Purdue-related startup aims to improve traditional survey tools

Tyler Grant and Louis Tay

A Purdue-related startup has developed a web and app-based platform that could capture more detailed insights on conventional survey tools used to measure how people respond to new products, environments and services.

Such data is typically used by companies in test markets and other platforms to help a company or organization better meet consumer needs.

Louis Tay, a psychological sciences professor in Purdue’s College of Health and Human Sciences, founded the company Expimetrics to further develop the platform.

Tay’s research over the last 10 years has assessed individual happiness and experiences. He says the current tool kit to best help him do this is a simple online survey.

“I’ve found through my research that using an online survey is a few steps removed from people’s actual experiences. People often fill surveys out after some time has passed and often are influenced by feelings and thoughts that are no longer specific to the situation being recorded, so the answers aren’t usually accurate or useful,” he says. “Surveys are also cumbersome and limited, in terms of information. Usually it’s a onetime survey instead of tracking responses over time. Environmental aspects aren’t taken into account in their answers and companies aren’t able to connect with people in the moment to find out how they’re experiencing something specific to right then and there.”

Tay says this technology has the potential to change the way anyone looking for information on how people respond to their environment can record and utilize important data. He says the platform’s real-time, location-based, multimedia, and tracking functions enable users to provide more organic and accurate responses.

“I don’t like using the word survey for what we do. It has a very traditional connotation and what we’re trying to do is so much more. Companies who might have a new toy to test can ask people who have just bought the toy to share videos and audio commentary of how their child reacts and plays with the toy, parents can share their thoughts and submit the information over certain periods of time to see how long it may take for the child to lose interest,” he says. “If a department store needs someone to be a secret shopper and perform certain tasks, companies can push out specific surveys to a certain demographic who are near Macy’s, as long as the user’s location function is turned on. The use of a location finder, the ability to submit video and audio and having real-time information could provide much better insights than a focus group that comes into an artificial setting.”

The online-based experience capturing platform also provides a cost effective alternative to market research or polling calls.

“If a company uses a system that utilizes individual employees to call each person and ask certain questions, like who would you vote for, the company can save a great deal of time and money by utilizing our platform to reach more willing people in much less time,” Tay says. “Through our platform companies can create a question that we can push to users and then receive instantaneous feedback when users respond without the need to spend time and money calling thousands of different people in the hopes of a few answers.”

The platform will be comprised of two layers: one is for users who are interested in submitting their experiences and one is for people who are trying to capture the experiences.

“Users who want to submit their experiences can use the app without logging in and explore the experiences they can take or they can sign up, where they will provide basic demographic information and register. By signing up users will be able to see how much they may be compensated for their responses,” Tay says. “The other users wanting to capture the experiences, the paying customer, are able to log on to the website, create a project and then send it out to the demographic group they want or push out surveys to any users, which will pop up on the user’s phone. Paying customers are able to include their own rates for each response, putting a dollar amount value on each experience that would be paid to the person who logs in and submits information.”

Tay says he is excited about his effort to bring change to the $3 billion market survey industry, which is only one market that this platform could revolutionize.

“People are constantly trying to find out information and insights. It plays into a lot of big decisions companies have to make and more and more companies are using data to help make these decisions,” he says. “I think our tool, which has a unique search engine for creating and capturing experiences, provides that additional edge in delivering insightful analytics, which is not readily available and hasn’t been done before.”

Expimetrics recently finished the alpha stage of development and completed its first round of beta testing. The platform is available to use at www.expimetrics.com or the Expimetrics app can be downloaded at the iTunes Apple store for free. A video about Expimetrics is available at https://youtu.be/4akcu7vjAXA.

Tay has received funding from the Entrepreneurship Leadership Academy for his research in the psychology department, upon which this tool was based. He also credits the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator located on the Purdue campus, in helping develop his company.

“As faculty members, there is some level of entrepreneurship you need to engage with in your research, whether that’s thinking about what problem can be solved or figuring out if there is a problem you can create that is important enough for people to invest money in and solve,” he says. “The Purdue Foundry has been a really helpful resource to help learn the business side of bringing an idea to life and connecting with other like-minded people. It’s really a second Ph.D., and seeing it done by other faculty members and being mentored through the whole process by the entrepreneurs in residence has been very helpful in getting my company to where it is today.”

Expimetrics is seeking funding opportunities and is open to the possibility of partnering with an analytics developer or company to further develop the technology.

Technology used by Expimetrics has been licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. Expimetrics is a member of the Purdue Startup Class of 2016. Purdue has 27 startups based on Purdue intellectual property that were launched in the 2016 fiscal year. The company is also a client of Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator located in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Purdue’s Discovery Park.

Original article: http://bit.ly/2hNIAYk

Above: Tyler Grant, software developer, and Louis Tay, Purdue psychological sciences professor, discuss data retrieved by Tay’s new web and app-based platform that gathers more detailed information from conventional survey tools. Tay has founded Expimetrics to develop the platform, which can be used to generate more accurate responses to surveys using real-time, location-based, multimedia and tracking functions. (Purdue Research Foundation photo)