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9 Best (Research) Panel Management Software & Tools

Exon Nkemchor
•  03.08.2023
Research panel management tools make it easy to collect, manage, and analyze data from research panelists effectively. In this article, we are going to talk about panel management tools, their different types, and compare each tool’s features, price, pros and cons.

Research panel management software are very helpful in streamlining the recruitment process for any research study. These tools serve as a repository making it easy to recruit, track, manage and analyze data from research participants in one place.

Panel management tools streamline research operations for past, present and future research studies which enables UX Designers to make data-driven decisions with confidence when designing a new feature or iterating on an existing product design. 

It is also a great tool for market and UX researchers who want to gather insights from a particular group of people, collect customer feedback or stay informed on the future of their product market through research.

With research panel management tools, it becomes easier to segment your research needs according to a particular demographic (eg: super users) by distributing surveys, tracking each response while helping you gain valuable insights essential for product improvement.

Table of contents:

What are panel management software?

Panel management software are tools used by UX Researchers to recruit, organize and manage their research participants effectively. Participants who are often current users (referred to as panelists or user panels) are onboarded to provide product feedback, test new design features or participate in user interviews in a customized database. 

UX Researchers are able to schedule research studies, track responses, and analyze the data provided by these participants. Panel management software also includes features for data analysis which is great for effective collaboration and reporting, allowing researchers to generate insights from the gathered data. These features make it easy to share data with stakeholders and product teams for early discussions around a product. 

9 Best (Research) Panel Management Tools

With a good understanding of what panel management tools are, let us now look at the 9 best research panel management tools and their features.

  1. UXtweak
  2. User Interviews
  3. Startquestion
  4. Consent Kit
  5. Ethnio
  6. Panelfox
  7. Great Question
  8. SurveyMonkey
  9. Alchemer

For each tool, we included:

  • A short description
  • A list of features
  • Pros & Cons list
  • User reviews
  • Pricing

Here’s a comprehensive comparison table of each tool’s reviews from Capterra:

Rating

Ease of Use

Quality of Support

Pricing

UXtweak

4.8

5.0

✓ Free plan 

Plus plan - $80/month Billed annually

User Interviews

4.1

4.8

✗ No free plan 

Paid plan - starts at $175/month

Startquestion

4.8

4.9

✓ Free plan 

Paid plan - $49 per month

Consent Kit

4.5

5.0

✗ No free plan 

Paid plan - $25 per month

Ethnio

4.4

4.5

✗ No free plan 

Paid plan - $79 per month

Panelfox

5.0

5.0

✗ No free plan 

Paid plan - $83 per month

Great Question

4.8

4.7

✓ Free plan 

Paid plan - $49 per month

Survey Monkey

4.6

4.3

✓ Free plan 

Paid plan - $25 per month

Alchemer

4.5

4.3

✓ Free plan 

Paid plan - $55 per month

1. UXtweak

panel management software: uxtweak

UXtweak is an all-in-one UX research platform full of powerful tools for improving the usability of web sites and apps, from prototypes to production. It is designed for usability testing, information architecture research and user behaviour analytics at any stage of the development cycle. With an easy implementation with GTM, UXtweak provides a CRM-like tool for your own database of users/testers with a huge amount of filtering and segmenting options.

Key Features

User reviews & rating

The ratings below are based solely on the tool’s reviews from Capterra:

Overall – 5.0/5

Ease of Use – 4.7/5

Quality of Support – 5.0/5

Pros

  • The platform offers research and user recruitment tools, so there is no need for extra tools (subscriptions)
  • Ability to recruit from 155M+ User Panel on top of your Own Database.
  • Onsite Recruiting feature – allows you to turn real website visitors into testers.
  • Intuitive UI and easy set-up.
  • Has a free plan

Cons

  • Supports only 10 languages.

Pricing & Plans

UXtweak has a free plan available with unlimited time for small projects. You can also choose a Pro plan for only $80 per month and billed annually.

Looking for a Panel Management Software? Try UXtweak!

Use our tool to conduct research with your own participant database

Register for free

2. User Interviews

panel management software: user interviews

User Interviews is a user research and panel management software that helps UX Researchers and designers make better business decisions by connecting researchers with participants to learn about consumer behavior, product usage and get detailed feedback with quality insights from the research study. With an advanced management database, you can get fast access to quality participants who can earn money by participating in your research studies.

