If you’re not already aware, ExpertScan has a web add-on we like to call NetE-nable. When using NetE-nable, data you gather off the web is populated into the same database as your paper surveys and forms, giving you an unprecedented advantage over manually key entering data or using a separate web survey source. ExpertScan already eliminates manual entry of paper forms and surveys, but with the NetE-nable add-on you have the option to do away with the hassle creating separate surveys online, combining separate databases, and ultimately avoiding the not-so-joyful issues that may arise with those processes. One database, one survey… One solution!
AutoData is constantly churning out new ideas to create a better experience for our customers. With the creation of this blog, we are now able to share many of those ideas with you, the end user or a prospective customer. Here are two ideas to help disperse your NetE-nable forms or surveys.
With the internet becoming commonplace in today’s vernacular, long and drawn-out URL’s have become more of a nuisance. As such, many websites have created generators that automatically turn a long, unwieldy URL into a simpler, shorter one. For example, the video website, YouTube, uses a customized short URL for sharing their videos. In this example, you see their short URL as “youtu.be” with a series of characters following the “/”. The following URL links to our ExpertScan with NetE-nable Intro video: http://youtu.be/HdQvrzwxjJ8. I don’t need to go into detail of how this works, but the series of characters define where the URL directs the user.
Why should you care? Glad you asked! When using our NetE-nable software and after completing the NetE-nable wizard you are given a link as a means to disperse or “publish” your survey. Often times, it can be a bit lengthy (especially when using barcodes) and cumbersome to display on a website, in an email, or even print on paper. My short URL generator of choice for some time now has been Tiny URL for the following reasons:
- It’s FREE! Who doesn’t like free?!
- No need to sign up; quick and easy URL’s generated
- No spam filter; some short URL services require you to complete those pesky, often difficult to decipher spam filters
- Custom/alias URL option; you can add a custom URL to your link. Ex. www.tiny.cc/patientsatisfaction
- Recent URL list; if you’re converting a series of survey links you’ll have a list of all your recent links from that session
- Further services and features are provided if you sign up. Check them out!
So armed with Tiny URL, here’s a quick tutorial of how I converted AutoData’s online survey into a short URL:
- Copied my NetE-nable link: http://www.expertscan.autodata.com/default.aspx?webid=BB1FDEBA-0936-4EF4-BC01-DB6846029662
- Open Tiny URL and paste the NetE-nable link here:
- After clicking “tiny!” I’m provided with my new short URL. That’s it!
- I now have a short URL that’s easy to disperse: http://tiny.cc/cbw0cw
Another idea I’d like to mention is the use of QR codes. QR codes are a 2D barcode that is typically scanned by a mobile device (smart phones, tablets, etc.). Often times they’re found in magazines, online, and many varying types of print materials. When the QR codes is scanned, the device follows the barcode’s “directions”. For example, say you are gathering forms or surveys during a large conference. While you prefer paper surveys, you may have a number of people wishing to complete the form or survey on the way to the next speaker. By simply providing them with a QR code (printed on a banner, note card, or even the paper survey) as a link to your NetE-nable form or survey, they are still able to fill out your survey from their mobile device. My QR code generator of choice is BeQRious for the following reasons:
- FREE! Again, everyone loves free!
- No sign up required
- Simple, straightforward directions on creating your own QR code
- 11 types of QR codes generated (I’ll be focusing on the URL portion)
- Customization options
- A few downloadable file types to choose from
- Ability to sign up for further features
This time armed with BeQRious, here’s a quick tutorial of how I created my QR code:
- Copy the NetE-nable link: http://www.expertscan.autodata.com/default.aspx?webid=BB1FDEBA-0936-4EF4-BC01-DB6846029662
- Open BeQRious, select URL and paste the link in the URL window:
- If you wish, select a color of QR code
- Choose the file format (I used JPG), size (large for me), click download and…
- Presto! Your very own QR code containing a link to your NetE-nable survey.
- Give it a scan with your mobile device and fill out a sample survey!
I hope I’ve given you a couple ideas to try out with your NetE-nabled forms or surveys (or maybe I have given you the urge to buy NetE-nable!). Post any comments or questions you may have and I’ll do my best to answer them. Short URL’s and QR codes are not supported by our tech support staff but I am happy to assist as best I can.
Happy data gathering!