I wanted to give a quick update on the services offered on campus for those collecting data for studies, polling, or surveying:

I know some of you use RedCap, but have you seen the new version of Qualtrics?  For those who use RedCap and like more flexibility in formatting of your forms, the latest version of the campus Qualtrics software is much better than the old version they were running last year.  You also are not required to jump through the hoops that RedCap puts in place to setup a project; simply log-in with your ONYEN and you are off and running.  Qualtrics can be found here and is easy to setup and test:

Qualtrics is catching up with RedCap on their built-in analysis or query tools, but are lacking the data dictionary in Excel format (which is most helpful for data nerds like me, although Qualtrics does have a JSON encoded dictionary that offers oodles of information).  Qualtrics also allows you to make changes to responses once a survey is completed, but it isn’t as simple as going back into the survey as RedCap allows.  To edit survey responses you log-in under the admin console and then  monkey with the filters under Data & Analysis, but it is possible.  RedCap allows for “inline” edits to responses (meaning you simply go back into the data entry form) even after form submission, which is a plus.  RedCap can be found here:

Both software/service is free to use, however if you are not willing to read the manuals, create the forms, and manage the project yourself then you will be paying for IT help. I find Qualtrics to be more user friendly for first timers to setup a survey/project.  Another useful thing I learned is the Qualtrics survey export files (.qsf) are JSON formatted and give way more detail about the survey than the Word survey export for those needing more detail for a data dictionary or codebook (I recommend opening the JSON file in an online JSON viewer such as https://jsonformatter.curiousconcept.com/ as it allows you to visually expand and collapse JSON elements making them easier to read than a normal text editor).

If Qualtrics were to change their data entry model slightly to allow for more ‘interviewer’ data entry then I wouldn’t hesitate to switch our data entry from RedCap to Qualtrics.  Both tools have their pluses and minuses but as of late 2017 I am leaning more towards Qualtrics.