Askia Design Controls now available on Github

We’re thrilled to announce that all our Askia Design Controls 2.0 (ADC) have been made available on Github for all developer users who wish to take part creating these survey controls.

ADCs are web-based (HTML, JavaScript & CSS) rich survey controls that enhance the experience of your respondents. Available for web, tablet and mobile surveys, ADCs replace the default radio buttons, checkboxes, text inputs, … by more interactive, playful and animated survey controls.

Below, some examples of Askia Design Controls:

Drag and drop

Drag and drop ADC

(click the above image to check out the live demo)

Smiley rating

Star rating ADC

(click the above image to check out the live demo)

Granite controls (in-progress):

Granite ADC

More than 20 of these survey controls are now accessible to all and many more are on their way!

We have extended the way we have been working with these controls internally at Askia; instead of keeping design, development and maintenance of ADCs within the realm of our development team, we have trained a large part of our support team who are now able to contribute! So, instead of two developers working on ADCs, we now have a team of 7 collaborators and many more clients of our working on their own ADCs (big shout-out to them!)!

You can now easily download and collaborate with our team to improve these survey controls, add new controls, fix any issues you spotted or just make these controls your own!

You can either just download any ADC you want by using the ‘Download ZIP’ button if you do not wish to contribute but just use of one of the available ADCs on Github:

Download ZIP archive of an ADC

Or, if you want to fork our repos to further contribute and collaborate with us on these projects, just sign up for a free Github account and you’ll be in within minutes! This will allow you to create your own branches, create issues, add new repositories, …

Of course, all of our ADCs remain available for non-developer users in our Help Centre for use in askiadesign; they can all be downloaded, previewed in demo surveys and are all fully documented.

Askia launches new qual / quant research software platform

Serial market research entrepreneurs Jon Gumbrell and Mike Hall have partnered with survey software specialists Askia to launch a new unified customer feedback software platform called Platform One.

Platform One has been built to manage every kind of customer feedback scenario: from large-scale quant panels, to small-scale qual communities, to complete Voice of the Customer programs. It comes with a suite of in-built quant / qual project tools, a customisable member portal for member engagement and web research, and a fully integrated app for mobile research. The company’s ambition: to create a unified customer feedback platform that delivers a significantly better user-experience at every single step. The result: a software platform with extended functionality like shared questions for data enrichment; point-in-time and responsive sampling; event and beacon triggered mobile research; sequential qual / quant research projects; financial gamification and interactive detachable dashboards. Askia’s data collection and analytics software forms part of the unified platform offering.

The software platform took three years to conceive, develop and build. It’s now live and managing 20 + customer feedback communities. The company has offices in London and a software development and servicing team in Colombo.

Jon Gumbrell, Platform One Principle Founder & Chief Software Architect says, “The industry is full of legacy applications that don’t align with user needs. Quite apart from being a nightmare to actually execute, integrating such applications results in the creation of cumbersome, inefficient, often unmanageable systems. I wanted to start from scratch and build a genuinely unified research software platform fit for tomorrow’s business requirements.

Mike Hall, Platform One Co-Founder says, “The future of research lies in technology, and Jon has a genius for it, so it’s hugely exciting to team up with him.

Jérôme Sopoçko, Askia Founder & Chief Software Architect says, “Platform One’s technology allows research to fit around the customer, whereas traditional methods attempts to fit the customer into research.

Jon Gumbrell is the ex-owner of ID Factor and a co-founder of Verve. It was at Verve that Jon met Mike Hall, founder of Hall & Partners. Askia’s Jérôme Sopoçko and Patrick George Lassale form part of the company’s extended team and Claire Bickerton, former Group Business Director of Hall & Partners, is a Platform One co-founder.

Platform One formally marks their launch with a new explainer video and website.

Platform One team photo
The founding team (from left to right): Mike Hall, Patrick George Lassale, Jon Gumbrell, Claire Bickerton, Jérôme Sopoçko.

Platform One extended functionality, further information.

