SurveyMonkey looks to provide the 'why' in analytics

Online survey tool launches office in Australia thanks to rising interest in using its applications not only for surveys, but also workflow and analytics

Australians sure do like to ask a lot of questions.

Of all the countries where the US online survey tool, SurveyMonkey, is available, it turns out Australia has the highest per capita use.

According to SurveyMonkey’s chief executive, David Goldberg, Australia’s appetite for answers makes us his third largest overall market, ahead of Canada.

“About one in 10 Australians take a SurveyMonkey survey every month,” says Goldberg. “ Every major company here is a customer - governments, non-profits, education.”

That huge interest in asking questions has propelled the company to open its first Australian office in Sydney.

Goldberg says the company now collects 75 million completed survey responses each month globally. While the core use case remains customer and employee surveys, users have begun taking the workflow and analytics capabilities of SurveyMonkey and applying it to ever more obscure uses.

“We have people who built online training using our skip logic, and people have planned their weddings with it,” Goldberg says. “It is used any way people want to collect data to make a decision.”

While traditional analytics tools can determine ‘what’ is happening, Goldberg claims SurveyMonkey can provide the answer to the question ‘why’.

Read more: IAB: Mobile and video the growth engines behind online advertising rise

“Mostly when people talk about data they talk about implicit data, which tells you what people are doing,” he says. “We think our data is very complementary to that – it doesn’t replace it at all - but we get to why.”

As an example, he says SurveyMonkey was used by Google to determine why a higher percentage of women were leaving the organisation.

“They knew they had a ‘what’ problem, but they didn’t know why,” Goldberg explains. “They ran a survey and found it was pregnant mums who were leaving, or women who wanted to become pregnant. So they developed a better pregnancy problems to solve it, and their retention of women went up dramatically.”

SurveyMonkey continues to add functionality, including a service that helps provide an audience for surveys, which will launch in Australia in July, as well as more tools for integrating into other applications.

Goldberg says the structure of surveys is also becoming more complex, with the addition of advanced skip logic and AB randomisation. SurveyMonkey has launched an enterprise edition where surveys and results can be more readily shared within an organisation.

The company is also working to strengthen its tools to help novice users get the highest quality response from their surveys, including formulating a bank of 2000 questions worded to derive the best possible response, and through helping users understand statistical significance.

“We’re trying to enable anybody to collect great data to make a decision, so what we have to do is help people through that process,” Goldberg says.

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