Smart Questionnaires

Various types of questionnaires are used to collect data.  There are some HTML techniques for simple, static forms that simply present a set of questions and send the data to a server program.  An Exsys Corvid® Knowledge Automation expert system is a much "smarter" process. It easily handles cases where the questionnaire should skip some questions based on an earlier answer, drills down with more questions based on an analysis of other answers, and provides immediate feedback and analysis to the user.  Corvid systems can do all of these since they are based on underlying logic and rules that determine what to ask, when and how to analyze the input. 

Everyone has run into questionnaires that force you to answer questions that are not relevant.  This is annoying, and may lead to respondents not filling out the form.  If you collect data using forms, there are times you would like to ask more questions of specific users because of the input they provided, or to get more information to clarify an issue.  Ideally, to reward people that fill out a form, you would like to provide them with immediate feedback or useful advice automatically.  All of these are difficult to do with standard web techniques.  They are possible using JavaScript, server-side programs or Flash, but it requires a programmer, custom programming and a substantial effort - generally making it difficult enough to not do it.

An easier alternative is Exsys Corvid, which allows you to easily describe the logic of what should be asked, when and why.  This is done using If/Then rules written in English (or whatever language is preferred) and algebra.  These are easy to read and create in the development environment.  Corvid's special Action Blocks are specifically designed for building smart questionnaires in a very simple spreadsheet style development interface.  Just enter a question, the possible answers (or ranges) and what should be done for each answer.  This may include skipping over questions, asking more questions, analyzing the input to build a report or many other actions.  

Once the logic of "what to ask" is built, you can easily add the "how it will be asked" portion.  Corvid lets you easily design the user interface either with Corvid screen commands, or HTML to match the look-and-feel of any site.  For more advanced systems, Corvid can use Adobe Flash SWF files for the user interface when multimedia, animation or advanced graphics are desired.  Since Corvid separates the user interface from the logic, it is easy to build a system that can be delivered in many ways on different hardware and devices.   

The end user interacts with the system as if they were talking to an interviewer.  A session can have many questions, if needed.  All of the data can be collected and sent to a server program or database.  Systems can "Save State", so end users can exit and come back to a session later. The Corvid systems can analyze the data and provide users with immediate feedback, along with storing that analysis with the data. Additionally, the system can interface to other programs such as SalesForce, automatically send emails, open support tickets, and perform many other types of actions.  

Using Corvid takes a simple questionnaire and makes it "Smart" both to the end user and in the way it handles and integrates the data into an IT infrastructure.

Contact us today for a free Web conference. We'd be happy to discuss your Smart Questionnaire requirements.


Some case studies of Exsys Smart Questionnaire systems.
(Click on the titles for more details):


"By conducting a computer-driven, structured interview using advanced knowledge automation and analytic tools that gather information about the employee and spouse's needs, life style, preferences, parents, children and a host of other relevant subjects, the IAP is able to provide a list of planning issues and adjustments that must occur to insure the success of the assignment."

International Assignment Profile Systems