The Software and Information Industry Association, a trade organization based in Washington DC, has been using Key
Survey for internal information gathering - both for polling staffers, and for surveying their industry about current
issues and seminar feedback.
Formerly the Software Publishers’ Association, the SIIA was created in a 1999 merger with the Information Industry Association. The group has five major divisions and covers a wide spectrum: their work includes anti-piracy enforcement, political lobbying for the industry, and providing information resources - primarily to their members - on industry trends and direction. Their membership is made up of about five hundred companies, including IBM, Bloomberg, McGraw Hill, Red Hat, Symantec and other household names.
Washington Technology Industry Association
2200 Alaskan Way, Suite 390
Seattle, WA 98121
"We use Key Survey for everything," said Anne Griffith, the SIIA’s Vice President for Research and Communication. "It’s amazing. I do great big division member surveys, very short event-evaluation surveys and everything in between. We do industry surveys on emerging topics, and use it to gather board feedback."
The SIIA is run by a fourteen-person board of directors, but its five divisions each have their own boards, consisting of between eighteen and twenty-five board members. These board members are located around the country, and it’s often necessary for staff to ask for their opinions.
"Someone wants to get board feedback on a question, so they ask if I can throw it out to them with Key Survey. Not so much a formal vote, but something to get an opinion on the kind of subjects, the type of speakers, they want us to have in events," said Griffith.
While the bulk of the SIIA’s $7.5 million annual budget comes from membership dues and the anti-piracy program, they also get a fair amount of revenue by holding summits and seminars, and by selling industry reports
"We do industry surveys on topics that are emerging, trends and so forth - getting the detailed opinion of hundreds of our members. The results of those are free to our members, but non-members have to pay for them," said Griffith. "And for the events, too; we send out an email to all the registrants, everyone who’s attended. Asking them a few questions - it helps us to see what people are interested in hearing about, the speakers that people like, and anything else we can do better."
Before Key Survey, the SIIA had either used paper surveys or custom-coded them, a time-consuming and painstaking thing to do. In order to make data analysis easier and to remove the need to edit or clean incoming data, they began looking for an electronic survey solution - and chose Key Survey. Griffith began with Basic, but soon upgraded to Premium for the ability to get email reminders, which she’d found extremely useful during her trial period.
"I really like that feature, it’s wonderful. Because when you send out the survey, you can schedule the reminders, direct them only to the people who haven’t completed it. It takes the names and customizes the messages for second and third reminders to be sent only to people who haven’t completed the survey. It’s automatic. It increases your response rate, and it saves a lot of time and effort."
Key Survey’s internet-based accessibility allows reports to be pulled from anywhere, regardless of the user’s physical location - extremely useful when a quarter of the SIIA’s employees, including two division heads and a vice-president, work remotely from out of state.