Frequently Asked Questions

General

How does SPROCKLER work? SPROCKLER uses a unique combination of qualitative and quantitative data in the form of stories and statistics to help you make sense of emerging trends and patterns. We create story-based inquiries to collect actual experiences. This generates meaningful data that contributes to the adaptive learning capacities of your organization, company or community. It has three tools: Designer, Collector and Visualiser as well as training and consultancy to help you with this. The design of meetings/workshop preceding and following the inquiry are critical: It is where the quality of the inquiry is created. For more information please check the tool pages.

Why would I use SPROCKLER? SPROCKLER is different from standard surveying tools (see other question) because it uses a unique combination of statistics and stories. Statistics provide clear information and stories help to put the statistics into context. This unique combination makes that SPROCKLER’s tools can provide you with more accurate data, which will allow you to respond better to trends that are emerging in the world. It allows you to deal with today’s complexity in a clear, visual and user-friendly manner. SPROCKLER does not only give you a better picture, it can also provide you with proactive foresight so you will be able to react to trends, contribute to sustainable growth and maintain a competitive advantage in today’s increasingly complex world.

How is SPROCKLER different from standard surveying tools? In opposition to SPROCKLER, most standard surveying tools only gather statistics. Although statistics are certainly useful as they can provide clear information about what is going on, they often lack the explanatory power that stories have. SPROCKLER uses statistics as well as stories and is so able to provide information within a full contextual overview. Standard surveying tools can also be static and limiting in terms of questions. Because standard surveying tools often aim to be short, they can only ask a few questions running the risk over overlooking certain aspects. If they do take into account a significant amount of aspects, there is always the risk not being able to account for the special cases that fall outside of the expected range of answers. Through using stories, SPROCKLER allows for the collection of each case in detail and is able to get the full picture as stories allow for more space to explain. More details make the data that is generated richer and more applicable. Furthermore, the special types of question SPROCKLER uses, such as bipoles or tripoles, provide more intuitive and instinctive results and thus also help yield more accurate data. With more accurate data it becomes easier to accurately make sense of what is happening in the world.

Who designed SPROCKLER? SPROCKLER is a joint product of Perspectivity and SPADit. Perspectivity is a social enterprise that provides tools and trainings on and facilitates dealing with complexity and systemic change. SPADit is an organization with extensive experience with statistic process and data analysis. For more information about both organization, visit the About page or the Perspectivity or SPADit website.

What tools are available? SPROCKLER offers three tools to help you make the most out of your stories and data: Designer, Collector and Visualizer. Please visit their pages to find out more about each tool. Note that these are ‘just’ tools. Regardless of how ‘smart’ they are, it is HOW they are used where you can make the difference. You need to design a process to embed the tools, so that they optimally serve your purpose.

Applicability

On what devices does SPROCKLER work? SPROCKLER works both online and offline: The Collector tool can be accessed through the Internet and can be downloaded on any Android device such as your smartphone or tablet. Once downloaded it can work fully offline, only needing an Internet connection to submit responses back to the server when you want to start the Visualisation process.

Do I need an Internet connection to use SPROCKLER? If you want to use the Web Collector, then of course you need one. But if you want to use our App Collector then you only need an Internet connection to download the app and to upload all your responses after you have collected them. You need to upload your responses online when you’re done to ensure that they are stored on our server and are usable for visualization. Once you have downloaded the app, it can work completely offline. We have especially designed the app to function in three different modes to allow it to work under any circumstances. These modes are: Tester mode, Private mode and Interviewer mode. The Tester mode is used for testing the inquiry. The Private mode can be used to submit individual stories. The Interviewer mode enables someone to go around and collect stories from various storytellers on the same device.

Does it work in rural areas? Yes, our App Collector works in rural areas. In fact, it works everywhere! You only need an Internet connection to download the app and to upload the responses to our server when you are done but in the mean time you can carry the device to any no-Internet area. Our Web Collector and Designer do work only so you will need an Internet connection to be able to access those.

Can I use it with children? Yes, our tools work with children as well. The inquiries can be completely tailored to your needs and the questions are visual making it easy for children to understand. For example, there is the possibility of including picture pointer questions where the respondent has to indicate where something is likely to happen for example. These types of questions would be particularly suitable for children. Also, depending on age and computer-literacy, older children will be able to create inquiries themselves as well as we strive to make not only the Collector but also the Designer as clear and user-friendly as possible.

