TopTenReviews Review of The Survey System

The Survey System 10.5 - Best Survey Software of 2014, 2013, 2012*

This software has all the tools and features for creating and analyzing credible surveys for any professional needs.

It takes time to learn to use effectively.

The Verdict: 9.5/10

The Survey System is the best product for marketers, professionals, organizations and agencies to create, administer and analyze surveys of all kinds. The Survey System gains our highest marks for survey creation, analysis and administration methods, making it the best survey software in our ranking. It gives you the ability to create simple in-house questionnaires or complex surveys designed for widespread distribution. It has all the necessary tools to analyze your data once it's collected. This is the only product in our lineup that offers all features and tools we considered. For these reasons, the Survey System earns our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.

The Survey System loses points because it takes some time to learn to use. Its 120- page tutorial guides you through the software's functions and processes. If you spend the time, you'll be creating, conducting and analyzing quality surveys.

Survey Creation: 10/10

The Survey System offers several choices of questions. The first is an instructional question, which presents information but does not require an answer. It's a brief explanation of the questionnaire, more of a statement than a question. For example, in a survey on flavor preference, the first question might read: This is a survey on whether you prefer chocolate or vanilla.

The second is a multiple-choice question, either of two answer choices - Yes or No, for example, or multiple answers such as Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow. You can have as many as 999 answer choices. The application's Answer Library automatically fills in multiple-choice answers such as months, days of the week, age groups, education levels, income levels and more. This can save you a lot of typing. You also can create and save customized answer lists that you frequently may need. Numeric questions ask respondents to fill in the blanks with numbers, such as ratings, amounts of money, percentages and units of measure. You can have as many as 500 sub-questions in one numeric question. Demographic questions let you see how different kinds of people answer survey questions, such as those of different genders or ages. It's great for gauging preferences of different demographic groups.

This survey software offers Verbatim, or open-ended, questions, which ask for a text response, allowing respondents to say or type whatever they want. For example: What can ACME Industries do to improve their service? And there's an optional voice capture module to record spoken answers via telephone.

Survey Analysis: 10/10

Among the Survey System's strongest assets are its tools for analysis. It can perform common statistical calculations like percents, means, modes, standard deviation, margin of error and total respondents. It also has banner tabulations, which compare data from more than two questions or sets of data, and correlation matrices, which show the relationship between two questions or sets of data. This lets you draw conclusions about how one aspect of your survey affects another.

This survey software has the ability to put results into varied types of graphics including bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs and tables. Tables can be made to display and compare varied responses and numerical answers from your surveys. You can view tables on your screen, print them or export them as RTF, HTML, PDF, XLS and PPT files. You must have Excel on your computer to produce XLS files and PowerPoint to produce PPT files.

Survey Administration: 10/10

Once your survey is created, The Survey System lets you administer surveys in varied ways. They include online and over the phone. You also can print completed surveys and have respondents fill them out, or have surveyors administer them face to face. The company also offers web survey hosting services, if you don't want to host your survey on your company's servers.

This survey software offers the option of administering surveys via email. This can be handy to send to respondents who spend a lot of time each day on computers, such as people in office settings. In addition, The Survey System offers a list of companies that provide interviewing services, should you need someone to administer your surveys.

Ease of Use: 7.5/10

The Survey System is a powerful survey creator and analyzer. Once you put in the time to learn how to use it, it's fairly simple. We recommend following the 120-page tutorial. Combined with actually creating a survey, it's the best way to grasp the potential of this survey software. Creating surveys, whether for employees, clients, students, medical patients or consumers of services and products, will become easier with each new survey you create. The website also offers do's and don'ts of survey design.

Help & Support: 10/10

The Survey System provides comprehensive help and support, including a full user manual, 120-page tutorial supplement, online FAQs, telephone and responsive email. The product's website includes several research aids like a sample calculator and articles relating to correlation of survey variables with quantifiable data.


The Survey System is a powerful survey application for professional marketers and others who are familiar with creating and conducting surveys. It offers several question types, templates and stock questions as well as ways to customize survey questions and tools to restrict and qualify respondent answers. It can create a flurry of graphs and tables, cross-referencing data and questions to allow credible analyzing of survey responses. This application will take the novice some time to master its functionality, but can be an effective tool for professionals and those in need of quality survey software.











    * Note: TopTenReviews chose not to include The Survey System Version 11 in their 2015 survey software comparison, because they decided to focus exclusively on cloud services and exclude all desktop programs.
Their previous reviews considered both desktop and cloud solutions and found The Survey System to be the best of all.