NEWS29 April 2014

From mood maps to market research – MetricWire branches out

News North America Technology

CANADA — MetricWire, a mobile data collection company launched by former University of Waterloo students, is making a play for the market research space.

Based out of Waterloo’s startup accelerator programme Velocity, MetricWire is looking to expand beyond its academic origins to work on commercial projects.

The company was founded by Brian Stewart, who was pursuing a Masters in macro-economics, when he ran up against the challenge of collecting in-the-moment data, explained Evan Trafford, the company’s vice-president of business development.

Stewart launched MetricWire eight months ago, during which time the firm spent four months developing its back-end survey creation platform as well as its respondent-facing survey app.

Trafford said: “The one problem we saw when we came into mobile research was that existing companies all offered a price that was a little high, and if you wanted custom options and the ability to use those features in a creative way, you had to work with their in-house developers.”

In Trafford’s view, it’s this lack of flexibility that means the research industry “isn’t leveraging mobile technology to its fullest” yet.

MetricWire’s survey platform is “full scale”, said Trafford. “You don’t have to pay for extra features.” It’s offered both on a per-month subscription basis, as well as for one-off projects. In the back-end, it offers 16 different data input options – plus multimedia, which is being added in this week, Trafford said.

Survey questions can be re-ordered using drag-and-drop, and there are also options for skip logic and question and answer piping. Meanwhile, creating geofence triggers for survey activations is a straightforward process of dropping a beacon onto a map and then setting the activation radius, as well as the amount of time a respondent needs to spend within the activation zone before a survey request pops up.


Much of MetricWire’s functionality was built to cater for academic studies, particularly clinical psychology projects that sought to create mood maps of certain areas. It’s still used for these sorts of studies, Trafford said, but the company is now seeing interest from “smaller, boutique research firms”.

The company is online at