What is groketeer? – An Interview with Tal Sliwowicz and Alon Ravid

Today’s interview was conducted over email to discuss a revolutionary new DIY market research product called “groketeer” with Tal Sliwowicz, Executive Vice President of Product Strategy & Development as well as Alon Ravid, Chief Technology Officer & General Manager of Invoke Solutions Israel.

 

“Tal brings 15 years of experience architecting and delivering software and managing product initiatives to his position as EVP of Product Strategy. He has been with the company since early 2000 and he was a key player in developing Invoke’s research platform. Prior to joining Invoke, Tal developed a multitude of products including health care management software and reporting tools. He holds an LLB Law Degree from Tel Aviv University, and an MBA from Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management) and Tel Aviv University (Kellogg Recanati School).” – Invoke Solutions

 

“Alon brings 23 years of experience in research, development and management of software development groups to Invoke. Prior to joining Invoke, Alon worked at Knight Financial Products (KFP) as Senior VP, Head of Derivatives Technology. Previously, he was Senior System Engineer at the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Alon holds a BS and MS in Computer Science from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.” – Invoke Solutions





An interview with Tal Sliwowicz and Alon Ravid …
by Sean Copeland





What is groketeer?



“Groketeer is a self-service survey analysis and reporting tool. It is extremely easy to use with a very simple User Interface (practically no training required) yet offers very powerful features. When using it, you are never more than a click (or two) away from creating a powerful report – even if you don’t have a statistical or analysis training.”

“Groketeer is a self-service survey analysis and reporting tool.”

“Groketeer fills a huge hole for people who create and send out surveys themselves (DIY Surveys) but don’t have a good solution on how to analyze the collected data and create reports out of it. It is also good for analysts that do their own data analysis and reporting because no data pre-processing is required with groketeer.”


“Until groketeer, all those people were confined to whatever tools their survey platform of choice provided them (which are usually very simplistic) or to using overly complex and expensive tools for the task. We have encountered many people who use SPSS™ – the most expensive and complex analysis software – to analyze data collected from platforms like SurveyMonkey™. This simply does not make sense. Also, many people using platforms like Confirmit™, find themselves going to external tools for analysis, which is usually a lengthy and expensive process.”

“Now … anyone with survey data can upload and do their own analysis easily and immediately”


“Now, with groketeer, basically anyone with survey data can upload and do their own analysis easily and immediately.” – Tal & Alon

“Would you say that groketeer is feature rich, but is still easy enough (and free) for any students, marketing teams, or small research providers to use?” – Sean



“Yes, absolutely. The big difference between groketeer and other tools is in its ease of use. We have designed it from the ground up with usability in mind so users are productive with groketeer from the first minute they use it.”

“… users are productive with groketeer from the first minute they use it”

“A few examples – first, everything gets charted automatically so after you upload the data you already have a great starting point. Second, creating PowerPoint slides or Excel spreadsheet from your charts requires only a few mouse clicks action – it’s that easy. Adding filters to charts or creating banner points for your tables is again, very simple. Also, we have developed a whole set of short (1-2 minutes) training videos (http://www.groketeer.com/learning/tutorials) on various aspects of using groketeer. On top of that, when you open your Dashboard for the first time, or when clicking on the help menu, you get multiple floating tool tips to kick start your usage.”



“Looking at other reporting tools available and comparing them to groketeer emphasizes this even more. Other tools are either very simplistic and do not have many features or are very feature rich but are very complex to learn and to operate. In other words, they are very labor intensive and only highly trained professionals can use them.”

“Other tools are either very simplistic and do not have many features or are very feature rich but are very complex to learn”

“Groketeer is the only tool that is really very simple to operate yet is feature rich.” – Tal & Alon





The Origins of groketeer:



“Groketeer is a combination of grok and rocketeer. Grok means “to understand thoroughly”. Author Robert A. Heinlein coined the term in his best-selling 1961 book “Stranger in a StrangeLand”. Combined with rocketeer, the name conveys the essence of the tool which is speed to profound insight.”

“Grok means ‘to understand thoroughly’ … combined with rocketeer, the name conveys the essence of the tool which is speed to profound insight.”


“We, at Invoke, have been spending the last 10 years developing a revolutionary market research platform. One of the key aspects of the platform we’ve developed is doing powerful data analysis in real time using a very simple UI. A few years ago we realized that we can turn it into an open system loading data from multiple external platforms – and not just our own. With this understanding, we have created the Engage Analytics product. Engage Analytics is our “enterprise” level offering used by many clients through multiple channels. For example, Toluna US is offering this to all their full service clients for most projects they do!”

“… we also realized that our [enterprise level] tool can solve a very serious data analysis problem to people who use self-service survey platforms”


“At some point, about a year ago, we also realized that our tool can solve a very serious data analysis problem to people who use self-service survey platforms. Therefore, we released groketeer as a separate beta product to those people as well – built on years of experience with our Engage products but with the features required for a self-service offering.” – Tal & Alon

“What are the major differentiating factors that would determine if someone should use an “Enterprise” level solution like Engage Analytics versus groketeer” – Sean



“Engage Analytics targets high volume research organizations. It connects automatically to their Confirmit installation (either Server or Hosted) and gets automated data feed from it so you can track your Survey in real time without the need to manually upload data files. It also has Significance Testing features enabled by default. It also connects to their Business Process Management systems and to their project management systems. This requires an integration project between the client and Invoke. It fits very nicely enterprises / large research organizations with multiple surveys in the field at all times and enterprise class management systems. Groketeer, on the other hand, targets users or small groups who have a small volume of surveys and are not necessarily even market researchers. They do not need to integrate their systems with groketeer – they simply need to upload to groketeer their data files.” – Tal & Alon





Current Users of groketeer:



“We have actually pre-defined phases for the launch. Currently we are focusing on fine tuning the product as a preparation for a bigger marketing launch so we did not do almost any kind of traditional marketing activities.”

