Tim Macer
and Andrew Walford examine reactions to a comprehensive web-enabled software product
International rescue
With its comprehensive suite of online research tools, Global Market Insite is emerging as a strong contender in the world of web-enabled MR software.
The GMI solution spans questionnaire design, multimedia interviewing, data analysis, panel management and online focus groups. Data collection can be carried out via the web, email and web-based CATI as well as both wireless and standalone CAPI. A full range of analysis and presentation capabilities make this data immediately accessible, no matter where you or your clients are on the globe. GMI is offered as an over-the-web ASP service to small to medium-size users: the larger ones can install it on an "enterprise" basis on their own web servers.
Central to the design of the web-CATI module is the ability to link call centres across the continents to a central database, or have CATI interviewers working at home, using "Voice IP" to split a single comms link into both phone conversation and data transmission. Supervisors have a full set of administrative tools at their disposal, so that projects and operators can be managed in real-time across the globe. Truly flexible quota controls and sophisticated productivity stats are particular strong points.
GMI allows CAPI interviewing to be undertaken on hand-held devices and laptops. A wireless facility provides interviewers with a roving link for real-time quota control, data capture and text messaging, using a cellular modem. Wireless connectivity can be costly, so conventional standalone CAPI is also well supported.
The design tool provides a full library facility, allowing questions to be re-used across surveys. While users can enter their own foreign language translations, GMI has lined up a range of translation agencies, so an online quotation can be obtained, and an order placed, from within the design module.
Most impressively, the design tool imports not only legacy data but also proprietary scripts from other packages. While conventional import methods, using formats such as triple-S, do not carry across information
Global Market Insite: pros and cons
Pros

Comprehensive, fully integrated set of tools

Fully-featured web CATI
Strong on data delivery

Can import data and logic from other systems


Survey demo from the company site
Cons

Routing instructions complex to write

Current design tool lacks finese

such as logic and masking, GMI offers a more thorough compatibility with historical surveys. GMI claims 100% accuracy for importing NIPO scripts, and anticipates that the ability to read in Quancept and Bellview files will be ready very soon. DP professionals can continue to use their preferred


'They have a deep understanding of the MR process as well as the technology'

questionnaire design software, even though the survey will be administered in GMI. This facility can also ease the pain of transition, making phased implementation a real option.
Researchers can make use of GMI's pre-recruited panels, or set up their own. An extensive set of analysis tool lets agencies offer real-time access to clients through a customisable "client portal." And for anyone interested in the controversial area of online focus groups, GMI also offers the means to administer these.
The look and feel of GMI's questionnaire design tool is somewhat utilitarian. A very full set of features, while undoubtedly welcome, does make the interface a bit overwhelming. A richer Java tool in the pipeline, promises to improve this.
Taylor Nelson Sofres is working with GMI on a number of pilot projects, it hopes to take much further. Pat Malloy of TNS says: "The technology is robust and highly functional. GMI fully understand the web and delivering tools that work across the web.

What we like is that they have a very international outlook. All their software is constructed to support multinational character sets and everything works via a browser interface: things that are strategically important to us."
Molloy is particularly impressed with their web-based data delivery tools and the direction these seem to be taking. "What we have found working with them is that they have a deep understanding of the market research process as well as the technology."
Enfoque Pesquisa de Marketing, an MR agency in Brasil, has found GMI a convenient platform to launch its Internet interviewing service and create a 42,000 strong web panel. It is also using the analysis tools to deliver data directly to its clients through the GMI "client portal".
Zilda Knoploch, ceo of EPM said, "You can build questionnaires in a very fast and practical way, and customise them to meet your own requirements. For my clients, the benefits are the speed, and cost. The option to access the results in real-time is something that they really appreciate."
Knoploch reported few problems, and those encountered had all been resolved very quickly. She remarked: "I feel as if I have my own development team working to improve my system," she says.

Global Market Insite: www.globalmarketinsite.com

Tim Macer writes as an independent specialist in software for market research. His website is at www.meaning.uk.com

Published in Research, the magazine of the Market Research Society, May 2001, Issue 420.

© Copyright Tim Macer/Market Research Society 2001. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.