In what languages is SPROCKLER available? We pride ourselves on the multilingual aspect of the SPROCKLER tools. Inquiries can be created in any possible language. The Collector App works in many different languages.

Can I do a survey in a local language or dialect? It is possible to create an inquiry in every possible language and thus also a local variety or dialect. However, buttons of our Collector app and online application only exist in many of the main languages. If you decide to conduct an inquiry in a local language that we do not have in our Collector tool database, you can opt for having the buttons of the collector (such as ‘Save’ and ‘Next page’) in a different language or you can supply us with the translated versions of these buttons and then we will install them accordingly.

Pricing

How much does SPROCKLER cost? We want SPROCKLER to be accessible for every organization, no matter the type, background or origins. To do this we have been very innovative with our pricing, for more details and a pricing overview table click here. We do not want money to be an obstacle and therefore, apart from our pricing scheme, we also like to work through the concept of ‘appreciative valuation’. We agree together on what is fair for both of us, based on what you need and what we offer. You find more about this on the page on pricing.

Can I try SPROCKLER for free? Yes, you can try SPROCKLER for free. We want to give you the chance to try and test it out. Check out our ‘Services and Pricing’ page to find out more about the features that come with our free version.

I can't afford SPROCKLER, what do I do? We want SPROCKLER to be accessible for every organisation, business or non-profit, large or small, European or African. We know that the needs of your organisation or project might be different or special. We don’t want money to be an obstacle, but to be an enabler for SPROCKLER to provide you with quality services. That is why we like to work through the concept of “appreciative valuation”: We agree together on what is fair for both of us, based on what you need and what we offer.

Background

Why is SPROCKLER a philosophy, an approach and an instrument? At SPROCKLER we started with a desire to respond to what is happening in our world to be able to make meaningful decisions. We built upon the idea that an overview/acknowledgement of what trends and patterns are emerging in the world can help us. We wanted to design something that would give us the opportunity to look at what is happening now to adequately deal with future challenges. This desire is always our starting point and we built our tools on this idea. SPROCKLER’s philosophy is that we can make meaningful decisions if we respond to what is emerging in the world. Apart from this philosophy, SPROCKLER is an approach because of our specific way of gathering information, namely in the form of stories and through the use of special types of questions. SPROCKLER is also an instrument in the sense that our three tools and our trainings allow you to deal with the world’s complexity.

Why is SPROCKLER advocating story collection? The focus on stories comes from the idea that stories are the way humans make sense of the world around them. We tell stories to share our experiences and stories help us to make decisions as we recognize patterns that we have heard in previous stories. We understand the importance of stories and embrace the natural tendency and skill people have to tell them. Through using stories, SPROCKLER allows someone to share an experience and by collecting many of such experiences, it enables recognition of emerging patterns that tell something about the world surrounding the storytellers. Gathering stories about a specific topic provides information that helps to understand people’s realities and make meaningful decisions. Telling stories has value that allows for reflection and allows people to voice their experiences; ideas or concerns making them feel heard and empowered.

Why does SPROCKLER use special question types? Stories that are told contain authentic and context-rich information but the challenge is to understand that information accurately. To be able to do so as much as possible, SPROCKLER uses a self-interpretation set-up. SPROCKLER asks the storytellers themselves to map the meaning in their stories through asking them questions about the story, decreasing chances of misinterpretation and increasing a sense of ownership over the stories. The special questions SPROCKLER uses trigger more intuitive and instinctive responses and therefore help the self-interpretation set-up provide results that are more accurate.

Practical

What is a bipole or a tripole? A bipole has the form of a slider with an element at both ends and a tripole consists of a triangle with an element at each point. The respondent is asked to place his or her answer inside the triangle or on the slider where he or she feels the balance most accurately represents his or her answer. The main advantage of these types of questions is that they allow for filling in the spaces between the multiple-choice options, or place your answer in the grey areas. Bipoles and tripoles do not limit you to choosing one option but allow for having your preferred answer be somewhere in the middle. In this way, it becomes easier to portray complexity in your answer. Placing the indicator dot on or within the fluid bipoles or tripoles asks for more intuitive answers. An advantage of using bipoles is that they allow hiding the true intent of the question if the bipole has two opposing negative or positive elements on each end. Because the two elements are taken to the extreme, the correct answer is not immediately apparent or obvious. This results in more intuitive answers because the social aspect of answering according to what you think is expected from you is largely taken out. For more information about bipoles and tripoles, please check our Users Manual.

