I recently had the opportunity to speak with Michael DeNitto and Mark Budreski from MarketSight about enhancements to the MarketSight platform and future plans. MarketSight is a web-based survey analysis tool. I use it as part of my own toolkit at Hurwitz & Associates. While I am a fairly sophisticated data analyst, what is nice about MarketSight is that you don’t necessarily have to be an expert to use it to analyze your survey results.
What does this mean? Suppose you are a product manager and you want to get some feedback about your product from your customers. You deploy an online survey to hundreds of customers. The data consists of a series of responses to various kinds of questions and might include demographic information, ranking and rating various product features (for example, as need to have, nice to have, don’t need to have or on a scale of 1-5) and so on. The analysis might necessitate determining which features are most important and whether there is a significant difference between groups of customers. MarketSight was developed to provide an easy to use data analysis tool to enable business users to quickly and iteratively analyze this kind of data, without having to wait for IT (or an expert) to help them do so. This helps to reduce costs, provides flexibility, and frees up researchers to do more sophisticated analysis.
MarketSight recently released version 7.0, which provides some new enhancements to the product. Along with these new enhancements, MarketSight has also released something it calls the Market Research Portal which enables market researchers to share their analysis with internal or external clients via a web-based, company branded portal. This is an interesting new service that builds on the trend in the overall BI market for information sharing and collaboration.
The MarketSight solution provides the following features:
Banner Reports: provide a high level analysis of the dataset in a report format.
Cross Tabs: MarketSight provides an intuitive interface that enables users to run cross-tabulations (cross-tabs) to summarize data. The cross-tabs are useful for looking at the interaction of two (or more) variables. Data from a number of different output formats including sophisticated statistical analysis tools such as SPSS, SAS, and Excel are supported. Data can be selected for analysis using simple drag and drop interface. Data can also be weighted. This cross tab analysis can be easily iterated on to explore and examine the data as deeply as needed.
Statistical significance tests: A key feature of the software is the ability to automatically determine whether output is statistically significant. For example, to see if the response of one group is significantly different from another group. MarketSight highlights the cells in the cross tabs analysis that are different from each other and also increases the font size of those cells for easy analysis. Users can specify confidence levels. Advanced users also have the ability to display p-values, set a second confidence level or select more conservative statistical testing approaches.
Automatic chart generation: The software automatically produces professional looking charts from the data. This visualization feature can help in the analysis.
Porting capability to other presentation tools: MarketSight provides an easy way to pipe results to tools such as PowerPoint and Excel. This is helpful in cases where the business user wants to create a presentation, or change the look and feel of the output.
Other features: The software provides other features to keep easily keep track of analysis performed and to set usefulness ratings for the analysis.
The solution is now offered in three editions: Academic ($95/user/year), Professional ($995/user/year), and Enterprise ($1495/user/year). The Professional and Enterprise subscriptions also come with a read-only option.
The Market Research Portal (Enterprise customers)
This latest addition to the MarketSight Enterprise portfolio provides one place to organize and share market research. Users can also upload Word, Powerpoint, videos, or any other information that is relevant to the market research to the portal. This analysis can then be shared. Companies can brand the site with their own logos and URLs. So, if I am a market researcher and I want to share my findings with a broader base, I can set the permissions in the MarketSight tool to enable colleagues as well as external clients to enter the portal. This can be done in a view only mode or clients can subscribe to the service and use the data directly. This solution might be particularly attractive to market research firms to help them deal more effectively with their clients.
MarketSight already enables its clients to upload data in SAS, SPSS, and Excel format into the solution. It is also planning to support the Triple-S format – a standard format, popular in Europe, which enables survey programs running on different platforms to exchange data.
And, MarketSight is looking to include support for analyzing unstructured data in its solution, as well. This means that information in survey comment fields could be analyzed and relevant data extracted and used as part of the overall survey analysis. Given that, often, much of what a respondent is thinking is found in the comments this is good news.