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TOPIC: My university is decommissioning LimeSurvey in favor of Qualtrics

My university is decommissioning LimeSurvey in favor of Qualtrics 1 year 3 weeks ago #97664

  • LudmilaSap
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I have just learned that the University of Minnesota is decommissioning its LimeSurvey-based Survey system in favor of Qualtrics.The LimeSurvey application was adopted back in 2009.

My apologies for the catchy title, I do have some questions related to this, which should help me understand why they are phasing out LS.

One thing I noticed with the University system is that there is just one database supporting thousands of users. Accordingly, the main panel is devoid of some critical features of LS like Global Features, Label Sets and most importantly the Template Editor. Is it the case that these features cannot be changed on a per-user basis?

Or to put it differently, are there any important LS features that can only be changed at the database level?

I ask this because LS would have had the upper hand over Qualtrics if the currently absent features mentioned would have been enabled per user. It's extensive customization options are it's main strength, IMO. Sorry if this sounds confusing; just trying to get some insight into this. Thanks
Last Edit: 1 year 3 weeks ago by LudmilaSap. Reason: wrong link
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My university is decommissioning LimeSurvey in favor of Qualtrics 1 year 3 weeks ago #97672

  • DenisChenu
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Hello,
AlexR wrote:
Accordingly, the main panel is devoid of some critical features of LS like Global Features, Label Sets and most importantly the Template Editor. Is it the case that these features cannot be changed on a per-user basis?
Not actually in LS core.

BUT, it's a false reason : because LimeSurvey is a libre software then LimeSurvey can be hacked/adapted/evolve.

A lot of our functionnality are made for people and integrated in LS core some month after.

Denis
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My university is decommissioning LimeSurvey in favor of Qualtrics 1 year 3 weeks ago #97679

  • sammousa
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AlexR wrote:
I have just learned that the University of Minnesota is decommissioning its LimeSurvey-based Survey system in favor of Qualtrics.The LimeSurvey application was adopted back in 2009.

My apologies for the catchy title, I do have some questions related to this, which should help me understand why they are phasing out LS.

One thing I noticed with the University system is that there is just one database supporting thousands of users. Accordingly, the main panel is devoid of some critical features of LS like Global Features, Label Sets and most importantly the Template Editor. Is it the case that these features cannot be changed on a per-user basis?

Or to put it differently, are there any important LS features that can only be changed at the database level?

I ask this because LS would have had the upper hand over Qualtrics if the currently absent features mentioned would have been enabled per user. It's extensive customization options are it's main strength, IMO. Sorry if this sounds confusing; just trying to get some insight into this. Thanks

Hi AlexR,

Without going into specifics on what features are or are not part of Limesurvey, there are several things the university should consider.

Qualtrics is closed source software where you have to pay yearly fees. Limesurvey on the other hand is open and free.

If the budget spent on buying license(s) for qualtrics was instead put to use improving Limesurvey, any of the missing features could probably be implemented and this would be a one time investment instead of a recurring investment.

Please consider this before switching survey system in any scenario.

The features you specifically mention are configurable on a per survey basis, but for me its not sufficiently clear what it is you are missing. In case you'd like to have a chat about this, PM me on IRC (sammousa) or add me on skype (sam_mousa).

Cheers!
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My university is decommissioning LimeSurvey in favor of Qualtrics 1 year 3 weeks ago #97705

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Thanks, I think you answered my question. It must be the case then that whoever set up the LS-based system at UMN back in 2009 disabled those features. You can see what the panel looks like in this online demonstration on the second page.

I've tried Qualtrics and I can understand why it might be easier to work with for most users, with the seamless adding of questions, question blocks and page breaks, the simple but limited "look and feel" customization options that dont require any knowledge of CSS, as well as the modern-looking templates available to choose from. Most users I can imagine dont need all the extra customization LS offers. However, I was left wondering why some of the features of LS were absent, as it makes LS appear much inferior to Qualtrics, when it clearly is not.

Just days ago, I also requrested to have my own LS database, and I've received quite a bit of pushback. Here's what they told me today:
I see the value of LimeSurvey's easy customizability, but I've been told that we can't set up a database for it. Qualtrics is the University's survey tool of choice, so at the very least, it wouldn't look good for us to support the installation of another survey tool without major feature differences.
I havent replied yet and I am considering putting pressure on them, but I think it may just be easier to get a non-university web host, since they're so cheap nowadays.
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My university is decommissioning LimeSurvey in favor of Qualtrics 1 year 3 weeks ago #97709

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Actually, would anyone like to comment on the argument that there are no "major feature differences" between LS and Qualtrics? (this could be a separate topic, I know).
Any ideas on how I could convince university staff that LS offers something more than Qualtrics??

Here is part of the email I sent them before they replied that there are no major differences:
The two main advantages of LS (as far as I'm concerned) are:
first and foremost - the template editor: it enables full customization by giving users direct access to HTML, CSS and Java files. Quatrics allows input for all three, but without access to the existing scripts it makes customization very cumbersome.
secondly - quick spreadsheet editing of all survey content: LS enables users to import and export their surveys with non-proprietary formats such as .txt that can be efficiently edited in a spreadsheet editor like Excel (by editing I mean adding questions). Qualtrics has a similar feature for importing only and the required formatting of questions makes it inapproriate for editing purposes, i.e. it takes less time to write items in Qualtrics rather than in txt format.
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