Frequently Asked Questions
Who offers the Perception Analyzer®?
Dialsmith, LLC, is the exclusive worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of the Perception Analyzer. Dialsmith offers system sales and project-based consulting services and works with clients and partners in more than 30 countries around the world.
How long has the Perception Analyzer been around?
The Perception Analyzer was invented in 1984.
How does the Perception Analyzer work?
Respondents and audience members use wireless, hand-held dials to answer questions and give feedback during focus groups, meetings, presentations, etc. A small wireless receiver, called a console, connects to a computer and polls the dials. The Perception Analyzer software instantly tallies the results. Results are immediately available (in aggregate and by subset) for private viewing or to display to respondents and audience members.
Results are available for analysis in graphical, crosstab, and quick frequency formats. Results can also be exported to SPSS, Excel®, PowerPoint®, in HTML, and as JPGs or PDFs for presentations and/or reports.
What type of wireless connectivity is used between the dials and the console?
Dials communicate wirelessly with the console over a selected radio frequency. The system can be used in venues as small as focus group facilities and conference rooms, or as large as hotel ballrooms and convention centers.
What type of software is used to run the Perception Analyzer?
Dialsmith integrates a four-module software suite to operate the Perception Analyzer system. The modules include:
- Setup - for setting up the system at your venue
- Edit - for questionnaire development and authoring
- Collect - for data collection during sessions
- Report - for real-time reporting of data as well as data export for further analysis
What question types can be asked with the Perception Analyzer?
The most commonly used question types are:
- Discrete choice / categorical
- Intensity scale / attitudinal (e. g., 0-10, 0-100, 1-5, 1-7, etc.)
With Moment-to-Moment, respondents and audience members communicate continuous feedback to test stimuli such as TV shows, TV ads, infomercials, speeches, debates, presentations, legal proceedings, etc. Data can be superimposed over the stimuli as an “overlay” to display synchronized results on what people like and don't like.
How is the Perception Analyzer used?
The Perception Analyzer is used extensively for the following kinds of projects:
- Focus groups (8 - 12 people)
- Large group interactive sessions (25 - 50 people)
- Mock juries (12 - 36 people)
- TV pilot and show maintenance tests (10 - 50 people)
- Meetings/conferences/events (10 - 1000 people or more)
Haven't I seen the Perception Analyzer on TV?
It's very likely, yes. During times of political campaigns, it is not uncommon to see on-air focus groups evaluating speeches and debates with the resulting Moment-to-Moment overlays analyzed and discussed by news commentators and pundits. Throughout the 2008 presidential debates, CNN aired real-time Perception Analyzer results at the bottom of the screen and MSNBC used Perception Analyzer data to drive the discussions with their focus groups. The Perception Analyzer has also been featured on NBC's The West Wing, VH1's Strip Search and Surreal Life 6, in the Showtime Original Movie Spinning Boris, FOX's series Justice, TV Guide Channel's America's Next Producer, and in the PBS documentary The Persuaders. The Perception Analyzer has also been used behind the scenes to test countless television pilots.
How can I try the Perception Analyzer on my next project?
We can consult on your next project or you can purchase a Perception Analyzer system. Dialsmith sells the Perception Analyzer and works with clients on a project by project basis. If you choose to use us as your consultant, we offer turn-key services. We program your questionnaire into the software, send a consultant along with the system to run it during your session(s), coordinate all on-site audio/visual needs, and deliver the data to you immediately following the project. If you choose to purchase a system, we sell you the Perception Analyzer software, hardware, and necessary audio/visual peripherals. You then supply your own computer and audio/visual equipment as needed.
If I purchase a system, what training and support are available?
We provide custom training at your office or ours and 24/7 technical support. We make sure you're never alone. More information may be found in the Support section.
What type of computer will I need to operate the Perception Analyzer?
Virtually any newer, Windows®-based computer will work just fine. More specific computer recommendations may be found in the Computer Requirements section.
Where is Dialsmith?
Our main office is in Portland, Oregon, with clients and partners around the world.