How to Choose the Best Crosstab Software for Your Business

You know crosstab software would make your business more efficient, effective and insightful. But you may not be sure which package to choose, or even how to begin your research. Five factors can play a huge role in determining the best crosstab software for your business.

Figure out what you need the crosstab software to do. 

Needs and wants are two different things, and you’ll make choosing a package easier if you focus on the former. And don’t forget to include basic functions you may assume come with every software package – but actually may not. 

Creating a checklist can help you figure out your needs, making sure to include each and every feature that would be a deal breaker if the software were lacking it. Not only should you list every feature you need, but also ask about the ease of implementing those features.

Some packages, for example, may be able to provide amazing features, but only if you create and add code written in a specific programming language. Be extremely specific with your questions, ensuring you get the rundown on:

  • All features you need
  • Ease of implementing and using those features
  • Software limitations that may impede functions you need to perform

Gauge current and potential skill levels of the users.

Some crosstab software may seem like a bargain – until you calculate the salaries of employees who would be skilled enough to use it. Unless you’re planning on hiring a batch of crosstab experts or going for a managed plan that comes with optimum support, make sure the software you pick matches your current staff’s capabilities and potential for properly implementing and using the system.

Determine if you need additional capabilities beyond cross tabulations.

Some crosstab software may do tabulations, period. Others may go far beyond tabulations with capabilities that include charts, data entry, contributing to online surveys and other functions. Pick one that suits your needs now and in the foreseeable future.

Decide if the software needs to fit into an existing process.

If you already have processes and systems in place for data collection and other related functions, you want to ensure the crosstab software you pick will play nicely with your existing elements.

Define your idea of ‘big project.’

Some people may think a crosstab with 1,000 respondents is big, while others may view 500K as small. Figure out the largest numbers you expect to be working with in the way of:

  • Number of questions
  • Number of variables
  • Number of respondents
  • Number of tables

Add other numbers as needed, but these should give you a good idea of the overall capacity your crosstab software package requires.

While you’re likely to run across a few more considerations along the way, these five factors are ideal for starting you on the right path toward a crosstab software package that best suits your business.