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

Should I upgrade from QPSMR to MRDCL? 

Experienced users of QPSMR often wonder whether they should upgrade to MRDCL. Many of our customers have taken this route, but it needs careful consideration to understand the pros and cons of making such a decision. Indeed, you could argue that taking on MRDCL is not so much an upgrade as having better tools at your disposal to handle complex or time-consuming tasks. This blog article delves into your likely experience of making such a transition.

What is the difference between QPSMR and MRDCL?

Let’s start by looking at the differences. MRDCL is often not a replacement for QPSMR; it is an additional tool to improve your capabilities or to make many tasks easier. There are three fundamental differences:

  • QPSMR has a data collection/data entry module, while MRDCL only handles tabulations, analysis and reporting
  • The user interface for QPSMR is through a reasonably easy-to-learn menu system, whereas MRDCL needs more knowledge and regular use to make the most of its benefits.
  • MRDCL can bring huge productivity gains and allow you to handle tasks that are either cumbersome or impossible in QPSMR

What are the key benefits of MRDCL?

MRDCL has two parts to it. The main Classic part of MRDCL is driven by its powerful scripting language, which will allow you to process ANY crosstabulation from almost any data source. In addition to this, MRDCL Central allows you to automate elements of your survey analysis. This can range from complex imports from SPSS or other data sources to running multiple runs of tables, generating Excel-ready reports and charts, plus other automation tools.

What type of projects will handle MRDCL handle better?

MRDCL handles projects that QPSMR cannot handle. For example, surveys with hierarchical data, such as occasion-based, trip-based or projects with data loops (repetitive questionnaire sections). MRDCL will allow you to merge external data with survey data. This may be customer data from a database, open-ended coded data or look-up tables of prices, product categories or other external information.

What about tracking studies?

MRDCL has special tools to deal with the complexities of tracking studies. Questionnaire changes, response or code list changes, and data structure changes are problematic for almost all data analysis software products. However, MRDCL allows you to implement systems to handle the most complex tracking studies efficiently. We have seen surveys with over 200 questionnaire versions managed without difficulty in MRDCL.

What type of tasks will MRDCL handle better?

MRDCL allows you to design and build templates to make automation possible and simplify tasks so less skilled staff can assist colleagues. Examples are editing data, backcoding data, merging external data, automating tables for rating scales, adding a top two box to multiple rating scales, managing tracking studies and grouping responses together. There are many other examples, but tasks like these can be handled by building a custom template with an intuitive interface, usable across many projects.

What are the biggest problems with MRDCL?

The biggest problem with MRDCL is learning how to make the most of it. Whereas QPSMR usually offers one way to do something, MRDCL may provide many ways to achieve what you want. This means learning the best way to do things can take time. However, MRDCL has an extensive library of videos to teach best practices. It is important to consider who uses MRDCL. MRDCL is best used by someone using the software regularly with an aptitude for learning a scripting language with problem-solving skills.

Are QPSMR and MRDCL compatible?

The good news is that QPSMR and MRDCL are totally compatible. QPSMR and MRDCL use the same engine to produce tabulations, meaning that you can take a project from QPSMR and run it in MRDCL immediately.

Can I customise MRDCL?

One of the most significant advantages of MRDCL is that you can build custom templates in MRDCL that suit your particular needs. An excellent example is the analysis you might produce from a battery of rating statements. You might want a table for each statement, a summary of all statements in one table, top two boxes, top and bottom two boxes, a mean score table, a ranked mean score table etc. These tables can be generated automatically by marking a checkbox in your template.

How should I adopt MRDCL?

Although every customer is different, if you are currently using QPSMR, we usually recommend that you continue using QPSMR for more straightforward projects but use MRDCL where some complexities or requirements are laborious or impossible to produce in QPSMR. However, I would always recommend that you discuss your objectives with us before adopting MRDCL, so we can recommend the best path to success.

How much time do I need to learn MRDCL?

MRDCL is a product that you can always learn more. However, a new user will need to handle two or three projects to become familiar with the best practices. We will help with your transition and guide you through videos that make learning easier.

Should I stop using QPSMR?

As a general rule, I recommend you continue using QPSMR, even if you collect data in some other software. We reduce the cost of your QPSMR by 50% if you take an MRDCL licence in most cases.

Can I produce PowerPoint reports as well?

No, and yes! You cannot currently generate PowerPoint reports from MRDCL, but a new module is coming soon. As it will be compatible with QPSMR, you will be able to generate PowerPoint reports automatically from projects in QPSMR or MRDCL. This should save you a lot of time. Again, you will be able to customise the styling of your PowerPoint charts and reports to meet your exact needs.

Can I distribute projects to clients or researchers?

MRDCL allows you to distribute projects to colleagues and clients using Resolve, our intuitive data exploration tool. Resolve Base is free to distribute, although, for a small fee, you can also use Resolve Premium. Resolve Premium allows you to build complex custom analyses using a custom interface of your design. If you wish, you can put powerful analyses from the most complex surveys in the hands of your researchers and clients.

How do I start?

MRDCL is not for everyone, so discussing your objectives with us is the best place to start. We can then guide you to materials or demonstrations to help you understand how MRDCL might work for you. Contact to find out more.