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Let’s say you want to test the idea of a new, bacon-flavored chocolate.

Before you test-kitchen it, you want to find out such things as whether most people find the idea repulsive. To speed up the process for evaluating this or any product, analytics firm Absolutdata is out today with a new tool called the Navik Concept Test.

Normally, CEO Anil Kaul told me, a company would employ one or more human market researchers to design a survey for evaluating such key factors as the basic concept, the best price, product positioning, or a new package design.

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The market researchers would sit with the client company, figure out key parameters, choose methodologies or approaches to various kinds of questions, design the test, generate a survey, and then put it in the field. Kaul said this complex manual process — which his company has offered for more than a decade in one of its practices, market research — can take six to ten weeks.

The Navik Concept Test is intended to intelligently automate the survey design, which is then made available through its survey tool. Getting a test in the field, the San Francisco-based company said, can now be accomplished in two to four weeks.

Product ideas can be shown as photos, video, or text, and the client company chooses such parameters as business goals, key performance indicators, and target groups.

Behind the scenes, the tool recommends the most appropriate methodologies, such as whether respondents see only one product idea or are able to choose from several. For pricing, the tool might suggest a methodology that includes a question about how low the price can go before the product seems inferior.

A screen from the Navik Concept Test.

Above: A screen from the Navik Concept Test.

Image Credit: Absolutdata

Typically, five hundred to a thousand respondents are paid to take the survey, a process generally conducted by a user panel company like Toluna, Market Cube, or Research Now. Survey results are available in real time through charts, word clouds, and other display types, with Go/No Go results and backup analytics.

Absolutdata’s new tool can be used for computer-based products as well as real-world ones, compared to an analytics system like Wizeline’s, which is focused on assessing actual software products through usage data.

Kaul noted that market research firms like Synovate and ZappiStore similarly offer online survey tools with market research intelligence, but asserted that his company’s provides greater flexibility.

For instance, he said, his competitors’ tools are modularized for one area, like product concept or pricing, and offer only one methodology, while Absolutdata’s addresses all the categories in one survey and draws on multiple methodologies.

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