By Dave Overfelt
There are a lot of survey tools out there and it is easy to get tied to one because it is popular or familiar, which aren’t great reasons to use any tool. As you plan your survey, it may make sense to use one or more survey tools. Here I offer a general overview of the themes across survey tools and a more detailed discussion of individual survey tools.
Plan ahead and pick your tools around three core questions. Who are you surveying? What information do you want to gather? How do you want to report it?
If you need to ask lots of questions you will need SurveyGizmo or LimeSurvey. If you need to download your data for analysis you will need Typeform or LimeSurvey. If you have an audience that doesn’t really like surveys, you may want to pick a familiar tool like SurveyMonkey. Think about how sensitive the data is, you definitely should not use a free version of a survey to collect sensitive data. If sending a survey might end up with you losing volunteers or program participants, don’t rush into anything.There are lots of considerations here so you can just pick a single focus to get started!
The descriptions of survey plans vary from a short three bullet points to a ridiculous long list of every possible thing you can do with a survey. Here is a selection of four tools with prices as of mid-February 2020. If there is another tool you are considering, send the link to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will take a look, add it to the post, and check the prices for any changes. In addition to the prices below, many of these tools have enterprise setups with custom deployment and price proposals.
Remember, when you use a free tool online, you are the product. Your data, your questions, the way you ask questions, the way users interact with your survey, and many more data points emerge to help a survey business improve their work and sell more subscriptions.