SPSS researches opportunities with handheld apps

SPSS has struck an exclusive distribution agreement with handheld applications developer Techneo to supply its Entryware market research software to the Australian market.

SPSS provides software, hardware and associated services to market research companies, which enables the likes of AC Nielsen to conduct Mobile Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (MCAPI).

The Entryware application runs on the Palm Pilot handheld platform and allows field researchers to design survey questions and collect survey data, which is then synchronised with the user's PC back at the office. Entryware also features multiple-language support and scripting capabilities.

"One of the inhibitors has always been that you have to have expensive hardware like notebooks to conduct MCAPI, and notebooks can be dropped, lost or stolen," said Neil Vasey, SPSS's key accounts manager for the Asia-Pacific. "It's also difficult [to use] if I wanted to approach you in the street to show you some images and ask you what you thought of them."

Vasey said the Entryware software frees up researchers to use a Palm device and still have access to all the functionality provided by a laptop.