Key features

  • Unmoderated and moderated Research
  • Data security and user privacy
  • Live data feed
  • Reporting
  • Integrations
  • Analytics

User reviews & rating

The ratings below are solely based on the tool’s reviews from Capterra:

Overall – 4.4/5

Ease of Use – 4.1/5

Quality of Support – 4.8/5

Pros

  • Very easy to use and does not require any learning curve.
  • They have an excellent, vetted, varied, and reliable panel of participants.
  • Reliable and inexpensive platform for both in-person and remote moderated testing.

Cons

  • Lacks filtering for interview screener questions.
  • Does not have a built-in conference/chat platform.

Pricing & Plans

User Interviews does not offer a free plan. Their paid subscription starts at $175/month. You can also use their pay-as-you-go option for $45/session.

3. Startquestion

panel management software, Startquestion

Startquestion is a survey panel management software designed to gather feedback from customers and employees, allowing for swift analysis and sharing of insights within the organization. You can gather insights about a particular user group by distributing targeted surveys or questionnaires, schedule data collection, and collect survey responses from participants.

Key features

  • Survey Builder
  • Customizable Templates
  • Data Import/Export
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Email Marketing
  • Question Branching
  • Question Library
  • URL Customization
  • Data Analysis Tools
  • Mobile Survey
  • Multi-Channel Distribution
  • Supports Audio/Images/Video

User reviews & rating

The ratings below are based solely on the tool’s reviews from Capterra:

Overall – 4.9/5

Ease of Use – 4.8/5

Quality of Support – 4.9/5

Pros

  • Has a very easy-to-use user interface.
  • It offers templates for building surveys.
  • It simplifies designing forms and surveys and schedules them to be published or sent via email or social media.
  • Ability to accept large volumes of survey responses.
  • Ability to track panelists’ activities, monitor their participation status, and manage their profiles.

Cons

  • It has a steep learning curve.
  • Surveys on the list are not arranged alphabetically due to a lack of filters.

Pricing & Plans

Startquestion makes it easy for you to distribute targeted surveys or questionnaires and collect survey responses from participants with its free plan. They also have a paid plan that starts at $49 per month.

4. Consent Kit

panel management software, Consent Kit

Consent Kit is a panel management software for User Research and Research Operations that makes it easy for you to create your own fully integrated workflow from recruitment to research. You can also completely manage and customize informed consent from participants via generated custom forms and email templates to comply with regulatory guidelines.

Key features

  • Automatic audit trails
  • Generate DSAR reports
  • Modular templating engine
  • Accessible consent forms
  • Frictionless digital signatures
  • Dynamic email templates
  • Project dashboards
  • Role based permissions
  • Notifications

User reviews & rating

The ratings below are based solely on the tool’s reviews from Capterra:

Overall – 5.0/5

Ease of Use – 4.5/5

Quality of Support – 5.0/5

Pros

  • Easy to select what kind of project you’re working on and add participants.
  • Ability to collaborate on user research or communications requirements across projects and teams,makeing tracking, managing and deleting so simple.
  • Ability to share consents with different participants of a research in an anonymous, GDPR compliant way.
  • Supports several languages.

Cons

  • Inability to download invoice receipts and to move events and activities between projects
  • Uploading a document of proof after a panelist completes a task can be cumbersome.

Pricing & Plans

Consent Kit does not offer a free plan but has a 14-day free trial. They also have a paid plan that starts at $25 per month.

5. Ethnio

panel management software, Ethnio

Ethnio is a research panel management used by UX Researchers and analysts to hire users and participants for research studies & store interactions, candidates, screening and other data centrally. Ethnio enables continuous discovery across product teams while streamlining the UX research process.

Key features

  • Pool: Centralized participant database
  • Incentives
  • Screeners
  • Intercepts: Targeted elegant intercepts on web, iOS, or Android
  • Scheduling

User reviews & rating

The ratings below are based solely on the tool’s reviews from G2:

Overall – 5.0/5

Ease of Use – 4.5/5

Quality of Support – 5.0/5

Pros

  • Easy to send payment incentives to recipients in various countries, and choose what type of payments they can receive.
  • Ability to provide reports.
  • The process required to recruit and screen participants is easy and seamless.
  • Very reliable customer service.