  1. Shared questions: add stored questions to new surveys, writing back the data, to enrich member information.
  2. Point-in-time sampling: because what was true last year may not be true this year, we’ve built a feature that enables sampling using data from any point in time. We’ve also made it possible to sample according to change – all those who have had a pay rise, for example.
  3. Responsive sampling: if a quota stop is applied sample will no longer be delivered to any cell that has achieved its stop value. Automatically stop sending feedback projects to members as soon as you hit target in a specific quota cell.
  4. Event & beacon triggered mobile research: mobile research tasks can be triggered by events or beacons. Research tasks are deployed to the mobile app, but remain hidden until triggered by an event like boarding a flight, or a beacon placed in a store exit.
  5. Sequential qual / quant research projects: research projects are created as normal but marked as ‘sequenced’. Invites to the next project in the sequence are automatically sent either on project completion, or on a schedule (or both). For example, you could set your triggers for Project 2 to be completion of Project 1 and 7 pm on X date.
  6. Financial gamification:the same positive action can be incentivised using both financial and gamification points. Financial rewards can be set to match member gamification level. For example, a member who has achieved Level 3 can receive 60% of the maximum financial reward, whereas one who has achieved Level 6 can receive 100%. This encourages proper participation and dissuades improper participation.
  7. Interactive, detachable dashboards: these reporting dashboards can be set up to share app survey results. Users can manipulate the data by selecting questions, selecting their preferred mode of data visualisation and filtering the data set using both app survey and panel-wide filters. Responses to all video questions are displayed on the dashboard as a video thumbnail wall. Video responses can also be filtered by both app survey and panel-wide filters.

Askiavista updated to

We’re excited to announce that a new version,, of askiavista is available; as usual, this update contains some nice new features as well as some dead bugs!

New default expiry page

We have updated the default expired page for Portfolio Links which have been set with the Expiry date option. This new page is fully responsive and can be customised to better correspond to your needs.

Screenshot of askiavista's new expiry page

This page is stored in at the root of the AskiaVistaReader.Net4 folder, so don’t hesitate to go crazy on your custom expiry pages!

You can read more about this new page if you want!

Updated log in page

We have updated askiavista’s log in page in order to get rid of some layout issues we had on the previous version and to improve the page’s responsiveness.

Screenshot of Askiavista's new login page

We also cleaned it up a tad, increased the size of the inputs & button and generally made a clearer version of the page; but, do remember that you can create your own custom login page!

Highcharts, improved & extended!

We have greatly improved our integration of Highcharts charting library by adding some extra components such as:

  • highcharts-more.js (allows new chart types, such as: Area range, Area spline range, …)
  • modules/funnel.js (adds support for Funnel charts)
  • modules/exporting.js (allows to activate chart export to print, JPG, PNG, SVG & PDF)
  • modules/solid-gauge.js (adds support for solid gauge charts)

We were therefore able to add several new charts to askiavista: Bubble, Spline, Area spline, Scatter & Waterfall charts:
Screenshot of Askiavista's new chart types

Improved search capabilities

We’ve drastically improved the Search questionnaire functionality that is located in the treeview:

  1. We have increased the maximum amount of search results from 30 results to… 500!
  2. When you have searched for a specific question or set of questions and select a search result, you no longer lose your selection(s) when you deactivate the search functionality.

Locate questions in the treeview structure

We have added an askianalyse-inspired feature: having the possibility to Locate a question in the treeview by selecting it directly from the Dimensions panel (Rows, Columns or Edges) in which you are using it.

Screenshot of Askiavista's locate feature

This feature is particularly useful when trying to locate a specific variable in the survey structure when said questionnaire is very large.

Fixed an issue with Portfolios and Filters imported from Analyse

We fixed an issue that some of our users experienced when running a Portfolio with a Filter imported from Analyse, the filter would appear twice in the Filter select menu. The portfolio would target the second filter and wouldn’t show any data in the table. All fixed now!

Fixed issue with table style & chart type refresh

Finally, we fixed two issues that concerned rendering issues with table styles and charts when these were refreshed:

  1. Table style refresh issue: when you added a new Table style, askiavista would not take the new CSS into account; the user had to manually trigger the table style refresh by drag and dropping one or more variables in Dimensions.
  2. Chart type refresh issue: when the application rendered more than one chart on a given Table definition and the user modified the Chart type, only the first rendered chart would adopt the newly selected chart type.

That’s all for version! Next update is just around the corner!

Freshly infused knowledge base articles

In case you missed them, here is a recap of the latest batch of freshly pressed Knowledge base articles, directly extracted from Askia’s Help Centre.

