The Unique Challenges in Dashboards for Survey Data

Bruce (Dov) Krulwich – Technical Product Lead, E-Tabs Iris team

The Unique Challenges in Dashboards for Survey Data

We created the Iris dashboard platform to enable people to build dashboards for visualizing market research data. But what does that mean? How is market research data visualization different from other data visualization?

The answer is that market research is inherently different than other kinds of data visualization. While other dashboard tools are made to analyze and visualize data in general, Iris has built-in features to handle survey data’s unique needs. In this article, I will explain a few of these and show you how Iris handles them with easy-to-use built-in features.

Considering weighting, In other dashboard tools, analysts need to implement weighting themselves, using macros and formulas and all sorts of complex methods. In Iris, just specify which column has a weighting value, and Iris’s data aggregation will take care of weighting!

 

Another challenge in analyzing and visualizing market research data is handling multiple answer questions. For a regular multiple choice question, you can take any subset of your results and calculate a simple percentage of people that answered each possible answer. In most dashboard tools, this means taking a single column of data in your dataset and calculating for each value what percentage of the time that value was given. But for multiple answer questions, it’s more complicated. First, the answers are spread over several columns in the dataset, so classic dashboard tools will not relate to these columns as a single data series. Second, you need to calculate how often answers are given as a percentage of the number of respondents, not as a percentage of the number of answers given.  Third, the multiple answers might be encoded in your data file in one of several ways. For most dashboard tools, you need to handle this in Excel before loading the data into the dashboard or write scripts or macros in the tool to handle the data encoding. But in Iris, just indicate which columns represent multiple answers to the same question, specify how the answers are encoded in the data-set, add weighting and filter columns, and Iris does the rest!

Next, consider significance testing, again something which is a common occurrence in a market research project. In other dashboard systems, significance testing requires a lot of work in Excel, or with scripts in the dashboard system, to calculate the significance levels. In Iris, just pick the data column, pick the significance formula, pick what column to compare, and the level of significance you want to indicate, and Iris does the rest! (In the example to the right, see the significance indicators on the 1st and 3rd dark bars.)

These are only a few of the data analysis and visualization features that are very specific to market research, that Iris includes built-in. Others are base calculation, low base indication and suppression, waves, differentiated access and more, and I’ll write about them in future articles.

Bottom line, if you want to build dashboards for survey data, and want market research features to be built in and easily used, Iris is the platform you need. 


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