Electronic polling software plays a critical role in collecting data from a given population, whether in a research or a voting process. Polling is an integral part of any democracy whether in a country, county, or boardroom level. Unlike in the yesteryears where polling was conducted manually through papers, digital platforms have enhanced the process of the survey. With a wide range of polling software in the market today, surveys have become efficient and convenient (Heather, Schneider, & Teague, 2013). The process of collecting primary data is essential in any poll, and hence, various considerations must be done before purchasing survey software that would achieve the desired results. Although applications cannot be perfect and completely efficient, electronic polling software can create an interface where researchers can openly interact with the subjects, without compromising the validity of polls.
The Benefits of using Electronic Polling Software
The advent of technology has been rapid, especially for electronic polling platforms. In the developed world, the use of papers in the voting process has been replaced by electronic polling software. Hence, the advancement has been vital in encouraging voter turnout, accuracy, speed, retrieval, and convenience among other benefits.
Paper polling is prone to human error and even more difficult to audit or retrieve some records. Electronic polling software, however, has made it easier for voters to trust the results based on transparency and accuracy (Remenyi, 2015). In turn, this has increased voter turnout since they can rely on the transparency of such software.
In any poll, speed is of the essence because the voting process brings a lot of anxiety and tension. However, the electronic polling software reduces the anxiety of waiting because the transfer and processing of data and analysis are prompt. Thus, it means that results can be tabulated and displayed afterward (Mohanty & Majhi, 2010). Hence, this increases the trust of voters and encourages voter turnout.
Easy to Retrieve Records
In the case of auditing or re-tallying, polls should be accessible and available. The data in electronic polling software is easy to input and retrieve (Mohanty & Majhi, 2010). Unlike paperwork that can be easily compromised, prone to tear and wear, and bulky, hence making them strenuous to retain, digital surveys are logistically convenient, easy to store, and ready to retrieve.
Based on busy schedules and work engagements, voters prefer a convenient polling platform that does not consume much of their time. Hence, electronic polling software is convenient and increases accessibility, even for physically challenged individuals. Therefore, with an electronic polling device and clear instructions, anybody can participate in the process from a convenient point.
The Survey Legend Versus the eBallot
The more technology evolves, the higher the demand for better digital poll software. Therefore, organizations and agencies should compare and contrast the available electronic poll software in the market before they settle on the most convenient survey platform (Heather, Schneider, & Teague, 2013). The Survey Legend software, for instance, is not only engaging but also independent and reliable in creating online surveys. It is ideal for both medium and large sized organizations as well as individuals. Through a personal computer or electronic device, a user can customize the survey questions. The tool is user-friendly and does not require an expert to operate since it displays the data on a drag-and-drop basis. Therefore, the application is ideal for marketing agencies, especially for market research. Just like the Survey Legend software, the eBallot is user-friendly software and provides a secure platform for voters. Unlike the Survey Legend, the eBallot software is often used in the boardroom to elect new board members and to set new and better policies within an organization.
The Survey Legend software allows a participant to log in using a different device and can vote multiple times. However, two different voters cannot vote using the same gadget since the software does not allow sharing of IP addresses. The eBallot allows only one entry per participant, even if a voter uses a different device. Unlike the Survey Legend, two different voters may use the same tool or IP address (Heather, Schneider, & Teague, 2013). Thus, organizations should select the ideal electronic poll software for a reliable digital survey.
Survey Monkey and Research Match
The ideal electronic polling software should encompass some factors. For instance, it should be engaging, reliable, and user-friendly. Various organizations also insist on customizable software (Caarls, 2010). Survey Monkey is popular digital polling software that provides a wide selection of data and features. The software can be customized or tailored according to the requirements of an agency. It provides timely and useful insights during polls. Just like Survey Monkey polling software, the Research Match polling software can be customized for data selection since it has unique features depending on the clientele. The paradigm difference between the two polling software is the target audience. The Survey Monkey polling tool is ideal for marketing agencies, while the Research Match is ideal for clinical studies, to improve health initiatives in the present and the future. Both Survey Monkey and Research Match are suitable for all ages. Therefore, minors with the help of their parents can download this software and participate in the surveys provided. Thus, to participate in the voting process, only an electronic gadget is necessary for enrolling in either of the voting software.
