This is a collection of the top insight community platforms, and it covers a wide range of qualitative, quantitative and hybrid solutions.
It is not a ranking; the ordering within each section is random.
For a complete list of all insight community platforms, browse the directory here.
Insight communities can be a great way of understanding your customers. They can vary in size and duration – some with dozens of members, others with thousands, spanning weeks or years.
Some will be more qualitative in nature, others more quantitative, and others will be somewhere in between.
Communities are popular because they can be more cost effective than running stand-alone projects, and more agile too. Additionally, insight can be iterative, and the community can help to build deeper relationships between the brand and the members.
As the needs and scope for communities can vary widely, so too can the community platforms themselves.
We’ve put together a list of the top 20 platforms that are available for insight communities. Each have different focuses, features, and service levels. We’ve broken them down by qual/quant hybrid platforms; qual platforms and quant platforms – so you can find the platform that fits with your needs.
If you’d like to know more about insight communities, read our guide: What is an Insight Community? to get started. However, if you’re now ready to select a platform then read on…
Qual/Quant Hybrid Insight Community Platforms:
icanmakeitbetter is an idea development and insight community platform.
The platform offers integrated surveys, live chat, focus groups, discussion forums, digital journals, ideation, and panel management.
Communities can be launched using drag & drop tools without custom coding; groups can be open or private, with 10 to 10,000 participants supported. Quant tools include survey templates and question libraries. Members can access the community via a mobile web app with options for rich media uploads, digital diaries, and mobile ethnography.
Basic quantitative and qualitative reporting is available using charts and wordclouds. Data can be exported to third party tools such as SPSS for deeper analysis.
CMNTY is a software platform for insight communities.
The platform includes research tools such as polls, forum discussions, chat sessions, idea contests, surveys, or personal diaries. It allows you to segment members based on feedback or behavioural data, as well as enabling co-creation.
The platform has a fully customisable look & feel, offers a lightweight mobile version for fast loading on slow connections, and supports push notifications and location tagging of content.
CMNTY also offers a suite of analysis tools, such as for poll & questionnaire data, sentiment analysis for open ends, and mood boards and heatmaps for visual research. Collected data can be exported to commonly used analysis solutions such as SPSS, MS Excel or any other tool.
Crowdtech is an insight community platform for both short term pop-up communities and long term panels.
The Crowdtech platform mixes qualitative and quantitative research with a range of features, including crowdsourcing and co-creation tools, forums, video and polls. The survey engine supports both simple and complex designs, routing, live dashboards and reporting, full design customisation and more than 20 question types.
The platform has an integrated panel management system for seamless respondent communication and management. Crowdtech also have a team to support your research to help ensure you get the most out of your community.
Watch a demo of the Crowdtech platform here.
4. Fuel Cycle
Fuel Cycle is a market research platform with a wide a range of methodologies. It is also one of the leading insight community platforms.
The platform offers a large range of automated solutions to save time. It also enables you to run in-depth qual research alongside rapid quant studies. It can be used for a range of research needs, such as product development, ad testing, customer experience, user experience and more.
The platform allows you to access integrated solutions through the FCX marketplace, which connects the leading insights tools with Fuel Cycle’s CoRe platform. This enables organisations to quickly gather and act upon reliable data.
FCX partners include SurveyGizmo, Voxpopme, Protobrand, Remesh, Userzoom, Salesforce and many others across the MR ecosystem.
Get expert insight community tips from Fuel Cycle in this webinar: Getting Communities Wrong is Easy. So is Getting Them Right – Fuel Cycle
Potentiate is a research services and technology company that specialises in insight communities.
Features include surveys, forum discussions, social community features and participant communication tools. The platform can be used to quickly ideate, co-create and concept test with your customers. It provides feedback that helps to inform your marketing, product innovation, and communication.
They offer a dashboard for analysis which can combine multiple data sources, and be set to static or live findings. The dashboard can be tailored to the project and the viewer, with role-based access, to ensure the right people are getting the right information.
They combine proprietary software with technology from partners for integrated solutions.
Watch this expert webinar from Potentiate to find out more: How to Get a Commercial Return From an Insight Community
My-Take is an insight technology company that delivers customer/consumer insight through insight communities.
The platform has a suite of activity types available, such as surveys, polls, discussions, diaries, collages, co-creation sessions, video chats, and mobile missions. Images and videos can easily be shared, and the activities adapt to the user device.
They also have several solutions for community management, such as a content management system, member management, communications management, and reward fulfilment.
