Rank and file

Tim Macer explores the hidden depths of KGA's new windows-based fieldwork database system.

To run any fieldwork operation, you need a good database. Instead of struggling with Excel or Access, KGA has done the job for you with FieldPlus , the latest incarnation of The Field System. It now benefits from a new Windows interface and that makes it much easier to navigate.
FieldPlus is a complete fieldwork administration system, in which you log work, interviewers, assignments, costs, administer payments and even operate your interviewer payroll. The system is vast and seems to cater for every fieldwork administrator's need, from managing interviewer ID cards to maintaining the audit trail required for MRQSA and the new BS5711 standard.
A very useful add-on is QuotaBreaker, for calculating complicated interlocked quotas and printing out interviewer sheets at the touch of a button. This can also be purchased from KGA as a standalone program for Windows. For anyone routinely spending several hours calculating multi-dimensional quotas, then writing up the sheets for interviewers and supervisors, this can reduce days of work to the time it takes to type in a few lines of figures.
MSS Marketing Research at Bristol has upgraded to FieldPlus from the previous DOS version. "It is so much easier to use – anyone can use this," comments MSS field manager Sally Walker. "Everything is at my fingertips so if someone wanted to know who is working on a job and how much it is costing, you can print out a report for them very quickly."
The costing information is also used directly by accounts, which logs into the same system. For this 15-strong agency, the ability to customise the system to meet the needs of a smaller fieldwork operation has been advantage. "You can tailor it and take what you want," says Walker." I can tweak it to match how we work. Someone else could use it in a totally different format for their fieldwork agency."
Sample Surveys, based in Kent, uses FieldPlus on a much larger fieldwork operation. Charlotte Solberger, group field manager, comments: "I don't consider the time saving to be the main benefit, more that you have everything in one place for job control and cost control. It is really good in that you keep track of all your staff, their work history, their appraisals. It has a lot of potential."
KGA: FieldPlus

Sample Surveys has integrated FieldPlus with other systems, such as the company-wide job numbering database, in a bid to rely less on paper. "We are all trying to fight against needs for storage. A system like this moves us towards being able to reduce paper records like the huge job files that you need to store."

KGA: www.fieldplus.com

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

Published in the Fieldwork Review Supplement to Research, the magazine of the Market Research Society, July 2002, Issue 434.

© Copyright Tim Macer/Market Research Society 2002. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.

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