Thursday, May 16, 2013

Survey of Genealogy Database Software Usage

Jerry Kocis offered a survey of genealogy database software usage in March 2013 in the Google+ Genealogy Tech Community.  He has summarized and analyzed the answers from 166 respondents.  He described the survey as:

"This is a survey regarding users’ satisfaction with their genealogy software, including their perceptions of to what extent they make use of the software’s features and capabilities."

His survey summary is a PDF file here.

Jerry not only presented the findings to ten questions, but he analyzed the responses for the three most used programs - Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree and RootsMagic - for each of the questions.

Here is a typical screen capture from the report:

Interested readers should peruse the entire document.

My take on the results, at least for the three programs analyzed in more detail, is that users are fairly well satisfied with their program, but need to learn more about using the program effectively.

One factor that may skew the results of this survey is that the respondents are much more likely to be consumers of social media and genealogy technology - they were on Google+, probably obtain information from a variety of online sources, and are more "tuned in" to the online genealogy world than the typical genealogical society member or occasional user of online trees.  It would be interesting to do this type of survey in a large genealogical society with thousands of members.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Hilary Gadsby said...

I totally agree with your comment about the demographic for the survey. If you are tech savvy you have likely looked at the software available before buying and chose the one that suited you best.
The training for the software will vary and is often only investigated when one is struggling. Only when asked directly does it come out that users do not know what training is available.
Unfortunately the software I use is not well represented in the survey as I think it has a helpful well informed user base with good backup for new users.

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