Get the right data—make the right decision

Leaders have critical decisions to make. And their people hold the key to getting them right. ThoughtExchange can help. With both Survey and Exchange technology, leaders get the whole story. Find out how.
Trusted by:
Image Image Image

January 18, 2024

Sarah Mathias

ThoughtExchange Vs. The Competition: Who Gets You Better Data?

6 minutes

As organizations focus on gathering feedback, the demand for efficient and engaging platforms is growing. From providing valuable information that helps improve strategic plans and operations to boosting engagement, surveys can uncover critical data and information, creating a more positive experience for all team and community members.

By going beyond the standard survey format, an all-in-one engagement and survey platform like ThoughtExchange provides organizations with better outcomes for less lift. You’ll get nuanced qualitative and robust quantitative data with instant in-depth analysis—all in one platform.

In this Article

See ThoughtExchange in Action — Watch the Product Tour

What is ThoughtExchange?

ThoughtExchange is the leading all-in-one engagement and survey platform. Use ThoughtExchange to solve your organization’s most complex and pressing problems by understanding people’s priorities and how to act on them.

With quantitative survey and qualitative Exchange functionality, we make it fast and easy to surpass the surface-level data most survey platforms offer. Exchange, survey, and Interview products give leaders an all-in-one engagement advantage.

With an Exchange, leaders ask groups of 10 to 10,000+ just one question to access thousands of valuable data points. The built-in AI tools analyze and sort participants’ responses in real-time—so leaders and their teams can focus on taking action instead of being bogged down by data.

Our Survey functionality removes the need for multiple engagement tools to gather data for benchmarking and reporting.

Need to dig into a sensitive topic? Our AI-enabled qualitative feedback tool, Interview, interviews participants one-on-one, so you can deeply understand their perspectives while getting a comprehensive view of emerging themes.

Sharing findings has never been easier. With our best-in-class analytics, quickly export a report, HTML page, or slides to share with participants and other interested parties.

Using ThoughtExchange, you can run a stand-alone survey or run surveys alongside your Exchanges and collect the data from both features in one place.

ThoughtExchange vs. other engagement and survey platforms

As other engagement and survey platforms focus on employee and customer experience, they are often compared to ThoughtExchange. Let’s take a closer look at how ThoughtExchange stacks up against the competition. What are engagement and survey platforms? Engagement and survey platforms are quantitative survey platforms that allow organizations to create, distribute, and analyze employee and customer surveys.

ThoughtExchange vs. other engagement and survey platforms: Functionality

Engagement and survey platforms provide managers with insights into employee sentiment. They often integrate predictive intelligence and machine learning to uncover survey insights, revealing and prioritizing key topics. They frequently include preconfigured dashboards that let teams filter and personalize the data depending on the audience or recipient. Their main strength as survey platforms is tracking basic metrics.

ThoughtExchange’s focus on insights and actions differentiates it from other engagement and survey platforms. Driving participation, connection, and trust with multiple engagement methods and lightning-fast AI analysis, there are multiple ways to get better outcomes for less lift:

Qualitative interactive conversations and participant-prioritized data
Advanced quantitative and qualitative survey capabilities
Interviews (beta)
Private, one-on-one digital interviews at scale

Designing and building surveys, getting people to participate, and then trying to analyze the data can take months—and this process usually doesn’t even uncover the critical underlying issues. ThoughtExchange’s engagement platform is quick and easy to create. Leaders can run surveys and Exchanges live or on-demand, as well as separately or concurrently depending on the depth of data needed. The platform has been a game changer for climate surveys and employee experience.

Douglas SD builds trust with transparent decision-making

With a divided community on COVID-19 policies, Kevin Case, Superintendent of Douglas School District 51-1 in Box Elder, South Dakota, knew he needed to plan to address this in the new school year while establishing trust with staff, students, parents, and community members.

Launching an Exchange allowed him to build trust by understanding his community’s expectations and what his learners needed to thrive. It also gave Case a foundation of support for his decision-making over the following year.

“The trust comes when, number one, you're vulnerable and listen to what people have to say. And number two, when you keep coming back to the reason why. Every time we made a decision, we referred back to the Exchange results.”

