Melanie Kiper is the community service associate for the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska – Omaha (UNO). As an employee at a large university, Melanie has multiple job responsibilities that change every day. Her department conducts demographic studies and assists with faculty members’ research projects – you know, the ones with millions of fancy numbers and citations. Additionally, the Center for Public Affairs Research develops websites for other departments within the university. This is where Formstack comes in, saving Kiper time that she can use to tackle dozens of other tasks. Check out this Q&A below and learn more about Kiper’s experience with our product:
What were some of the issues you were hoping to solve by using Formstack? How did it help?
“There are two main reasons I started using Formstack. First, our information services department didn’t like the way my forms were set up. I used to build them myself, and users felt like any information I was asking should be secure. I thought Formstack could provide the security, and it does. Second, the websites we provide to the departments do not have an interface capability where users could submit a form and it go directly on to a database. With Formstack, it automatically puts all info into a database, which can then be put into Excel or another spreadsheet.”
How did you hear about us?
“I found Formstack through a Google search. I did free trials of several different services. The cost was a big motivator to pursue Formstack over other form building software. I also like that it is very streamlined (you can pick and choose features).”
What features do you find most helpful?
“I appreciate how easy it is to integrate with Paypal. I like that you can have hidden fields and use those fields to track information about payments. Additionally, I appreciate how you can share your database just through a link, how you can choose who can edit databases, and the ability to allow others to attach files.”
What are some concrete benefits you have seen from using Formstack?
“The biggest benefit is the time saved. It used to take me several hours to build a form myself; now it only takes a matter of minutes. People who used to receive the forms I made are now commenting on how professional the Formstack forms are. I also really appreciate how easy it is to retrieve the data. We have one department at UNO who uses Formstack as an internal tool to maintain student records. The data storage is so useful and self explanatory. This way the department doesn’t have to train someone in how to use Excel for individual data entry.”
“We probably wouldn’t have as many forms. For example, we use our forms for a poetry contest we run. Students can use the Formstack entry form we created to apply for the contest and attach their poems. Without Formstack, we would probably run the contest through email. With email, you can tell people what to submit but they might forget to include something. With Formstack, you can ensure people fill out consistent information every time.”
How much time/money do you think Formstack has saved you?
“Six hours a month at least. I have been creating around three forms a month.”
How will you use Formstack in the future?
“I imagine there will be new ways people will use Formstack. We try to make our university website more than just an online brochure. Using Formstack adds a unique, interactive aspect to the website. We started with a small account and it’s grown. I am always suggesting new ways to use forms at work.”
What kind of features do you find most useful with Formstack? Comment below!