Testing electronic polling software is vital because it provides a better perspective on its practicality and flexibility. Every organization or agency adopts an electronic polling device that is user-friendly and tailor-made for the needs and demands of the organization and most importantly, a platform that can gather data promptly (Volkamer, 2009). A learning curve might assume an S-curve shape, indicating that experience is achieved through practice. The number of attempts in uploading a survey will enhance the learning process. Therefore, a trial version should encompass flexibility, sustainability, compatibility, effectiveness, and practicality. A trial version should be accurate and easy to audit.
Difference Between Field Test and a Pilot Study
Any major project requires field-testing and pilot study. While the field test and the pilot study are both critical elements in test development surveys, they have varying differences. Field-testing is primarily used to provide the ideal structure of the complete project. It focuses mainly on testing the reliability and validity of the product. The test is done among the interviewees, whose number is determined by the statistical analyses that are expected from the study. A field test relies on raw data to yield psychometric analysis. Pilot projects are trial implementations that detail the fundamental project plans and schedules (Remenyi, 2015). While the pilot study focuses on assessing small-scale projects, poor execution can cause ripple risk effects on the project in terms of clarity. Therefore, those entrusted with the pilot study should ensure that typographical errors are addressed.
The ideal survey should provide accurate and transparent results. Compared to a field test, a pilot study takes a shorter duration, yet it determines the outcome of the project by ensuring that all uncertainties are addressed adequately and that the feasibility of the project is understood before a new framework or process is implemented for the study (Mohanty & Majhi, 2010). While it has lower requirements compared to field tests, a pilot study is vital in controlling risks that could interrupt the anticipated flow of operations. If carried out poorly, it could bring uncertainty on the outcome (Remenyi, 2015). Thus, a pilot study should always undergo a rigorous session of Proof of Concept.
Digital Survey Challenges for a Researcher
Although digital surveys are efficient in conducting research, some challenges are still evident, which include the cost, training requirements, job cuts, and infrastructure limitations.
Expensive Overhead Costs
Digital surveys are costly since they require a considerable investment to purchase the software and during implementation. This can become challenging with a limited budget.
Digital survey techniques require specific training since they can only be operated by tech-savvy users. This can pose a challenge for the researcher who has to train users that are not well versed with digital devices.
In the case of power blackouts, poor connectivity, and technical glitches, digital surveys may not reach the desired and potential subjects (Haenni, Koenig, & Wikström, 2015). Therefore, the remote areas may fail to yield the expected feedback for the researcher.
Reduced Employment Opportunities
The invention of digital surveys threatens many research employees as they require less human resources.
Digital Survey Challenges for User
Although the world has embraced the digital platform, such as polling software, users still face various difficulties.
Users that have difficulties comprehending technology might have a difficult time engaging in digital surveys, and this can tamper with the results.
Lack of Electronic Device
For a successful data survey, a user must have a functioning electrical device, such as a computer or a smartphone (Haenni, Koenig, & Wikström, 2015). However, some user view these technologies as a luxury and this perception can become a challenge.
Poor Network Connectivity
Users in remote areas may be affected by slow connectivity, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.
Technology has improved with almost every activity using a digital platform. The process of polling and voting has evolved from paperwork to the digital platform. While a few challenges in the digital process are still evident, the use of the digital platform has been more effective than paperwork. Voters today have gained more power in the voting process because of the convenience and accuracy that comes with a digital survey. Electronic polling software has gained popularity in various setups, including politics, boardrooms, and marketing agencies. Software developers have designed a wide array of polling software to fit the demands in the market. Therefore, it is essential for every organization to find appropriate software that meets its needs. In essence, firms can customize electronic polling software depending on the kind of feedback they anticipate from the target population.