“… our active users’ community is growing steadily from all over the world”


“However, even without trying to do any kind of marketing splash we are finding that our active users’ community is growing steadily from all over the world. Naturally, most of our users are in the US but an interesting story that I can share is that a very cool company from Denmark – http://www.socialsemantic.eu/ – is about to publish a serious market research report conducted using SurveyMonkey™ and analyzed through groketeer (“Social Media Benchmark Europe-DK 2010/11 report”). They recently contacted us with a couple of questions and then let us know that they are very happy with groketeer and that they would like to give us – on their expense – a full page ad and an endorsement in their report! Needless to say – we were thrilled. That gave us a great feedback that we are on the right path.” – Tal & Alon



“That’s a promising sign that it’s already been so useful during the beta testing stage! Do you intend to continue to provide groketeer as a free tool or will its growing success influence that decision?” – Sean

“groketeer will continue to have a free version”


“Thanks you! groketeer will continue to have a free version. Our plan is to start offering premium analysis and storage features to our more advanced users and charge for those features a relatively modest price that will definitely be worth for them to pay. However, for now, during the beta, the tool is completely free to use.” – Tal & Alon





How groketeer Differs From Invoke Solutions:



“Groketeer is totally independent from other Invoke services as it is a self-service offering, targeting the DIY survey market.”

“Groketeer is totally independent from other Invoke services”


“Invoke Solutions is a technology led market research company.  Invokeoffers services for doing on-line, real time, large scale concept optimization. Those services are being offered to clients from Fortune 500 companies who require the guidance and the expertise of Invoke’s research group in making critical decisions quickly.”

“Groketeer, on the other hand, is approachable and usable by anyone who has an internet connection and some survey data to be analyzed…”

“What do you have to say to these market researchers who think that DIY tools are encouraging the misinterpretation of data?”



“I know some market researchers who argue that when people are less experienced with market research they require even more guidance to ensure that they conduct and analyze research properly. What do you have to say to these market researchers who think that DIY tools are encouraging the misinterpretation of data?” – Sean

“In general, the MR industry is belatedly going through the same process the rest of the information industries went through with the internet about a decade ago. Google, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, blogs etc really changed how people produce and consume information. There was a lot of resistance from professional reporters’ to blogging initially because of the same reasons. There was a lot of resistance to Wikipedia from professional encyclopedia makers for the same reasons. However, experience proves that resistance is futile… Only the ones who adapt themselves to the new reality will survive – and the reality is that DIY is here to stay.”

“Only the ones who adapt themselves to the new reality will survive – and the reality is that DIY is here to stay”


“Being specific to the MR industry – the truth is that it really depends on who uses those DIY tools. If you have a multi-million decision to make, you would still use a professional research team and not use a DIY survey anyway. Therefore, MR agencies that can prove they still have added value will continue to thrive regardless.  However, smaller decisions that until now were mostly dependent on guesswork because no one had the budget for doing a multi thousand research project, can now use DIY tools to collect data and do analysis and get a much better result compared to just guessing. Also, we know that many professional researchers are moving to DIY tools to reduce cost and to increase speed – without changing any of their profound methodologies.”

“groketeer is simply giving people that already use DIY surveys … a great tool to do their data analysis quickly and easily”


“What we are doing with groketeer is simply giving people that already use DIY surveys regardless of groketeer, a great tool to do their data analysis quickly and easily. It is a huge time saver for them and compared to the analysis tools they have been using so far – a big relief.”

“Our recommendation to those market researchers that are worried about misrepresentation of data is to start worrying about the real thing – how to make them-selves distinct and unique so that people will come to them for their expertise and advice.” – Tal & Alon





Next Big Steps for groketeer:



“As mentioned earlier, we are constantly working with our users to understand their needs and to make sure that our product fits them. We are planning to add multiple analysis features that will not only deal with closed ended data but also with open ends, employing technologies used in our Engage Live platform such as automated keyword coding and others. We will also significantly improve our visualization options and the abilities to share the results with friends and colleagues. We are also planning to support loading data from additional surveys’ and forms’ platforms.”

“We are planning to add multiple analysis features that will not only deal with closed ended data but also with open ends”


“We think that there is a huge need for DIY Survey analysis. Most people simply do not have the training or the tools to get the most out of their data.”

“In general, our plan is to automate a lot of the analysis and help our users get a real understanding of what their data means.”

“New features will definitely be well received by users, but when you mentioned adding “automated keyword coding” to groketeer, are you referring to automated text analytics or something a bit simpler?” – Sean


“In general our intent is to provide users with better tools to deal with open-ended / free formatted text – as opposed to giving the user a list of answer to sort through and figure out.”


“Naturally I cannot be too specific at the moment, but I can tell you that we are planning on number of levels of analysis. The basic form will give the users’ tagging capabilities and creating charts off those tags. The second level involves automated text analysis based on patented technologies we have already implemented for our other analysis systems.” – Tal & Alon
 


I hope that you found this interview interesting and that it has shed some light on just one of the many new Do It Yourself market research products available on the market. For more information on groketeer please visit there website at www.groketeer.com.



Sean Copeland is a certified marketing research professional (CMRP) known for his broad knowledge of the research workflow, his disruptive approach to problem solving and for building strong client relationships. In over 5 years Sean has developed, sold, executed, and managed hundreds of consumer research studies using a variety of new and traditional research methodologies.

Contact Sean Copeland:

T: 647-269-5085

E: sean@abacusdata.ca

W: http://www.abacusdata.ca

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