Highlight row and column header in question tables

This one is a little treat for survey designers looking to sweeten the look and feel of their question tables.This comes along with a nice buy 1 million youtube views guide for you bussines.
Thanks to a couple of css classes and a jQuery script, row and column headers will change colour when their associated cells are hovered.

Check out the example and explanation on Askia’s Knowledge Base

64/32bit ODBC drivers

For those who decided to take a step forward and use the AskiaField platform as a 64bit application, links to external databases will also need to be upgraded.


Here is how it’s done

.QES file limitations

Can this question shortcut actually be a full sentence ? How big can a question table be ?
If you happen to wonder what physical limitations could harness your creativity in terms of survey design, check out this updated version of the various file limitations list.

Askiavista is really growing!

Update: we have updated askiavista to version, read more about it!

Yup, askiavista is nearly a grown-up! But because it’s an Askia application, it’ll always be a bit childish 😉 .

We are unleashing the latest update to askiavista, version; this latest release is packed with several nifty features and some squashed bugs:

Single Sign-On

We introduced SSO compatibility a couple of years ago but this useful feature has finally made it through to version 6! For this, we have introduced a new web service, AskiaVistaSSO, that is in charge of:

  • creating a unique & secure TrustKey
  • sending the TrustKey to AskiaVista Manager
  • authorises the user to connect or not to askiavista

Check the full details on this.

Replay multiple queries simultaneously

AskiaVista API’s Replay Plugin allows developers to replay a given query with few changes; it’s specially useful for cross-tab queries that produce tables or charts.

Let’s imagine you have a dropdown with the list of filters (sub-populations) from which the user can choose a given filter that will replay a table by applying it the selected filter.

The new version of the Replay plugin allows the developers/users to replay several tables or charts in one go.

So, when the user selects a filter it could be applied to multiple tables or charts at the same time.

In the background the Replay plugin uses a transaction to execute all queries in a single server-side call. The main benefit is to reduce the amount of bandwidth & queries between the client and the server.

Askia.config path now in the Registry

Up until now, the Askia.config file path was stored in IIS’  web.config file (a bit of an inception, eh?). Because any update could overwrite the web.config file, we often ended up with errors related to the configuration file not being found.

To improve this, askiavista searches the Askia.config path in the following order:

  1. In the directory of the current application
  2. If not found, it searches for the web.config as usually
  3. If not found, it search in the Registry

Read the feature request for more information.

Bug fixes

Finally, we have also fixed some outstanding issues in askiavista, check below for the most important ones:

  • Empty table when deactivating all calculations for tables (#6349)
  • Calculated responses not copied when copy/paste presentation (#6362)
  • Hidden responses displayed in xtab when moving variables around R/C/E (#6388)
  • Drag Drop filter is not applied to Excel export from a Portfolio (#6413)
  • Scaled-response questions are not treated as closed (#6421)
  • Cannot remove ‘Mean’ calculation caption from table and chart (#6455)
  • Total column and Edge inverted in the Property panel (#6476)
  • AskiaVistaManager can crash several times starting (#6483)

Oh, and did I mention that we have started to play with the amazing D3.js data visualisation library? It’s still just a playground but check this out! Thanks to Brice for his great work on that!

That’s all for now folks 😀

Askia upcoming events

It has already been a busy year for Askia as the industry exhibitions keep on coming thick and fast, which is what we like, as we love to show visitors what we have been up to with new development and new products.  It’s always worth stopping-by for a chat at our stands to see what’s new so here are 2 more opportunities to do just that!

Printemps des Études

We believe Printemps des Études is the definitive market research show in France, that’s why we’re there! We’ll be on stand #5, so don’t hesitate to visit, have a chat and a glass of champagne!

It will be held on the 16th & 17th April once again at the Palais Brongniart right in the center of Paris.

Insight 2015

Askia is back at Insight this year to showcase our ever-expanding portfolio of apps on the 29th & 30th April.

The event has literally gone to the next level in 2015 at Olympia as the market research element of Marketing Week Live, now back to its original name of Insight, has moved up to the 3rd floor to Olympia Central.

Askia will be on stand ID34 and looking forward to meeting you there.

Here’s some info about Insight.

