Tim Macer takes a look at the revamped Winyaps table conversion and distribution tool

Pinch a Penny


Making tabular research reports more accessible to decision makers and less dependent on paper is the aim of the latest version of Winyaps from ATP. Now in its third version, this cross-tab formatting and display program has come a long way from its original mission to save us all from dull-looking fixed pitch tables by allowing us to introduce proportional fonts and varied typefaces. This latest version pushes its embryonic paperless publishing capabilities to the extent that Winyaps has become a credible electronic publishing and distribution tool.
Winyaps was designed to make it easier to work with cross-tabs output by the Quantum analysis package, and the majority of its users still start off with Quantum, although other formats are possible. The program goes through a table recognition stage, identifying the components that make up the table and creating a proprietary format file which you can examine using the Winyaps reader. The improved formatter now attaches a different style group to each element on the table, which makes it easy to apply blanket changes to the appearance of, say, percentages or column headers.
The table of contents is also generated automatically and treats multi-page tables in a more logical way. A novel "traffic lights" system will also highlight answers that are statistically significant or fall above or below user-definable critical values by colouring them red, amber or green.
There is real improvement in its output capabilities and compatibility with other programs. Tables can be pasted straight into Microsoft Office applications or
Winyaps 3
Pros
  • Neat exports to Word and HTML
  • Reader is free to distribute to end users
  • Compact program image and files are easy to distribute
Cons
  • Optimised for Quantum tables, other tables may require more effort
output as a Word RTF document. In Word, the whole look and feel is preserved, with the style groups attached so you can go on making global changes in Word.
Another smart feature lets you export tables directly to a series of hyperlinked HTML pages, so that reports or individual tables can be placed directly on the internet or a corporate intranet. The hyperlinks on the page and the hyperlinked table of contents are all generated automatically which makes it easy for the reader to hop from page to page. Using the web can improve access to tables tremendously. Although the Winyaps reader is free, it still means yet another program for the user to install. Delivered as web pages, through functionality is reduced, all you need is a web browser.
Gfk Consumer Tracking in London has moved to using the Winyaps reader to distribute monthly and quarterly reports to over 100 clients with a special Gfk-branded viewer.
"When our clients click into ConsumerView they see our logos and our helpdesk number. That is very useful. Anything that helps research companies to differentiate themselves is a good thing." explains director of
Consumer Tracking, Paul Campbell.
Having put Winyaps 3 through its paces, Campbell is impressed by the backwards compatibility that will ease the migration he is now planning.
"I also like the new export features, particularly HTML, as that will give us the means to publish to the web," he comments. "From a client perspective, one of the hardest things is to get a table that will import easily into Word. With this, if you save it as a Word document it looks exactly as it does on screen."
By switching to paperless distribution, Campbell has achieved numerous time-savings internally and is now able to deliver reports to his clients a whole week earlier. For a program with such a tiny footprint on your hard disk, this program could be the digital equivalent of the penny share that makes you a million.

ATP: www.atp.co.uk

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, October 2001, Issue 425.

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

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