AskiaField updated to 5.3.5

AskiaField has been refreshed! As you might know, the dev team is full-blast, hands in the engine, getting ready to release our next major AskiaField version 5.4.
Along with the early days of 5.4, our Belgian partners, MyForce, have recently made a big process audit and started implementing new software release systems, wishlist systems for new features, and large-scale automatic testing processes.
Before these marvelous times come to production, we wanted to introduce you to our latest and final iteration of AskiaField 5.3 : version 5.3.5, which comes packed with features that are announcing 5.4 and its awaited multi-mode surveys feature.

On the menu today

Partial multi-mode surveys, lightning-fast data exports, “pretty” URL invitations, stereo recording on agents, “Call now” feature improvement, new keywords, and more…

Partial multi-mode surveys

(Start in CAWI, finish in CATI)

5.3.5 announces the beginning of the true multi-mode era. We have added the possibility for the respondents to start a Web interview, and then allow telephony agents to call them back to help them complete the interview over the phone. It was also possible before 5.3.5, but required the use a couple of workarounds.
Now, it is as easy as can selecting one option in your sample list!

multi2

Here is the feature highlight article in our help center.

The opposite operation (starting an interview in CATI and resuming in CAWI) will be included in a later release. Nevertheless, we have started to add features such as the ability to send an encrypted invitation mailing directly from the CATI station  to ease the transition.

Lightning fast exports

Mehdi – our french database guru (among other titles) – has completely re-worked the data exports to QES files.
The benchmarks are heavily setting the new exports as winner, with an average exporting speed improvement of 1000% (yes, three zeros).
We had already made this available in the form of a command line tool but starting from 5.3.5 on, the power of this tool is now included in CCA’s default installation.
Also, in order to scale up, we have separated the tool in an external service.

Read the article on our help center.

Pretty (and encrypted) invitation links

Askiaweb, in its 5.3.5 iteration, now supports shortened, “prettified” survey links!
It used to look old, and it sounded wrong to include machine-related information in the invitation links, such as the usual /cgi-bin/askiaext.dll parameters.

So, you can now switch from:

http://askia.com/WebProd/cgi-bin/askiaext.dll?Action=StartSurvey&SurveyName=MySurvey


to:

http://askia.com/WebProd/Start/MySurvey

We also packed in encryption options, to hide parameters like &Name=Stephen that respondents could attempt to modify just for fun.
It will look like:

http://askia.com/WebProd/~O1p1PnpkpSI

Find out more about Shorter, encrypted URL invitations in the Help Center

More

And below, more cool features for you to read on!

New importation keywords.

Stereo recording on agents

“Call Now” feature improvement

Call history available from CATI

Ways in which DemoSCOPE is harnessing the power of Askia software

We’re always eager to share news about ways in which our software is being used around the globe and here is an example from a Swiss customer, DemoSCOPE.

By way of a brief introduction, DemoSCOPE, a user of Askia software since 2010, is Switzerland’s largest owner-managed market research company. Established as a one-man business in 1961, DemoSCOPE today employs around 60 permanent staff as well as several hundred freelancers.

To continue with the theme of the article, DemoSCOPE has recently completed a project for the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO) and is about to start another one, with different Askia data collection products central to each.

Firstly, the project which has just ended saw around 100,000 CAPI interviews collected for the national traffic survey “Transalpine and cross-border passenger transport 2015”. Interviews were conducted at all road and rail borders and alpine crossings using the Askiaface app for iOS and Android on smartphones. For road transport, cars were stopped and drivers interviewed; for rail transport, passengers were interviewed on the trains.

Secondly, DemoSCOPE won a multi-year contract with the same organization earlier this year, offering a solution for a support hotline and interviews as part of the Swiss census system. Around 30,000 support calls and e-mails will be handled by DemoSCOPE through their Askia inbound platform, a ticketing system and an external application from the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT).

Stefan Klug, DemoSCOPE’s Head of Operations said, “both projects were only able to be offered and won with the latest Askia CAPI and CATI software in place. CAPI on Android and iOS has great advantages when running such large-scale projects.” Stefan then went on to mention that Askia’s integrated inbound telephony solution is a real USP for DemoSCOPE. “Having proposed and integrated CATI inbound into all of our bigger CATI projects for several years now has enabled us to create a new industry standard for CATI research in Switzerland” he added.

Askia User Survey 2015 results

What did you like?

Most of you like the easy to use & learn our applications. In the same idea, you think our application are intuitive and user-friendly.

You also mentioned our scripting engine (Askiascript 2.0), the flexibility and the fact our platform is open to extend the software as well as the quality of the support.

Our personal favorite was “The close working relationship and the willingness to listen to our concerns”.

What did you not like?

You would like us to simplify the management/modification of web screens to require less HTML/CSS/JavaScript knowledge and deliver enhanced report/monitoring tools.

You also seem to be keen on improving the speed and time to process especially for large data sets and simplify the interface, having it web based and allowing multi user access to our suite of apps.

Finally, you would like more communication/information on development/changes and some of you also mentioned to have the documentation translated in French.

Our personal favorite was “The sometimes geeky choices for user interface and element naming, … “.

What should we work on?

We asked you to put yourself in our shoes and help prioritise our development plans, this is what you said.