Read the full story
Explore all the features and benefits of ThoughtExchange, in depth, at your own convenience.
Watch Product Tour

ThoughtExchange vs. engagement and survey platforms: Participant experience

When it comes to the participant experience, taking a survey through the average engagement and survey platform doesn’t provide the validation many employees and community members are looking for when offering feedback. As a one-way, static communication experience, participants may be more susceptible to survey fatigue.

In contrast, ThoughtExchange offers a dynamic, many-to-many discussion that lets people learn from one another and experience their personal impact. In an Exchange, participants anonymously share their thoughts and read and rate each other’s answers. As one customer put it, ThoughtExchange “allows you to expand the thinking in the room, as opposed to limiting it.”

The chart below compares each product's features, strengths, and weaknesses:


Engagement and survey platforms 


Engagement and survey platforms for tracking and measuring quantitative feedback.
ThoughtExchange is an engagement and survey platform leaders use to capture, track, measure, and analyze quantitative and qualitative data.
  • All-in-one workspaces
  • Built-in idea boards for crowdsourcing team ideas
  • Customizable experience
  • Scaleable
  • Organization hierarchy tool
  • Predictive AI analytics engine
  • Scalable
  • Survey and Exchange functionality
  • Built-in AI sorts and analyzes responses in real-time
  • Advisor-AI powered tool for instant summaries, key themes, talking points
  • Tools for finding common ground on divisive topics
  • Simultaneous translation in 100+ languages
  • Three engagement tools: Exchange, Basic or Advanced Surveys, and Interview
  • Employee engagement surveys have many features and customization options
  • Strong quantitative analysis
  • Great for tracking trends and changes in responses
  • Variety of solutions for different organizational needs
  • No add-ons required
  • Enjoyable user experience with a dynamic and interactive format on any device
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Instant summaries and talking points from engagement data
  • Custom prompts for generative AI analysis of engagement data
  • Great for tracking trends and changes in responses
  • No add-ons required
  • Prioritized insights and actions that help plan next steps
  • Finds common ground ideas in polarized groups
  • Leverages the collective intelligence of the group to solve complex problems
  • Option for confidential feedback
  • Doesn’t uncover the underlying reasons or any further insights where it’s apparent that improvements are needed
  • Limited ways for participants to learn from each other or produce actionable results faster
  • Surveys can take a long time to create and build (and still not provide the necessary insights)
  • Requires a willingness for transparency in decision-making

What depth of data do you need for better decisions?

Every platform has its place. While premium-level or free and low-cost survey tools are a quick and simple way to reveal explicit and significant shifts and changes through quantitative and smaller-scale data, these tools usually don’t provide any way to turn these insights into real, tangible action. Plus, completing a survey won’t magically improve participant sentiment—especially if no real changes or improvements are seen as a result.

ThoughtExchange provides the ability to collect both quantitative and qualitative data through Surveys and Exchanges, and has sophisticated AI data analysis tools built-in that can help you identify actionable insights. Using ThoughtExchange, leaders are able to identify concrete actions and participants can see their ideas come to life, increasing support and satisfaction at your organization.

If you don’t have the need for premium-level features and sophisticated analytics and reporting, a free or low-cost survey tool might be exactly what you’re looking for. With options for organizations of every size and purpose, the right engagement and survey tool is the one that works best for your specific organization’s goals and needs.

But, for anyone looking for a robust and effective way to gather and analyze a deeper range of data to inform their decision-making and align their communities—it’s clear that ThoughtExchange stands out as the best choice.

Author’s note: This post was originally published on March 27, 2023, and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.
We’re happy to answer your questions, share pricing information, and explore use cases for your team.
Sarah Mathias
Sarah discovered her love of words when she penned her first journal in grade 4—she hasn’t stopped writing since. With a BA in Sociology and an MPC in International/Intercultural Communication, Sarah honed her corporate writing skills in the travel insurance and fashion industries before working with ThoughtExchange. She brings her collaborative spirit and commitment to antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, along with her penchant for grammar jokes.

Gain clarity, not clutter.
Turn insights into action today.