New in the Knowledge Base

We’ve recently added a host of new articles to Askia’s Help Centre, for those of you who haven’t had the time to check them out, here’s a breakdown of the new Knowledge Base posts:

Survey intros & outros

Survey intros (AskiaIntro) & outros (AskiaOutro) have been specifically designed for askiavoice CATi interviewing. They allow users to add an intro and/or an outro section to their survey.

Survey intros & outros

The AskiaIntro section will be asked to the respondent for each contact (once per call) and can therefore be used to screen our respondent.

The AskiaOutro section will be asked each time the interviewer closes the interview and can be used with routing logic (and even JavaScript) to enhance it.

Check out the KB article for all the details.

Setting up a multi-mode survey

While askiafield 5.3.5 integrates a built-in module for managing multi-modal surveys, this article allows you to deploy such data collection methodologies when using prior versions.

This in-depth post will provide all the information necessary for you to set up a CAWI to CATI or a CATI to CAWI survey.

Read more about how to setup multi-modal data collection and download our example survey.

New ADC 2.0: Star rating

We’ve added a brand new Askia Design Control (2.0) to our free library of survey assets:

Star rating Askia Design Control

This new JavaScript control is designed for single and numerical questions and can be, as usual, heavily customised (colours, text, tooltips, number of stars, statement styling, …).

Take the demo survey for a spin or download the Star rating ADC 2.0 now!

Do-Not-Contact lists

Since askiafield 5.1, we have added the possibility to create a list of contacts you don’t want to call or email: Do-Not-Contact lists.

Such lists allow you to easily manage blacklisted contacts directly from within the interface of Supervisor.

Go through the detailed article to setup your own blacklists.

Adding new chart types to askiavista 6.x

Askiavista 6.x makes use of the very extensive Highcharts charting library but we have only added certain basic chart types be default in the application.

However, this article details the few very simple steps in order to add any number of new chart types:

Adding new charts to askiavista

Read the Knowledge Base article for more information on how to add new charts to askiavista 6!

Script calculations in askiaanalyse

Script calculations are a great way of setting up your tables in a more efficient manner. They give you the ability to achieve tables which would not be possible otherwise.

Script calculation properties in askiaanalyse

This in-depth KB article introduces calculations which use scripts; it also shows examples of how they can be used to make a table set-up more efficient and concise.

Setting up an expired portfolio page for askiavista 6.x

Askiavista 6’s new Portfolio Link Management allows users to customise & fine-tune their askiavista reports (embed tables, charts, text, images, …) as well as set expiry dates for each such portfolios in order to prevent access after a certain date.

However, by default, such expired portfolios will trigger a 410 web server error and your end-users will be greeted by a not-so-sexy web server error.

This article therefore details all the necessary steps in order to create your own custom expired portfolio page(s).

Developers, join our team!

Update: this job offer is no longer available. Please come back soon for more jobs!

Askia‘s dev team is currently seeking a candidate who has a huge passion for software development. We’re looking to find a quality .NET programmer / developer for a permanent position.

The position will involve building and maintaining C# web services as well as implementing the front-end in JavaScript (using ExtJS) for our software suite. You will be responsible for designing, developing, testing, and maintaining these applications alongside our team of developers in our Paris office (even though we will also consider applications for our London office).

Required skills

  • Frameworks: ASP.NET.
  • Languages: C#, JavaScript (ExtJS & jQuery), C# web services, SQL.
  • Tools: Visual Studio, SQL Server, IIS.
  • Good communications skills and spoken English.

Unicorn skills

  • Languages: knowledge of C++.
  • Interest in statistics.

If you’re interested, please send your resume and contact details to Mamadou Sy.

Version askiaanalyse

This post is the second in a series of two that detail the key features in version of askiadesign & askiaanalyse.

Much development work has been done in which bring about a whole host of great new features. A detailed list of these can be found in the version roadmap. Below are five of these features.

Table of contents:

    1. Improvement of inverted data format.
    2. Nested Edges.
    3. Sig Test Options Stored In Variable / Column.
    4. Excel Export Options.
    5. Weighting Efficiency.


Improvement of inverted data format

Inverted data is stored and read variable by variable rather than by respondent. This generally speeds up processes such as downloading, expor ting, importing and recalculating. It is another data format which stores data in a .dat folder rather than in just a .qes file.

Inverted data format options

The ‘Re-invert database’ option in Askia Analyse is used to invert the data and the ‘Open an inverted survey’ option is used to access this data format in Askia Tools.

