Frequently Asked Questions

What's PARC?

PARC is a knowledge management tool for survey research professionals, their clients and stakeholders. It performs full-text search of your research materials and delivers them in a structured format, purpose-built to address the pain points of survey search, retrieval and management. You can quickly find any individual question you’ve ever asked, any presentation, memo, report, spreadsheet or qualitative transcript, with all related materials a single click away.

PARC is not computational; we’re not interrogating datasets, doing math or building graphical displays. It’s a text-based tool to keep you highly organized, efficient and accurate in locating and working with your existing and future research files.

How does PARC support my survey management needs?

PARC is a powerful editorial tool in survey management. This includes:

  • Quickly locating and precisely replicating past questions.
  • Efficiently carrying forward trend and tracking results over time.
  • Reducing translation costs and achieving translation consistency.
  • Informing new-project research by evaluating relevant past studies.
  • Searching and retrieving any related documentation – reports, presentations, RFPs, bid summaries, literature reviews, file memos and more.

Note that in addition to keyword searches, additional search fields can be used to store and search for metadata. Search field labels can be customized, any dropdowns you like can be installed, and the system’s very robust – the “notes” field, for example, will hold up to 2,000 characters, enough for a solid, fully searchable summary of the project or key results.

How are my files kept secure?

Files uploaded to PARC are stored in a SQL database on the Microsoft Azure cloud, as is the PARC application itself, taking advantage of Azure’s strong security and backup protocols. We have SSL encryption in transit, encryption at rest, DDOS protection, logical account segregation, two levels of user rights, strict password requirements and optional two-factor authentication.

A detailed security statement is available which includes our SDLC, change management and incident response procedures. Peter Milla, one of the leading experts in survey-related IT security, is our security consultant.

For subscribers who don’t want a cloud solution, local server-based solutions are possible.

Are there restrictions on file types or document structure?

Yes and no. Files that are to be parsed and delivered as individual questions need to be in Word (.docx), Excel (.xlsx) or standard plain or rich text formats, with recognizable question identifiers. PARC searches and delivers full documents (not parsed into questions) in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF or text formats. And other files of any file type can be stored and searched by their file name.

How easy is it to upload to PARC?

Seriously simple. The whole idea is for PARC to save time, not take time, so the system works with existing documents. (Little formatting tweaks may make for a prettier or more useful display, but by and large aren’t required.) The select-and-click upload process is highly efficient. An intern working for one of our subscribers uploaded 16 years’ worth of studies – more than 200 in all – in fewer than two weeks. And if you’re a research buyer, your vendors can handle new-project uploads for you. PARC will make their lives easier, as well.

Can I have client-facing accounts?

You bet. Beyond internal management, client support and retention is a key function of the PARC system.

Subscribers can open PARC accounts, under their own brand, for their best clients. Giving your client their own lookup is a great way to differentiate yourself – we’re all looking for new ways to show clients the love. That’s the support piece. On the retention side, those clients will know that if they stick with you for their next project, it’ll go straight into their lookup!

Of course, PARC accounts are available directly to research clients as well. We offer rights-based vendor access, meaning each of your vendors can upload their materials into your account, without seeing other vendors’ stuff.

How about stakeholder- or public-facing accounts?

You have a password-controlled account for sharing research with stakeholders, colleagues or others outside your organization. And if public dissemination is part of your mission, you can have a public-facing, open-access account, either on its own web page or set up as an iframe embedded in your existing website.

What about qualitative research and other lookup needs?

PARC works just as well with qualitative as with quantitative studies. Interview guides can be loaded as questionnaires, fully searchable at the individual question level. Transcripts and reports can be uploaded as analyses and full-text searched, again with all related materials in the source folder a single click away.

While we’re talking - PARC needn’t be limited to research materials. You can organize, save, full-text search and retrieve any documents, spreadsheets or presentations, from legal briefs to inventories to vacation planning records and holiday wish lists, with source folders a click away. Beyond keyword searches, advanced search fields can focus your search results.

Can any elements of PARC be customized?

Yup, a bunch. Branded (aka white-labeled) accounts can have your own logo, color scheme, landing page text and a custom url. See an example.

Search field labels also can be customized. We can create customized question identifiers, add a page tab for internal communications, and a lot more. Just ask.

Does PARC work in other languages?

Absolutamente. PARC works in 52 languages – if SQL goes there, so do we. Get ready:

Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Singapore), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay – Malaysia, Malayalam, Marathi, Neutral, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic), Serbian (Latin), Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese.

What about data preservation?

First, we're not going anywhere. Second, PARC holds copies of files you've uploaded from your own server or cloud system - those source files remain untouched in their original location. And third, if at any point you choose to leave PARC, we'll be happy to return your data to you.

Where did this come from, and what does PARC stand for?

PARC has its ancient roots in a mainframe-based system created for ABC News in the mid-1980s to keep track of its public opinion surveys. Then-ABC-staffer Gary Langer oversaw the system’s transition to a server-based platform in the mid-1990s and negotiated rights to PARC when he left ABC to start Langer Research Associates, a custom research shop, in 2010. After a pause to build Langer Research, our development team created a much-enhanced, cloud-based version of PARC in 2016, and we soft-launched in spring 2017.

As to the name: PARC originally stood for Polling Archive. Given its expanded functionality, Project Archive is a better fit. But we just call it PARC.

Who else is using PARC?

A wonderful group of research providers, buyers and users. Current subscribers include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Research Triangle Institute, SSRS, Public Opinion Strategies, the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, NORC at the University of Chicago, the National Sleep Foundation, ConwayStrategic, JUST Capital, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind poll, the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University, the Center for Social and Behavioral Research at the University of Northern Iowa... and others!

Can I see PARC in action?

Yes! Check out our video demo, or contact us for a personal online tour. Trial accounts are available as well - no cost and no commitment.

Pricing?

A base account carries a flat annual fee, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for U.S. subscribers, depending on your company’s size, with a 20 percent first-year discount. You can store as much data as you like and have as many users within your organization as you like. Additional accounts are deeply discounted, and non-U.S. accounts are priced on a GNI-adjusted basis. Full details are available on our pricing page.

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