The platform integrates a real-time reporting engine for analysing data and authoring reports. The reporting engine, which is permission-based, allows you to view results through “Live Report,” download raw data files, export reports, charts, and member videos, run crosstabs, and present information in lists, tables, word clouds, and more.
My-Take has a range of service levels available too, to suit different research needs and budgets.
ResearchBods offer insight communities as part of a larger offering, fitting in with the Strat7 ResearchBods group.
The platform has a range of qualitative and quantitative activities available, such as surveys, polls, discussion rooms, diary tasks, video interviews and more. The community can be customised to your brand, has the option of a mobile app for member access, and is available in over 14 languages.
Using APIs, the community data can be plugged into any CRM or third party platforms to ensure information is transferred in real-time.
Reporting tools are available for analysis and visualisation. These include live cross tabs (with sig testing and weighting), automated PowerPoint charting and interactive dashboards.
The community management platform provides the key metrics of your community’s health and allows you to learn about your members past and future behaviours driven through AI and machine learning.
There are also different service levels available to suit budgets and research needs.
8. Rival Technologies
The Rival Technologies platform offers insight communities that utilise conversational studies.
The platform takes a mobile-first approach. It allows you to collect quantitative and qualitative data, including selfie videos, photos and closed and open ended answers. The platform uses direct and meaningful questions asked in plain language to build understanding, powered by conversational AI. Studies run in a web browser or can be embedded in messaging apps.
Mobile agile communities of customers, fans and employees can be set up in days. They , and be both short and long term.
The tool also integrates with Alida insight communities. Additionally, Rival’s sister agency Reach3 can design and manage full service research programmes on the platform.
Watch this free webinar about the evolution of insight communities by Reach3.
Toluna provides survey panels, research services and technology, with insight communities part of its wider Toluna Start software.
The platform has a range of engagement activities, such as digital journals, photo and video sharing, media integration, focus forums, and more. You can create engaging discussion topics alongside surveys for quantitative insight.
Survey data can be appended to members for better insights and context into their decisions and feedback.
Multiple features can be accessed to improve your analytics including heatmaps and scripting enhancements. Advanced analytics and visualisation are also available in the same user interface.
Watch a demo of the Toluna Start platform here.
Maru/Matchbox offers insight communities built on its Maru/HUB platform.
It allows multiple data streams to be integrated into a single ecosystem, facilitating the real-time analysis of behavioural, transactional, and attitudinal information to deliver insights at speed.
Their end-to-end service enables a range of research from exploration to innovation to activation to tracking. From qualitative mobile missions, to sophisticated choice modelling, the platform is designed to generate actionable insights.
The platform offers AI, machine learning and system 1 research to help clients understand consumers at a deep, emotional level and predict their behaviour more accurately.
Advanced design and analysis is also available to reveal patterns and relationships that would not otherwise be found. Their advanced analytics team works with you to find the right solution to reveal the insights you need.
Watch a demo of the Maru/HUB platform here.
Qualitative Insight Community Platforms:
incling are a digital research agency who specialise in building online communities of all shapes and sizes.
Communities can be set up in under 24 hours, support over 20 languages, and are optimised for mobile.
Features include discussion rooms, screen sharing, diary studies, concept evaluation and polls. They also allow members to share videos and pictures to bring answers to life. Tools are designed to be intuitive and engaging for respondents and they frequently add more. Access to tools is unlimited for customers.
For analysis, there are built in tools within a dashboard. Customers are able to star and highlight comments, add tags and share notes, as well as filter and sort data before exporting.
You can choose a self-service option, or they have support available at all stages, from set-up and recruitment, to translation, moderation and participant management.
Get expert tips on community moderation from incling in this free webinar: Build it Right and They Will Come: 10 Ways to Design Engaging Online Activities.
Recollective is one of the leading insight community platforms for qualitative research.
Studies can be short pop-up communities of just 3 days or a week, through to longer term communities spanning months or years.
The platform was designed to be intuitive to use and flexible to different needs. They aim to deliver better quality data quicker, with in-depth responses and in-the-moment research tools with same day set-up and instant reporting and transcription.
Applications include concept testing, behavioural studies, customer feedback, advisory & consultation, co-creation and ideation, employee satisfaction and ethnographic projects.
They offer different service options to suit your budget and time needs, such as self-service or project management.
Watch a demo of the Recollective platform here.
Further is an insight platform for online qual, mobile ethnography and research communities.
The platform has a suite of features, including discussions, diaries, polls, and surveys. Additionally, the platform enables concept testing, heatmaps, video and image capture, vox pops, text analytics, ranking & rating, and collages – all of which are available for a single fee.
Applications include exploratory research, contextual insight, consumer co-creation, concept development and evaluation.
