Companies that need to retrieve information from a bilingual client or employee base will now be able to do so more easily with the newest version of WebSurveyor.

David Alison of Virginia-based WebSurveyor says that the company

decided to offer multilingual survey capabilities to satisfy demand from their many Canadian customers.

The newest WebSurveyor allows survey creators to generate surveys in as many languages as they wish, though they will have to author the questions themselves. While the software does not electronically translate English into other languages, WebSurveyor’s Michelle McCann believes that given how far computerized translation has yet to go, this is ultimately a good thing.

“”Especially in a survey where the different nuances of a word can make such a difference, the wrong word can change your data. We prefer to leave that job to the survey administrator,”” says McCann.

WebSurveyor streamlines the multilingual process by generating a survey template based on the original, highlighting the questions and navigation elements that require translation.

Survey data, however, can be collected across all languages in which the survey is delivered, and reported together. “”You are able to say, ‘See analysis in French mode’ and create results that are common to both languages, however the graphs that are produced would be in French,”” said Alison.

David Bradfield, vice-president of strategic communications for Toronto-based iStudio, says his company has found WebSurveyor to be a strong bilingual tool.

“”We use their interface, which is relatively intuitive, to build the online survey,”” said Bradfield. “”It’s basically like having a flexible template.””

iStudio began using WebSurveyor software after their customized in-house surveys became less cost-efficient. “”It ended up being cheaper for us to go to a company like WebSurveyor and essentially have a partner that we could outsource that type of offering to,”” says Bradfield.

Bradfield says that he’s happy with the rate of response his company has gotten through WebSurveyor. “”The last survey we did had about a 12 per cent response rate,”” he said. He also appreciates the flexibility and speed with which his company can retrieve the survey data.

“”Basically you have access to real-time results, so you can access information on an as-needed basis and you can leave it there as long as possible, so the field time can be infinite if need be,”” said Bradfield, who admits the software is still limited in certain capacities.

“”(It) is perfect if you’re just doing a quick marketing survey or want quick insights. If you’re doing a more publicly accessible survey on which you’re basing perhaps corporate governance decisions . . . point we would involve a research consultant who could calculate things like margin of error,”” he says.

Surveying has become more than just an information-gathering tool for companies, and is now recognized as an essential part of corporate communications. The act of surveying itself can generate feelings of goodwill between a company and its clients or employees, since being asked one’s opinion on something makes everyone who works with an organization feel more respected and involved. Bradfield says that iStudio encourages its clients to conduct surveys because they not only measure customer satisfaction, but help create it.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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