OPINION30 July 2010

In iPad we trust?

We couldn’t help but be a little bit concerned at reports earlier this week about how the iPad had given a boost to market research interviewers, by suddenly making the public more interested in them.

If researchers are having to rely on shiny new devices to persuade people to talk to us, things are worse than we thought.

What happens when the fuss about the iPad dies down? Will interviewers need to be issued with jetpacks? Lightsabers? Hoverboards?

There is certainly potential in the iPad to make the survey experience cooler, but let’s not pin our hopes purely on its novelty value.



10 years ago

It was the same when CAPI first appeared. Suddenly people imagined that showing respondents some pictures and introducing radio buttons in place of tick boxes would help them ask the same idiotic questions without inducing complete inertia. The sad fact is that too many agencies continue to see new technology as an interesting way of enhancing a paper questionnaire, rather than using it as an opportunity to fundamentally re-appraise the way that people can engage with organisations.

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10 years ago

I have been using a device for about 8 years called a Slate PC which is very similar to the iPad, a touch screen computer with no keyboard. The difference is that it’s a Windows OS machine, it has a 12.1? screen and it’s a couple of ounces heavier. In methodology, as a survey intercept data collection device, it has several things that make it different than the traditional pencil and paper way of responding to the questions. It’s more confidential, it reduces interviewer bias, it’s fun, easy and “painless” to quote actual comments from respondents. Data is fresh because it’s used in venues where people are experiencing an event or circumstance that they are being asked to give feedback on. Then, the report is available immediately during the survey project to monitor ongoing progress or to see actual raw data results and the end of a project. I usually email the final tabulation results to the client the following day, with no long waits for a final report! And the questions can be in any format, single answer, multiple choice, numeric, alpha-numeric, even open ended. The program can produce cross tabulation calculations for any questions and the report can even include graphs and charts. Executive summaries are done manually with the support form the data results. For more information please go to www.touchpollkc.com.

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