Big Data with just one digit

I know some of you think I only attend conferences for the free food, the drinks and the social scene. They are right – no point in me denying. But in-between parties, I tend to heal my hang-overs in the semi-darkness of conferences.

Coming back from the ASC and ESOMAR, there are a few new tendencies in the Autumn/Winter MRX fashion. Forgotten MROC, gamification, mobile research, Big Data – that’s so last year… it’s main stream, dude.

These days the cool kids talk about Automation, Data fusion, Artificial Intelligence… and the Tinderisation of research.

Automation – if you’re an assiduous reader of this blog, you know it’s coming and fully available at a software provider near you. I am not going to ramble anymore about this for now but watch this space.

Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing in Research. It has been successfully used to post-code and (less successfully) to measure sentiment in open-ended questions and tweets. It’s also good at recognising logos and objects on pictures and films, building accurate predictive models and beating me at Go (well the latter is not news and not strictly research)… but now AI is also used to merge data. There is an inconvenient truth about convenience panels… and MR data in general. If your survey is 40 minutes long (or 20 minute on a mobile device), the resulting data will be awful: the participants are either too unusual to be trusted or they don’t care because they are not incentivised.

Although there is no evidence of the length of surveys diminishing (according to SSI), every-one agrees that it needs to happen. One way is to… well… make up data. You do not ask all the questions to every-one and you copy the data around for similar looking interviews – this is called ascription (it has been around for some time). For you stat geeks out there, it’s traditionally done using the Mahalanobis distance. The new thing is to use machine learning to infer missing data. Mike Murray and James Eldridge from Research Now had a great paper about automating the splitting of surveys in chunks from their XML definition. Annelies Verhaeghe from Insites and John Colias from Decision Analyst also presented two great papers about enriching surveys with open big data.

And finally after the uberisation of research which has seen the arrival of monkeys, gizmos, nuts & limes, the new trend is the tinderisation of research. Millenials (there were boos whenever the term was used – and that was every 47 seconds) take decisions with their index. Left means no, right means yes… and survey research should follow. It’s easy to understand, fast to answer and it’s your system 1 talking… And the index is not just for decisions… the navigation of a survey should be done through flicks of the index. Almost being a millennial myself (the NSA has the names of those who are laughing), I see the attraction… and we are soon to release something code-named Jupiter that might just turn (or keep) Askia the best software for the Generations Y and Z.

Askia is changing: new digital identity

As initiated a couple of months ago in our “Askia’s mission, vision & values” blog post in which we mention the elements we have been processing over the past year (Askia’s 20th birthday!): our team has gathered to help (re)define our core statements.

In order to help us and you our clients, partners, friends, … better feel the revival of our aspiration as a business, Askia’s visual identity has undergone the same process over the past year.

We examined, reexamined, broke, rebuilt and finally achieved in evolving our brand identity without ever losing sight of our roots. From our logo to our brand colour palette, from our application icons to our print material, … we have completely redesigned our visual language in order to better mirror who we are now and where we are heading.

We have therefore began to rollout this new identity throughout our digital presence: website, blog, help centredocumentation.

Our new website

Askia website screenshot

Our new help centre

Askia help centre screenshot

Open Ends

Askia's Open Ends blog screenshot

Documentation

Askia user documentation screenshot

Conclusion

As you can see, we have already achieved quite a lot this year! But there is still more! We’ve already completely overhauled our mobile face-to-face Android app, our dev centre will be updated in the coming weeks, … Keep an eye on us, much more will be coming out in the next months!

Askia party at the Quirks Event!

Askia will be attending the Quirks Event on February 23rd and 24th at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge in New York. We’ll be at booth #12 with members of our New York, Los Angeles, Paris & London teams!

As usual, we’ll be showcasing our portfolio of survey authoring, data collection and analysis apps and we’ll be looking forward to meeting you there.

But we can’t take part in this great event without a party so we’ve decided on hosting our own! Here are the details:

When?

Monday, February 22nd from 7:00 PM till late.

Where?

At Bar Tabac, a French bistro only a 7-minute walk from the Quirks Event venue.

Join us there for drinks and bistro food! If you’re planning on attending, don’t hesitate to RSVP to askiaparty@askia.com.We are also partners with bluehost this time on BlueHost Cyber Monday Deal 2016

MRS Annual Awards 2015

Every year the great and the good of the UK market research industry get together for an extremely glitzy awards evening which is always a fantastic event but this year the MRS surpassed themselves at Supernova in the heart of London; Askia was there as a sponsor and party goers along with 850 others out for a great night and what a fantastic night it was too.

The awards are, and I quote, “…to celebrate research’s ability to drive innovation, inspire change and deliver results. Evidence matters and the MRS Awards are proof positive of the power of research.

There were 23 different awards categories and we’re delighted to say that Askia clients Hall & Partners were winners of the award for Technology Innovation & Effectiveness and we had finalists in other categories for Verve, TNS UK and KPMG Nunwood. It’s fair to say that we are immensely proud of them.

To see how glitzy market research can get when it scrubs up to a fine shine take a look for yourself:

Will we be there next year? You can bet your big data on it!

Is Askia compatible with Windows 10 ?

AskiaSuite

Starting from version 5.3.5 of AskiaSuite (askiadesign & askiaanalyse), our beloved swiss-army knife software suite is compatible with Windows 10.
AskiaSuite 5.3.3 is NOT yet compatible (as of November 2015) with Windows 10.
Please check the comments below to see the latest update.

Supervisor & CATI

While askiafield 5.3.3 appears to be compatible, we recommend using the latest 5.3.5 versions, for the sake of matching your AskiaSuite version.

Web-based applications

Our browser-based applications, such as askiavista or askiaweb are not affected by client OS changes and thus remain compatible.

Happy upgrade!

 

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

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.

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!

Askia now hiring technical support staff in the UK!

Location

Shoreditch, London.

Description

The primary responsibility of this position is to provide technical support to customers by researching issues, answering questions, and general troubleshooting of problems.  Additional duties will include:

  • Phone, email, and in-person technical assistance
  • Remote and on-site training and installations
  • Pre-sales support (demonstrations and presentations)
Requirements:
General Skills
  • One (1) year Market Research software expertise (survey scripting and/or data processing)
  • Knowledge of data collection and data processing techniques
  • Knowledge of web scripting (HTML, CSS)
  • Knowledge of programming (VBA, JavaScript)
  • Knowledge of databases (SQL, Access)
  • English language required
  • Occasional UK and International travel
Personal Skills
  • Logical thinking and good communication skills
  • Quality oriented with attention to details
  • Self-driven, responsible, and organized with ability to meet deadlines
  • Attention to detail
Additional Skills (not essential)
  • Experience/Knowledge of the Askia Suite of products
  • French/Spanish/German/Italian speaking skills a benefit
  • Dialler and VoIP technologies a benefit
And finally…

We are not looking for “geeks” as we have plenty of those in our development team. We want fun, lively, articulate people to join us in our continued success in supporting our clients

How to Apply

Be the next to join the Askia team by sending your CV to nick@askia.com.

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.