How do I create a bipole or a tripole? Because of their unconventional form, bipoles and tripoles can be quite hard to get used to creating at first. But we promise you that once you get the hang of it, they are actually quite easy! Nearly as easy as filling them in! To help you with the creation of bipoles and tripoles and all other types of questions we provide you with a Users Manual. But don’t worry, if your this manual does not answer your question you can also ask us to help you out!

Where do the elements (edges) of the bipoles and tripoles come from? There is a variety of ways to come up with the elements of a bipole or tripole. The easiest way is to use a tripole from our database, of which the majority is based upon anthropological research. You can also ask us to help you out. Or we can convene a meeting or workshop around your topic of interest. You can also come up with them yourself. Before holding your inquiry, you could conduct a small-scale pre-research to find certain values that are going round or considered important in your organization. An example that you could use for this is the multipole. If you would hold a repeated inquiry over the course of a few years, which we recommend as it allows you to keep track of changes and enables you to spot trends, your previous inquiry can form the basis of your next one. Or maybe there has been another type of research or evaluation conducted in your organization that you could use to look for elements of your tripoles. Another option is that you could go to the literature about the topic you are investigating. For example, if you looking into sustainability, there is plenty of literature that could point you in the right direction.

How do I design an inquiry? Asking a question creates awareness and change and it thus important to get clear what your inquiry is going to be about and to carefully consider your wording. Story questions in inquiries need to be inviting, open and inspiring to trigger people to share their stories and make them feel comfortable about sharing them. Inquiries in SPROCKLER consist of three main parts. They start with a story question asking for a story about a certain topic and continue with questions related to that story. Thirdly, there can be a section with questions not directly related to the story but that help to provide a broader context for the story or give more information about a certain theme. SPROCKLER uses specially designed questions such as bipoles and tripoles to get intuitive and instinctive answers and thus the most accurate results. Please check our Users Manual for more information about creating an inquiry.

How do I make sure that I am asking the right questions? Before sending out your inquiry to the world, we recommend that you test it first. SPROCKLER has a separate testing mode that allows you to extensively test your inquiry without collecting any data that might interfere with your eventual results. This mode allows you to play around with your inquiry and check whether the questions in your inquiry target what you want to know. It gives space to check for wording, translations, order or type of question. We highly recommend testing your inquiry or even setting up a testing team to help you with it.

How do I analyse my data in SPROCKLER? The analysis of your data is done through our Visualiser tool. The Visualiser tool presents your data in a clear manner that is semi-automated, so anybody can do it!

What happens with my data? We at SPROCKLER believe that data are always yours. The results are safely stored on our protected server. They are always yours and you will always be able to download and access it. If you have collected your information or want to stop, you can let us know and we will remove your data from our server. We do not keep track of your data. Additionally, we make sure that your data will be anonymous. Our server will convert your IP address to a hash that cannot be retraced to your computer but if you submit data again the server will know that this data came from the same person. Read our privacy policy for more information.

Where are my data stored? The stories that are submitted through our app or online web collector will be stored on our secure server. We value the security of your data (read our privacy policy). But, if you would like to use your own server, we can set-up everything on your own, private facilities.

Can I have SPROCKLER installed on our own company server? Yes, it is possible to have SPROCKLER installed on your own company server. We will gladly do it for you or help you out with it. We like to repeat that your data are always yours and therefore having them on your own server seems only natural.

Can you teach me how to work with it? We understand that it can be quite difficult or that you can be unsure of whether you are doing the right thing in the process of creating inquiries and sending them out. To help you maximize your use of SPROCKLER we provide help in several ways. Apart from having composed extensive support document, we offer trainings and consultancy about using SPROCKLER. Check out our trainings page to learn more about this.

User Guidelines

We have compiled these guidelines to help you make the most out of our tools. This manual will guide you through designing your own inquiry and putting it on our app and online collector to collect responses.

Check out other sections on this website for more information, we have case studies and example inquiries to help you along. If you have a question left unanswered, make sure to check the Frequently Asked Questions page or don't hesistate to contact us!

Happy SPROCKLER-ing!

Sample Inquiries

We have selected a few sample inquiries for you to give you more of an idea of what our inquiries can do and help you along in the creation of your own. Click to download them.