentioned will be looked upon further.

i. Online Surveys

Online Surveys, as none-experimental methods, are the most commonly used technique for online research. They are not only used by research institutes for professional, empirical research but mostly by market researchers or online-marketing experts. Surveys are an every-day fly by when surfing the internet, either as pop-ups, via e-mail or posted on a website in an either plain HTML or using Java script and Flash. Their purpose is defined as a “systematic gathering of information from respondents for the purpose of understanding and/or predicting some aspect of the behavior of the population of interest” (Tull, 1993). The frequent use of surveys is explained by the “ease” with that they can be “constructed, conducted, and evaluated” (Reips 2002b, p.230). This ease, however, still needs to be looked upon in the preceding parts of this paper. Moreover, online surveys do not necessarily need to have a scientific background; they mostly have a commercial one. However, especially for validity there are rules and standards to be considered that apply to surveys as well as to other forms of online research such as experiments.


[1] See Hawkings, S. (2004): Das Universum in der Nussschale. dtv.

[2] See Nielsen//NetRatings (2002): Europäische Internet Nutzung Januar 2002.

[3] See Nielsen//NetRatings: NetView Usage Metrics: (January 2006) (Home Panel, Web Usage Data)

[4] See Introduction of this paper.

[5] See Reips, U.-D. (2002): Theory and techniques of Web experimenting.


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
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Institution / Hochschule
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Current Questionnaire Generation Tools Market Product Overview



Titel: Current Questionnaire Generation Tools - A Market and Product Overview