Cons

  • Has a bit of a learning curve.
  • Lack of advanced quotas

Pricing & Plans

Ethnio does not offer a free plan but has a 14-day free trial. They also have a paid plan that starts at $79 per month.

6. Panelfox

panel management software, Panelfox

Panelfox is a panel management and user research recruiting software that automates personalized mass recruitment emails, and enables 1-on-1 communication so you never miss a response. With robust screening, quotas, scheduling and incentive automation you can seamlessly automate your research operations. You can also create personalized processes, branded communications, and integrate with your existing tools.

Key features

  • Panel management
  • Email & SMS
  • Surveys
  • Recruitment
  • Scheduling
  • Incentives

User reviews & rating

The ratings below are based solely on the tool’s reviews from Capterra:

Overall – 5.0/5

Ease of Use – 5.0/5

Quality of Support – 5.0/5

Pros

  • Customizable and adaptable to any research needs.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects from one central hub
  • Easy to integrate with third party apps like calendly.
  • It is simple and has a very intuitive user interface

Cons

  • Lack of team collaboration in software
  • Inability to interact with others, assign tasks, and track progress

Pricing & Plans

Panelfox serves as an all-in-one software for research recruitment with its paid plan that starts at $83.25 per month.

7. Great Question

panel management software: Great Question

Great Question is research panel management software that offers a great way to conduct qualitative customer research by recruiting participants, running your research method of choice, analyze what you learn, and share collaboratively with your team and report data to stakeholders.

Key features

  • Participant Recruitment
  • Panel Management
  • Methods
  • Scheduling
  • Incentives
  • Repository
  • Highlight reels
  • Integrations

User reviews & rating

The ratings below are based solely on the tool’s reviews from Producthunt:

Overall – 4.9/5

Ease of Use – 4.8/5

Quality of Support – 4.7/5

Pros

  • Ability to replace multiple tools in research stack
  • Ability to democratise and speed up research and discovery processes for internal teams
  • Eases the operational overhead of continuous research
  • Very reliable customer service.

Cons

  • Offers only 1 seat limit for its free plan.

Pricing & Plans

Great Question offers a free plan. They also have a paid plan that starts at $49 per month.

8. SurveyMonkey

panel management software: survey monkey

SurveyMonkey is a survey panel management tool that gives businesses a way to turn feedback into action that drives growth and innovation. SurveyMonkey offers expert-written survey templates that speak to customers, employees, or your target audience and collect feedback in minutes.

Key features

  • Surveys
  • Feedback plugins
  • Audience panel
  • CX metrics
  • Panel management

User reviews & rating

The ratings below are solely based on the tool’s reviews from Capterra:

Overall – 4.6/5

Ease of Use – 4.6/5

Quality of Support – 4.3/5

Pros

  • Ability to create custom dashboards for different users or managers with its reporting tool.
  • Has a free plan.
  • Great customer support.
  • Very simple and intuitive user interface.
  • Ability to customize survey forms.

Cons

  • Inconsistent proprietary user panels.
  • Limitations on the number of responses and questions.

Pricing & Plans

SurveyMonkey offers a free plan. They also have a paid plan that starts at $25 per month.

9. Alchemer

panel management software: alchemer

Alchemer is a panel management tool that offers the most flexible feedback and data collection process which enables organizations to close the customer feedback loop quickly and effectively. Alchemer takes data out of dashboards and puts them into the hands of people who take action by getting you the feedback you need from customers.

Key features

  • Survey/Poll Management
  • Customizable Forms
  • Dashboard and analytics
  • Multi-Channel Data Collection
  • Advanced Logic and Branching
  • Flexible Reporting

User reviews & rating

The ratings below are based solely  on the tool’s reviews from Capterra:

Overall – 4.5/5

Ease of Use – 4.5/5

Quality of Support – 4.3/5

Pros

  • It is very easy to use with a quick learning curve.
  • It has a highly-functional piping feature.
  • It is flexible with the ability to customize surveys.
  • It is easy to create different types of questions and surveys.

Cons

  • Data merge and import can be slow.
  • It is very difficult to export data from Alchemer to another place and have it work reliably.

Pricing & Plans

Alchemer has a free plan. They also have a paid plan that starts at $55 per month.

