Balanced Qualtrics: Pros and Cons
August 24, 2016

Balanced Qualtrics: Pros and Cons

Daniel Simonet | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Research Suite
  • Longitudinal

Overall Satisfaction with Qualtrics

Qualtrics is being used across multiple academic and administrative offices within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Qualtrics aids in teaching students statistics and data collection, helping administrators coordinate schedules and analyze resource needs, and helping professors carrying out sophisticated studies to answer basic and applied questions in neuropsychology, industrial/organizational psychology, social psychology, perception, and cognitive psychology.
  • Ease of user interface. The programming underlying Qualtrics allows for dynamic and rich text editing of question type, ordering, presentation, and administrating. One of the greatest strengths is it helps the apprehensive learn to love data collection. This is because you feel empowered by how easy it is to design and set-up a study.
  • The branching, embedded data, and conditional responses can be used for more sophisticated applications in research, such as counterbalancing, randomization, pre-screening, and tracking carelessness in participants' responses. Even better is the fact so many other platforms are designing unique ways to interface with Qualtrics given its popularity. For instance, I can gather a large sample for numerous research questions on MTurk within a matter of seconds all thanks to the fact that Qualtrics can take in unique ids from Mturk and provide randomized codes for those completing the study. This automates the process and saves a ton of time.
  • Qualtrics has very responsive customer service. They always respond within a data, are truly interested in understanding your problem, and will send you useful videos and screenshots highlighting how they helped problem solve the particular issue. This has the doubled advantage of solving my issue but also teaching me more about the mechanics of Qualtrics.
  • Less "packaged" products. Qualtrics appears to be going the way of SPSS where more useful, advanced features are being bundled off and sold separately. This is very undesirable if you're wanting to adopt Qualtrics for all research needs. They have 360 feedback reports, API integration, and longitudinal/experiential sampling capabilities which are exorbitantly expensive and incentivize me to seek out other options. Since they got their start in academics, if would be nice if they respected these roots and offered more discounts for pure or applied research purposes.
  • The reporting function is static and difficult to manipulate. I believe the 360 add-on is better, but also demands more money. It would be ideal if you could customize the graphs, add text, use pivot tables, and manipulate the data and presentation more easily with the base report package.
  • Statistical manipulations. The coding and application of more advanced statistics to the data within Qualtrics is rife with potential error. Even calculating a mean can be a frustrating experience if brackets aren't spaced correctly. Further, the scoring option outputs numerical information without rounding. This makes piping such information within the survey ugly and jarring for participants.
  • Upper-level customer service. While I have found the basic technical support superb, I have had difficulty interacting with more upper-level management and sales for support on advanced issues, such as auto enrollment, forms and paperwork, and price negotiation. They have an outstanding product but would be better if they were less profit- and more service-oriented as a whole.
  • We have had over 10,000 surveys administered in under a year. Assuming this represents ~400 to 600 per study, this could lead to potential publication of over 20 manuscripts.
  • Within our own department we have launched a department-wide assessment of students' learning and growth over their college experience. This amounts to >1400 students with tracking along 5 major competencies. The information can be used to inform program evaluation, funding, and accreditation.
  • At least 3 departmental and administrative units have begun using Qualtrics for their day-to-day operations. This has allowed streamlining of tasks and saved countless hours from dealing with difficult or finicky software solutions.
  • Survey Monkey, LimeSurvey, Google Sheets and Polldaddy
I would say Qualtrics is far superior in terms of functionality and ease of use but is far inferior in terms of price. Since this technology is easily imitable, I wouldn't be surprised if there are other solutions (such as SurveyGizmo) which are more economical but offer the same solution.
It is well suited if you have a large enterprise, many people are collecting data, and you want an easy to use and enjoyable experience for both designers and takers of surveys or tests. It is less appropriate if you are wanting cheaper, more complicated, or an integrative research platform that covers experimental design, statistical analyses, and visualization all in one. That is, Qualtrics is great at data collection but may cost more money to carry out improved reporting and longitudinal data collection.

Qualtrics Feature Ratings

Survey templates
Custom logo/branding
Changes to live survey
Question design help
Multiple question types
Survey logic flexibility
Response tracking
Data export
Standard reports
Custom reports
Vendor-offered crowdsourcing
Respondent restrictions
Access controls