Clients can opt for the self-service platform or access support services, including recruitment and onboarding of the participants, research design, moderation and analysis.
The platform is available in over 34 languages. Clients can host their data in the US or EU, and the platform also performs well in Asia and behind the Chinese firewall, having pioneered solutions in that region.
Watch a demo of the Further platform here.
14. 20|20 Qualboard
QualBoard is a qualitative research agency, that offer lean communities alongside other methodologies.
The solution was developed to provide flexibility for your research. Lean communities are a good option if you have limited budget, time, or are unsure how often you’ll use a community. The platform lets you grow your community over time, and there are no large up-front fees. Instead, you pay for your usage as you go.
The platform offers a range of research features, such as quick polls, individual diaries, group discussions, and real time video chats. Additionally, there are a variety of analysis tools available featuring AI automation to make it easier to uncover insights.
20|20 have flexible service options available. You can opt for self-serve, or access their project management and/or research team dependent on your needs.
Watch a demo of the QualBoard platform here.
15. FlexMR InsightHub
FlexMR is a research agency, that offers insight communities alongside other qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
Their platform, InsightHub, has 11 integrated qual and quant tools available, including focus groups, surveys, quick polls, diaries, forums and more. They offer fully customisable branding and support over 60 languages.
The platform has powerful analysis options, alongside a services team on hand to help. Every platform licence includes secure hosting, data security compliance checks, 12 hours of support services, bespoke branding and a custom URL for free.
The also have an option to create visual artwork postcards to help communicate your insights, which are designed to make your findings accessible and memorable. You can find out more about that here.
Watch a demo of the FlexMR platform here.
HatchTank is a research platform that supports insight communities.
The platform has 15 different qualitative and quantitative tools including open ended discussions, simple survey questions and interactive tasks such as collages, card and photo sorts.
The tool is both browser based (desktop and mobile) with native iPhone and Android apps also available. Over 20 languages are supported with immediate Google translation.
The HatchTank Professional Services team also offers end-to-end project management, discussion guide review, project setup, programming and participation tracking.
Pricing is based either on individual projects or project packs based on defined thresholds.
Watch a demo of the HatchTank platform here.
17. Platform One
Platform One is an integrated insight community software solution.
It supports quant, qual, individual, group and creative project-types on web or native smartphone apps.
Key features include fully customisable portals, unlimited participant numbers, gamified incentive options with both cash and reputation points, and native iOS and Android apps with offline task completion.
Communities can be started with one of the templated, brandable mobile-first sites, or bespoke community websites can be built. The native app brings the community directly to customers’ smartphones.
Your member base can be segmented to interact with smaller groups and individuals to drive participation.
That platform offers a range of analytics, including NLP, visualisations and dashboards.
18. InSites Consulting
InSites Consulting are an insight agency, that have a proprietary community offer.
The community platform features over 40 activities, spanning qualitative and quantitative approaches, and is mobile-first, giving flexibility to members.
InSites Consulting have a flexible service model, from DIY to full service. For the service option, they have 17 offices around the world offering local support via +150 certified moderators in +45 countries.
Quantitative Insight Community Platforms:
Alida (formerly known as Vision Critical) is an insight community software platform for managing long term, large scale custom panels.
The platform is mobile-first and cloud-based. It offers a variety of native features including surveys (with over 25 different question types), forum discussions, social community features and participant communication tools. Additionally, extended features are available through integrations with SurveyGizmo for sophisticated surveys and Remesh for AI driven qualitative discussions and analytics.
Alida Analytics provides customers access to real-time, role-based, mobile dashboards that are completely customisable. This gives users the most up-to-date information about their community and the ability to monitor KPIs in real-time.
Alida communities can be used for a range of research needs, such as voice of the consumer, voice of the employee, customer journey, CSAT, marketing & advertising, UX & product design.
20. Q One Tech
Q One Tech is a market research software development company that allows you to build a customer panel using their platform.
The platform can be used for panel management, surveying and UX research/data collection. It was built to be enable you to execute both simple quick-turn-around studies through to complex, multi-wave projects.
For panel recruitment, you can either use your existing database or Q One Tech can target, recruit and organise your preferred audience.
With integrated panellist registration you are able to monitor the panel growth, performance and activity.
Watch a demo of the Q One platform here.
Note: some of these platforms are customers of Insight Platforms. For an up-to-date list check out the showcase.
Still want more information about insight communities? Well, we’ve got you covered.
There’s heaps of blog articles, webinars, demos and platforms to browse on our Insight Community page, as well as these free webinars from the Insight Platforms Communities Summit: