Phil Hearn: Blogger, Writer & Founder of MRDC Software Ltd.

Resolve: Giving researchers and clients new opportunities with data analysis

is a new crosstabulation and charting product for market researchers and clients to analyse and report market research data. At first sight, this might seem like nothing new; indeed, Quanvert first gave researchers access to data in the 1990s allowing users to produce crosstabs with a few simple selections. So, how is Resolve different? And, what does it offer?

Four words sum up what is different about Resolve: free, compatible, choice, extensibility. Let’s take a look at these four factors and explain how they can make a difference to your current market research analysis processes and what you deliver to clients.

1. Free

Resolve is free to use by anyone and it’s easy to use with videos to help you get started. You can distribute Resolve amongst colleagues or clients without paying anything. Is there a catch? Well, yes, there is, but it’s not a big one. To prepare a project for Resolve, you will need to load the project into MRDCL or QPSMR. You might be thinking that it is not, therefore, free. Well, that’s true, but, as a service, we can load most projects into Resolve for as little as US$50 and rarely more than US$200 if you have prepared the variables in SPSS, Snap, SurveyMonkey or one of over 100 other software products. Resolve allows colleagues and clients to explore data, produce tables, use filters, and create charts for use in reports.

2. Compatible

As part of our massive upgrades, we have made it much easier to pull survey data into our platform; not just more easily, but with greater flexibility. This improvement means that providing project data in Resolve (as well as many other forms) is quicker and more efficient. It is easy to make most survey data available in Resolve as our platform can handle Triple-S, SPSS data and Excel/CSV data amongst others. What’s more, where the restrictions of SPSS make data awkward to transfer, we have developed intelligent systems that can handle this data efficiently in most cases.

3. Choice

In many cases, I believe choice is the most exciting benefit of Resolve as it can make research agencies far more agile. Online research has brought change. Surveys vary from a handful of questions to studies with much longer questionnaires, ranging in complexity from simple to complicated. Similarly, employees range from very technical to less technical. Deliverables vary in range and complexity too. These factors necessitate a more flexible way of working, treating each project on its merits and utilising the right approach for each project. Resolve adds significantly to that choice. It may make sense to port a project straight into Resolve allowing a researcher to explore the data and carry out all the analysis. For another project, a data analysis expert might need to prepare complex variables, leaving a researcher using Resolve to analyse the data. Or, it may need a data analysis expert to do all the work, passing the project to clients in Resolve for odd additional needs. The paths through data processing are multiple and more tangled. A previous blog article explored this in more detail here. Nonetheless, there is a growing need to be more agile, which means you need more choice. Resolve offers that choice.

4. Extensibility

Resolve does all the things you want to do in an easy, intuitive way. The problem I find with software that does basic things well is when I want to do something slightly more complicated. You suddenly find that you have hit a wall. You will be glad to know that Resolve has this covered as well. For projects where you want more complex or custom analysis of ANY complexity, a plugin can extend Resolve’s power to the level of MRDCL, which is unmatched in the complexity of analysis that it can handle. You will need a Resolve Premium licence to extend Resolve to this level, but a Resolve Premium licence is a fraction of the cost of an SPSS or Q Software licence – and, it’s far more powerful. We supply 20 free plugins, but we can custom build other plugins at a negligible cost, or we can show you how to develop your own custom plugins. These tools mean you can offer a customised system, for example, for large complex tracking studies at a minimal cost. No other software in market research has this power to the best of our knowledge.

Summing up

Resolve is easy, fast and friendly, but so are other products. However, Resolve goes a big step further. Resolve offers good value (free in most cases), compatibility with other systems, choice and practical extensibility. Find out more by contacting