Askiadesign – most of you would like new questions types and additional routing/scripting keywords.

askiadesign

You’d also like us to work on a better templating system, to be able to define short captions for responses, to apply routing actions to several questions and to have the possibility to create functions in askiascript. Some of you also mentioned to simplify the creation of semi open responses.

Askiavoice: The recordings management and CATI /AskiaClient interface appear to be the area where you would like us to put the focus.

askiavoice

Some others good ideas / functionalities came as spell check, CTA as service and improvement of the quota definition.

Askiaweb: Most people would focus on improving the spam, soft bounce detection followed by a “print my answers” feature.

askiaweb

You were keen for us also to improve mixed-mode data collection.

Askiaface: when it comes to face to face data collection, your priorities are: give the possibility to continue the survey online and the contacts list management.

askiaface

In terms of other ideas, we received a lot of good ideas including:  improve the storage of multimedia files taken during the survey, improve the management of quotas and be able to hide the sidebar.

Askiaanalysis: Improve the speed of processing is the area on top of your choice followed by the table layout facilities.

askiaanalysis

In addition, people would like to see:

  • Full compatibility between analyse and vista portfolios, calculated variables, …
  • New calculated variable – Multiple by script (one script)
  • More scripting
  • Search function for portfolios

What else would you like to see?

People also asked for: better communication / information on modifications/changes, better/more documentation, user guide, knowledge base articles and some of you for a French version of our documentation.

Support

In terms of overall satisfaction:

  • 28% were very satisfied by the support.
  • 71% were either very satisfied or satisfied.
  • 26% were neutral.
  • 3% were dissatisfied and none were “Very dissatisfied”.

When it comes to improving Support, you’d like us to be better at explaining the solutions so that you can learn from it and improve the speed to reply or produce a solution.

Brand new online documentation

We are extremely pleased to announce that we have released our brand new online documentation for our software suite: askiadesign, askiafield and askiaanalysis.

You can access these new online assistants here:

This major update of our documentation was led by Tim Macer and Andrew Walford from Meaning Ltd and offers many new features:

New help authoring tool

We replaced our old help system (farewell RoboHelp!) and are now using a new web-based help authoring tool that allows us to easily update and maintain our documentation. This should drastically improve content update frequency and allow us to add new feature documentation and fix potential errors as soon as we spot them!

Screenshot of Askia's new online documentation

 

Responsive documentation

Our new documentation is now fully responsive and therefore allows you to use any device to access it: mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Allowing you to access our software documentation whenever you need it, from wherever you need it.

Screenshot of our mobile documentation layout

Powerful search engine

This new system provides our users with a powerful built-in search engine that delivers instant and relevant results from the first keystroke. This, in addition to the possibility of opening each help topic in its dedicated tab will allow you to easily find the resource you need.

Screenshot of online documentation search results

Other features

Our new assistants offer some other interesting features, such as:

  • Save a specific page as a PDF
  • Save the entire assistant as a PDF
  • Permalinks to each article page
  • Fully populated index to help you find articles related to specific topics

Askiavista 6.0.3.7

Our latest update to askiavista, our online data analysis and reporting web app, is finally here! Version 6.0.3.7 is an incremental update that contains many fixes and some useful new features:

Scenarios

Askiavista can now make use of askiadesign‘s useful Scenarios (aka Versions) in order to filter the list of questions and/or responses. This allows you to customise the display of your survey variables and responses based on the sets of Scenarios defined in askiadesign.

In the case of an omnibus survey, you could for example create a Scenario for Client A that comprises the demographic variables as well as the client’s specific questions; create a second Scenario for Client B with the same demographic data as well as this client’s variables, etc… Thus, allowing each end-user to only view the appropriate subset of data.

Scenarios are functionally very similar to Packages (a feature that has been available in askiavista for many years now)… but the two main advantages of Scenarios are:

  • They do not require to be re-defined; once they have been initially set in askiadesign, askiavista will pick up the Scenarios automatically
  • Where Packages were limited to filtering questions, Scenarios can filter both questions and response items

Specify questions when exporting a portfolio

Askiavista’s API has been updated in order to allow users to override certain (or all) cross-tab dimensions with the profileRows, profileColumns and profileEdges properties that have been added to the askiaVista.display method.

So, if your cross-tab query uses a Portfolio item, these above properties will override the entire list of questions for the specified dimension.

Core components updated

Some of askiavista’s core components have been updated:

  • AVS now supports the RowQuestion, ColQuestion,RowSubQuestion and ColSubQuestion keywords.
  • Fixed an issue with commented askiascript
  • Fixed an issue with Row / Edge suppression
  • Fixed an issue where the Use unweighted base in Col Sig with selected no weighting caused results to disappear
  • Various fixes to ensure Mode and Average number of responses are displayed correctly

Bug fixes

As usual, we have slaughtered some pesky bugs while we were at it; some of the more notable ones are:

  • Fixed an issue where no data was displayed for the total by Row and total by Question for Arithmetic calculations by script
  • Fixed an issue where totals were missing in Portfolios when exported to Excel
  • Fixed an issue where the Export Activity to Excel produced a corrupt Excel file

You can access the full version notes or pick up the update immediately!