In Analyse a number of improvements have been made to this format:

  • We have decided to rename the old files and not use the number of responses as an extension – this was causing unnecessary problems when a question was recalculated or if the max number of responses was manually changed in Design. The extension of the inverted data files  is always .dat.
  • The developed questions in a loop are no longer stored individually – the grayed questions always contained the information so we thought the cost of reading the whole grayed data for that question was a small price to pay compared to store all the data twice. This significantly decreases the number of files and lets you easily change your mind about the “Develop level” option in Design.
  • We store the system data – or peri-data – such as start time, end-time, IP-address, completion, …
  • The data is compressed which can gain up to 95% diminution of file size ( versions prior to were a simple uncompressed copy of the memory)
  • We have backwards compatibility: inverted data produced with a version prior to is read properly in Analyse. The new inverted files are readable by Vista but not by older versions of Analyse or Tools.

In most tests we have seen 85-95% decrease of the inverted database size and no noticeable deterioration in the reading speed. For example, in the last test, I reduced the size of a .dat folder from 4.2 GB to 45.0 MB. In order to convert from the old to the new format you can use the following steps:

  1. Open the old format inverted data in Askia Analyse version or higher.
  2. File > Export a sub-population
  3. Select the new target file > select ‘All interviews’ as the sub-population > check ‘Export as inverted database’. At this stage you can also select any calculated variables to export or that can be done after by copying / importing the variables from one file to another.


Nested Edges

Prior to Analyse, the variables you place in your edge would be line up side by side in your edge banner. So, for example, if I have three variables in my edge with 2, 3 and 4 categories then I would have a single edge banner of 9 categories.

From onwards you have the option to change this so that your edges build upwards and you can have two or more variables (edge banners) layered on top of each other. The result from the example above is that you have 2 x 3 x 4 = 24 crossed categories created.

The benefit of Nested edges is that they allow you to have many crossed variables / dimensions in your tables. Previously you would be limited to three before you had to start thinking about using scripts, crossed calculated variables or sub-populations.

Without setting:

Edges in askiaanalyse

Settings for nested edges in askiaanalyse

With setting: – order of nested edges depends on order of variables in Edge

Cross-tab with 2 nested edges in askiaanalyse

You can keep layering them up e.g. if we add another variable, ‘Agreement’, into our edges:

Multiple nested edges in askiaanalyse

We get the following:

Cross-tab with 3 nested edges in askiaanalyse

It’s worth noting that you cannot have a hybrid situation where you have some edges layered and some not. You will have to manage this using your columns as well as your edges.

Example of usage


Sig Test Options Stored In Variable

Up to now, it was only possible to store col sig options in the tab template. Therefore, the same tab template would need to be replicated for small tweaks in the testing. The purpose of this new feature is to enable more flexibility by storing the col sig options in the column profile and by doing so reduces the number of tab templates required.

The closest relation we have to this new feature in versions prior to is ‘Specify columns’.

Specify test columns for column significativity

The only difference with the latest option is that the Test cols test is not entered into the advanced options (above left) but instead the column profile by right clicking in the columns and selecting ‘Col-sig testing’ (below).

Specify test columns in column profile

Since these options can be stored in the columns, they will also be saved in a profile or a portfolio.

Example of usage


Excel Export Options

Prior to Analyse, we had the set of options (A) below. Now since we have set of options (B) which allow more flexibility in organising your Excel tabulations.

Excel export options

The following is a description of what these additional options do:

New sheet for each portfolio chapter

When you are in the portfolio view you can right-click > Insert a chapter. This has the use of keeping large portfolios tidy by organising the tab definitions into sections. With the ‘New sheet for each portfolio chapter’ option set you can now export each of these chapter sections to its own sheet in Excel. So the below will give you 2 sheets. Sheet 1 has 16 separate tables and sheet 2 has 10 separate tables.

New sheet for Portfolio chapter in askiaanalyse

New sheet for each tab definition

A tab definition is created in a portfolio every time you press the yellow folder with green arrow icon in the view below:

New sheet for each tab definition in askiaanalyse

In the example below we have created 3 tab definitions. The shown settings will output 3 sheets in Excel. Sheet 1 has 8 separate tables, sheet 2 has 8 separate tables and sheet 3 has 10.

