Friday, April 1, 2011

Far Out! Voice-Activated Market Research Software from NGMR

I recently had the honor of beta testing a perhaps slightly unusual market research tool that takes efficient, easy and fun to a whole other level. It was quite exciting to spend a month evaluating and reporting on this next step forward in the world of Market Research.

And yes, I have seen a few cross-tab analysis packages in the past (have even formally trained users in one), but this one gets top awards in my book for two reasons:

•    It’s voice-activated
•    The target user audience is boomers

That's right, voice-activated. And, while you still have to choose which attributes you’d like to run, it's not necessary to click on anything to make the selections; just SAY them. So for example, you could say “column comma age 35 to 54 comma percent”, and the chosen attribute would automatically be retained as your column data. Do the same for your rows, and conditions. When you’re done with your selections, simply say “run”, and the data is automatically placed in an excel spreadsheet, ready to analyze.

Customization is available. For example, after running a query, the software will then ask you if you would like to save the query. If so, say “yes” and it automatically stores it with a logical name. Note: If it's an already existing query that was run, you will be asked if you want to save it with the same name, a new name, or continue to work with the query. And, when they software asks these questions, it can be verbally, as a pop up on the screen, or both; you can program the software to suit your preferences.

So while there is still some use of keyboard and mouse, it is very limited.

But wait! I mentioned that the software was aimed towards Boomers. You can choose how you would like the software to speak to you. “Fillmore Style” contains expressions such as “far out” and “that was such a groovy choice”. “Surfer style” contains jargon such as “cowabunga” and “dude”, while “Puff the Magic Dragon Style” is geared towards all the folkies. But perhaps the most unusual one is “Carnaby Street” where even Mary Quant (not quantitative) is mentioned when one is wrapping up a session with the software.

I highly recommend this software for its ease of use. It DID take a while for it to understand my Jersey accent, so there is a bit of teasing and training involved. And initially, it is good to have attribute lists printed out for your databases or to visit the lists within the software, which ever option you are more comfortable with. I personally liked having a few pages spread out in front of me, which meant that I didn’t have to use the keyboard or mouse at all.

And oh how smart this software is! I could be talking with someone on the phone or in person, and unless I say the name of the software first, it will ignore everything that I am speaking out loud. All I had to do was say “GroovyTab” before a command, and say it again when I finished my commands. And I could go right back to my conversation.

Some great news! If my review has tickled your interest, the company is currently looking for more beta testers, so if you'd like to give it a whirl, leave a comment here, and I’ll make sure they get your message.


Anonymous said...

I would be interested in beta testing
Frank Parisi
FP Research Services

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