Civis Analytics is opening up its platform to give data scientists access to more information. With the launch of Civis Research, the company is letting customers create surveys that can be sent out to targeted demographics in order to find answers to pressing business questions. In essence, it’s moving in on SurveyMonkey’s turf.

“Doing fast, accurate market research is hard,” Marshall Miller, the company’s product management lead, said in an email interview. He cited factors like cost, skill set, speed, and access to correct data as obstacles for some companies. “Civis Research crosses those barriers and gives the ability to answer strategic questions to the marketers and strategists who need to know. Now they can get their brand questions answered in a week, and make smart, data-driven decisions.”

Customers select a questionnaire template that they want to implement and add in the pertinent information about their brand and competitors. Then, they select the segment of the American population they want to know more about, filtering based on demographics and geography. If needed, Civis Analytics has experts on staff to review these surveys before they’re published. Within a week, the company says that not only will responses be in, but an automated visualization is provided to customers, giving you the key insights needed to move forward.

Results from a survey created through Civis Research.

Above: Results from a survey created through Civis Research.

Image Credit: Civis Analytics

“While [companies] may be surveying their own customers, finding out the opinions of the people who you want to be your future customers is a different beast. It is methodologically challenging to figure out who to survey, what to ask them, and how to make sense of the data — all while maintaining confidence in the accuracy of the results,” Miller explained.

There are already quite a few competitors in the survey space, including SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, Vizir, and PollDaddy. But Civis Analytics’ surveys and questionnaire templates are crafted by social scientists and let users take advantageof its methodology, rather than requiring them to start from scratch.

Users can ask questions about such things as brand awareness, how a company stacks up against competitors, what demographic knows the brand the best and is most satisfied, how customers are hearing about the brand, and the impact that marketing campaigns by competitors have on the brand.

In the beginning, Civis Analytics was a service for data scientists, allowing them to take data, model it, make predictions, and act on it. The targeted audience was those with technical know-how, but over the course of time, the company has been extending itself to include tools for advertisers and media planners, as well as salespeople. Now it’s reaching out to marketers, brand managers, and anyone who finds surveys beneficial.

With $22 million in freshly raised capital, Civis Analytics seeks to scale itself so it is accessible to everyone, turning users into instant data scientists.

Customers interested in using Civis Research should expect to pay about $7,000 per survey, but the exact cost will vary depending on size and length.