New sheet for each table definition in export to Excel options

New sheet for each edge

We have 5 variables in the rows and four responses in the edge. Our settings dictate that we therefore have 5 x 4 tables.

With the old settings we could select:

‘One tab per sheet’ – Yes, which would give us 20 sheets in our Excel output or

‘One tab per sheet’ – No, which would give us 1 sheet in our Excel output.

One tab for every response in edge option in askiaanalyse

Now with the following settings we can create an Excel output which has 4 sheets, one for each edge response. Each of the 4 sheets contains 5 separate tables, one for each variable in the rows.

New sheet for each edge option in askiaanalyse

It’s worth noting here if you were to also set ‘One tab per sheet’ – Yes, and rerun your tables, the output would be 20 sheets. This setting overrides the others. Furthermore, if you use the three settings in conjunction with each other, the setting which produces the greater number of tables will take priority.


Weighting Efficiency

The weighting efficiency is a measure of how much skewing we have had to do in order to get the weights to converge – the result is a percentage. The closer it is to 100% the less skewing.

In onwards, when you run a weighted set of tables, a file called “Report of weights.txt” is created in the .dat folder that belongs to the .qes file you have opened in Analyse. If the .dat folder doesn’t already exist, it will be created.

An explanation of the weighting efficiency formula can be found here.

Reviewing the attached WeightingEfficiency.xlsx file should also help to understand how we arrive at the weighting efficiency figure.

This looks at the 24 interviews we have in the Data.qes and for each interview lists the weighting factors in column E. In the range L2:U36 it works out, step by step, the numbers required for eventually arriving at the weighting efficiency of % 80.05722937.

Weighting efficiency in askiaanalyse

In WeightingEfficiency.rar there is a .qes and weighted portfolio. If you open these and run the results, you should see the following in the Report of weights.txt created in the .dat folder:

Weighting efficiency report in askiaanalyse

The weighting info on the first line relates to the weighting options you have set:

-Min weight-            -Max weight-            -Number of possible iterations-         -Accuracy-

Weighting options in askiaanalyse

The maximum weight displayed in this file is different to what you’ll see in the weighting options because the base calculated by summing the weighting factors (24.82096438) is different to the unweighted base (24).

If you interview 100 people, and you set your base to be 10,000,000, a “normal” interview would have a weight of 10,000

If you set the maximum weight to 5, it means the algorithm will ensure the weight will not allocate a weight 5 times more than a normal interview. In this particular example, it means it will keep all interviews’ weights under 50,000.

Version askiadesign

This post is the first in a series of two that detail the key features of version of askiadesign & askiaanalyse.

In askiadesign 5.2.2, we introduced new controls into our library, the ADC (Askia Design Controls).

It gives you the possibility to select which controls you would like to use on your web screen and simply drag and drop the selected control onto the screen. 

Each one of these ADCs is shipped with many settings that will allow you to fine-tune and customise the rendering of the controls

Version 1 of the Askia Design Controls (ADC 1.0) was based on Adobe Flash.

In askiadesign 5.3.3, we created the first set of new ADC 2.0 controls which are JavaScript-based.

These controls are therefore compatible with all devices and the controls includes intelligent fallbacks so if JavaScript is not enabled the controls generate classical HTML controls. 

As with ADC 1.0 (Flash), ADC 2.0 allows you to customise the appearance as well as the interaction of your survey controls by giving you access to their design parameters.

Askia Design Controls in askiadesign

When generating the screens in HTML, we can also automatically associate an ADC to a given type of questions.

We can assign different controls to single, multiple or grid questions and predefine their properties.

Screen generation options for ADCs in askiadesign

In askiadesign, we have improved the management of question compatibility when you drag and drop an ADC to a response block.

AskiaDesign checks if a control requires a loop or not.

It also indicates the list of questions types it was designed for when it indicates the control is not compatible.

ADC compatibility in askiadesign

Askiadesign  automatically creates a response block when dragging an ADC on to incompatible screens.

Below the list of gender are as classical responses but the ADC should be applied to a response block.

Automatically generate response blocks for ADCs in askiadesign

After the drag and drop of the ADC, the list of classical responses is automatically transformed into a response block and the selected ADC was applied as well.

Askia Design Control generated in askiadesign

Have a look at the list of ADC 1.0  and ADC 2.0 controls.