Free Panel Management Tools

With research budget being a major deciding factor, some constraints may apply when choosing a desired panel management tool. Among the mentioned panel management tools, these tools will partially help you recruit, screen, collect, manage, and analyze data from panel responses for free:

  1. UXtweak
  2. Startquestion
  3. Great Question
  4. Survey Monkey
  5. Alchemer

Looking for a Panel Management Software? Try UXtweak!

Use our tool to conduct research with your own participant database

Register for free

Why is having panel management software important?

Panel management software helps to streamline the various aspects of the research process, from participant recruitment to running research studies, recording responses, gathering data, analyzing and reporting it. 

The main importance and benefits of using a panel management software include:

1. Panel Recruitment and Profiling

It helps UX researchers identify and recruit participants who meet specific criteria for their research study. The software automates participant profile creation, enabling researchers to match suitable participants with relevant research studies.

2. Communication and Engagement

They facilitate seamless communication with panelists, including sending invitations, reminders, and updates regarding research activities in a study or project. It also provides options for conducting surveys, discussions, and other forms of collecting data centrally.

3. Participant Tracking and Management

They allow UX researchers to track panelists’ activities, monitor their participation status, and manage their profiles.

They help to keep records of participants’ demographic information, contact details, and consent forms, ensuring compliance with ethical guidelines and data privacy regulations.

4. Data Collection and Analysis

Research panel management software offers a way to design custom surveys and questionnaires, schedule data collection activities, and collect responses from participants.

Some tools also provide built-in analytics features, allowing UX researchers to generate UX research reports or export data for further analysis using external statistical software.

5. Incentive Management

To encourage participant engagement and retention, some panel management tools include features for managing incentives and rewards.

They make it easy for UX researchers to choose mode of payment for incentives, track incentive distribution, issue rewards to participants, monitor status and provide reports to the finance team for proper documentation.

6. Reporting and Insights

These tools enable UX researchers to generate comprehensive reports summarizing research findings and participant demographics.

These reports might often include data visualizations and analytics dashboards to help researchers gain insights from the collected data. This helps to collaborate easily with product teams presenting core product insights. 

How to choose a panel management tool?

panel management tools

Research panel management software plays a vital role in optimizing the management and operation of research panels and choosing the right tool is important for the success of any research study. There are certain factors to consider when choosing the right panel management tool.

With the research objectives already established, here are some factors to keep in mind when picking the right panel management tool: 

  • Key features: The right tool should be the one that has the specific features needed for your research goals to be achieved. Features such as participant management, advanced screening and filtering, scheduling, reporting and analytics, and integrations with other third party tools should be considered.
  • Ease of use: Always pick the tool that has a low learning curve, is easy to use and has a simple user interface. It helps to get the job done easier and faster. 
  • Customization & Personalization: Look out for tools that make it easy to infuse your own brand and personality into it. From brand survey colors to personalized screen questions and adding brand logos. This helps to give your research study a touch of differentiation which is helpful for brand recognition.
  • Scalability: Look out for a tool that can grow and adapt with your research needs as your team grows. This tool may also serve as a research repository that will contain all past, present and future research information.
  • Security and compliance: Find out if the tool prioritizes security and compliance to protect your data and that of your panelists. Ensure compliance with relevant regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Look out for tools and software that provide value for money and fit within your budget constraints. Always make sure you learn about the pricing models, subscription plans and cost-saving features offered by the panel management tool you pick. 

Stay connected to your users with the right Panel Management Software

The best research panel management software should be tailored to your research needs and help you achieve your research objectives. The goal of UX research is to obtain feedback from your users which can enable you to understand their pain points and tailor your product or service offerings to solve their immediate needs.

You can also build, grow and maintain your own research community with panel management tools which will help you stay ahead of the market curve and achieve product success.

Start building your own database of participants with UXtweak! Get first hand feedback on new product features and what design feature you need to launch next. Register for your UXtweak account and start testing today!

FAQ: Panel Management

What is panel management software?

Panel management software are tools used by UX Researchers to recruit, organize and manage their research participants effectively.

Which tools have the best panel management?

There are 9 best panel management tools:

  1. UXtweak
  2. User Interviews
  3. Startquestion
  4. Consent Kit
  5. Ethnio
  6. Panelfox
  7. Great Question
  8. SurveyMonkey
  9. Alchemer
Why is having a tool with own panel management feature important?

It is important to have a tool with a personalized panel management feature because it seamlessly automates the process of recruiting participants into a centralized system and makes it easy for your to access all your panelists and research data in one database.

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