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Asynchronous Polling: Taking Audience Response Systems Around the World


Globalization is more than increasing demands of goods and services across boarders; it is creating necessity for increased global cooperation and team sharing of thoughts and ideas.  Advanced Audience Response Systems (ARS) are now capable of providing asynchronous polling tools for teams meeting at different locations at different times or traditional live audience polling. 

With asynchronous polling, individuals are able to participate in live surveys, interactive adult learning sessions and electronic voting anytime and anywhere.  The ARS system tabulates and creates normative data sets so tabulated polling results are immediately available and useful.  Now physicians can review case study responses to see best practices identified by their peers in patient care.  Human resource professionals can discover action items from employee surveys administered at facilities in different regions. Associations can provide secure electronic voting for members who are unable to attend a meeting in person. 

Asynchronous polling pertains to the input of responses a poll or survey at one's own pace.  It is still an interactive audience response system.  Created for the business savvy, frequent flyers, remote office employees, and internationalists, asynchronous polling voting software is the solution to obtaining necessary feedback from an audience survey at different times in different places.

Asynchronous polling utilizes an easy log-in with smart phones, tablets or computers.  It can involve "bring your own" device or a rented iPad to enable remote participation at any specified period of time.  This is enabled via powerful cloud-based software and data warehousing, making both traditional and asynchronous polling more feasible than previously. 

These new data collection capabilities allow results to be tabulated immediately for a research report upon completion of the poll from the audience response system.  This system eliminates the extra steps and hassles associated with gathering and consolidating data from several different data sets gathered at several different times or locations.  Individuals can log-in and within a window of time from any connected device and contribute their responses to the normative data set.  Respondents don’t have to be in the same location or take time away from other business commitments.  This keeps the cost and organizational impact of polling and participation low and reduces unnecessary travel or meetings.

This method of surveying, adult learning and voting has other benefits beyond freedom from time and place.  It eliminates the hassles associated with the rental of keypad hardware as well as the cost of logistics.   Business people can respond from their own smartphone, tablet or computer.  Because participants are very familiar with their own phone or device and how those devices operate; the learning curve is minimized. 

People are often more responsive to any activity they can perform via their own device.  This helps to keep response rates high.  Gathering as many responses as possible is critical to getting an accurate handle on perceptions and or learning outcomes.  A high response rate creates a more accurate picture of the situation facing the organization so an appropriate course of follow-on action may be more easily determined and implemented.

Global business increases demand for convenience and, thus, requires innovative solutions.  This inherently calls for meetings and participation independent of the participant location.  When a company has regional locations across a single time zone or even a multitude of countries, it can be exceedingly difficult to coordinate surveys on operations or job satisfaction.  Getting input is, however, often essential to keep the organization running effectively. 

In these situations, and a variety of others, managers may simply set a time period of potentially twenty-four or even forty-eight hours and employees anywhere may respond to the assessment, poll or survey whenever they are in the office, or at home, when they are connected to the internet as long as they may log-in to the system.  Audience response tools are typically faster and easier to use than digital or paper survey technology.  They provide for more flexible reporting and review of results on screen and in a variety of digital formats.

Our company, Option Technologies, specializes in audience response software and audience voting systems.  We implement web based polling through our OptionPower add-on, Virtual Base Station and our suite of Virtual Interactive Participant (VIP) tools.  These response systems allow audience members to participate with their own smartphones, tablets, and notebooks from almost any location and are available as an audience response system rental or for subscription purchase.  More information is available at the link, http://optiontechnologies.com/products/optionpower-add-ons/virtual-base-station/.

These new methods for surveying can also help researchers gain an understanding on various ideas and perceptions of topics and ideas in varying locations across the globe so that they may adjust their strategies to reach each audience and establish strong, lasting relationships among those locations as culture is a very powerful driver to help achieve team objectives.  Asynchronous polling enacts features to shift the dynamics of place and caters to the fast pace of business today.


Posted by Gia Domenico

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