- Lack of access to the database. This is HUGE. The only way to get data out of SG is to download a csv file. The problem is that they format it in crosstab fashion – that is, with a column for every question. This makes it unusable for any database application. So if you’re planning to pull the results into another database, well, you end up writing some software to do pretty non-trivial conversions.
- No support for recurring surveys. At least, not without a lot of extra steps. Most of the surveys I do are recurring, and the results are analyzed as time series. Having them in separate surveys is a pain.
- SG has a strange architecture that leads to some performance problems that confuse users. The surveys are by default save-continue, but if you leave and come back too soon it looks like your results are gone. Only they aren’t.
Out of the box SG has some advantages that are making the choice to jump a little less clear:
- The reporting, while riddled with oddities, is competent and allows me to do one-off surveys quickly without any database work.
- Some question types work better, nearly all look better.
- I don’t have to administer a server that’s ‘off the grid’. Like many companies, ours is Microsoft-only and having a Linux server goes against the grain.