The price of market research survey software ranges from free right up to tens of thousands of dollars or more per year. So, how does our MRDCL scripting crosstab software fit into this vast price range? Some online data collection platforms and online dashboard systems have a much higher ticket price than MRDCL. Are they overpriced? And, what are you paying for when it comes to higher-priced products? This article aims to inform you about what offers good value or bad value and how that applies to MRDCL, our scripting tables platform.
There are some good reasons why some products are more expensive than what you might expect. These include:
The ability to produce ‘any’ requirements – The product can do ‘anything’ you might need in its category; effectively, it’s top-of-the-range software.
Higher productivity – The product offers you higher and measurable levels of productivity.
Efficient workflow – The product allows your workflows to be efficient.
Key features – The product has some special features that other products do not have or handles tasks other products handle poorly.
Of course, there are some not-so-good reasons. Often, this is where the competition is weak, allowing software providers to charge an inflated price.
In addition to this, as a buyer of survey software, you may be paying too much for legacy systems. You may know there is a cheaper or better alternative, but the cost of switching is high and, possibly, risky.
Where does this position MRDCL?
Compared to some tabulation systems, MRDCL is more expensive than many other tabulation products; this includes the alternative tabulation software products we sell ourselves, Snap and QPSMR, which are much cheaper. How does it compare with other tabulation software against the criteria I cited for being expensive?
Comparing MRDCL to other tabulation software
1. The ability to produce ‘any’ requirements
On the first item, MRDCL definitely passes the test for being able to do ‘anything’ in its category. Of course, no software provider can claim that their software can produce any table you might want in exactly the form you want. However, I can’t remember an occasion in over 20 years where we have not been able to find a solution and, yes, we can almost claim to be able to produce ‘any table’ you might ever want.
2. Higher productivity
Again, MRDCL scores well in this category, although there is a caveat that you have to consider. While the long-term development goal of MRDCL has been to produce high-productivity software, MRDCL needs skilled users to make that happen. Untrained or unsuitable staff will not achieve the high productivity that is possible. In the right hands, MRDCL will reduce production time significantly and measurably. In some cases, we have reduced staff time by 90%. That’s right. We have evidence of a project taking 20 person-days per month, decreasing to less than two days per month with MRDCL.
3. Efficient workflow
This topic is an interesting one that I believe is gaining importance. As the deliverables from market research increase, it is becoming increasingly important that all the software you use fits together seamlessly. Or, at least, with as little friction as possible. You need to be able to move your data to the best software product for you and deliver what your client wants as easily as possible. In this area, we do not think that MRDCL is perfect; arguably, perfection is impossible to achieve. However, it is the core focus of our development. Automation, data manoeuvrability and integration with other systems is an area we are aiming to excel in.
4. Key features
This topic is a harder one to crystalise. Here are some examples where MRDCL has key features where it outperforms all or most of the competition:
Handling tracking studies
Processing hierarchical data
Processing occasion-based data (such as eating occasions, restaurant visits etc.)
Handling complex weighting procedures
Producing complex analysis
Requiring large-scale repetitive analysis needs
And much more
What these four key indicators tell you about the price
Software products that score well in these four key areas are rightly more expensive than others. To cover all these areas well, it has almost certainly been necessary for far more software development than a product that moderately or poorly covers the four key areas. Where software meets these criteria, you have, at your fingertips, software that allows you to meet any client needs efficiently and effectively. Is that important to you? If it’s not, there is no reason to use products like MRDCL.
Let’s get down to the pricing of MRDCL
In our view, the price of MRDCL is reasonable and competitive if you want a product that meets some (or, maybe, all) of the four key criteria. Compared to some of the price tags of some of the online data collection platforms, CATI systems and dashboard systems, it is available at a substantially lower cost.
Potential customers often raise the cost difference per user between one user and, say, ten users. We admit that is an unusual pricing policy compared to other market research software products. For one user, our fee is GBP3690 per year (at the time of writing), whereas ten users cost GBP7999 – in other words, just under GBP800 per user. However, this pricing is deliberate. We have found that a team of ten users often need less support than one user. Why is this? Teams often learn how to make the best use of MRDCL faster and solve their challenges. Some limited tabulation products price their licences at a fixed rate per user, which can mean a team of ten users is very expensive, more expensive than MRDCL!
Why are freelancers able to get such a low-cost licence?
Potential customers also often ask why a freelancer licence has an especially low price at GBP999. To take advantage of this low cost, a freelancer needs to be working independently and meet other criteria. These criteria include demonstrating a high level of competence in MRDCL, not requiring support, and a willingness to promote MRDCL actively.
What makes MRDCL even better value
Unlike many software suppliers, we offer a lot more within our licence fees. The licence fee includes:
A generous amount of free onboarding help (many software suppliers charge high fees)
Access to over 60 videos for initial training and more complex topics
Some free critiquing of MRDCL scripts
Also, there are no add-on fees, something which is creeping into the market research software market. With MRDCL, you get the licence to do what you want with no hidden charges.
Is MRDCL moving forward?
One thing I raised earlier was the threat you have of being trapped in a system. First of all, we make it as easy as possible to port your project to an alternative system. More importantly, perhaps, we are expanding the scope of MRDCL. There will be a new module to automate reports and charts using MRDCL script in the foreseeable future. This feature alone will be a gamechanger for some users.
Finally, is MRDCL fairly priced?
As I end this post, it is time to answer the question posed in the blog article’s title. Yes, I am bound to say that I think it is fairly priced. However, I would add that MRDCL has taken years of development to reach the levels of productivity, automation and completeness it offers now. MRDCL is not for everyone, and we try to make that clear. MRDCL offers excellent value, in my view, if you wish to produce tabulations by scripting.