Editor's note: Based in Chicago, Jitesh Marlecha is the assistant vice president at Ugam, a data analytics firm.

With the number of available options having exploded in recent years, the universe of marketing research technology has become overwhelming. From cloud-based, low-cost DIY solutions to high-maintenance, multi-server and in-house installations, it’s no surprise many organizations are overwhelmed when it comes to assessing their current marketing research systems. Especially if you’ve been accumulating solutions along the way, there’s a good chance your tool belt is getting unnecessarily heavy.

So how do organizations that are looking to simplify their research operations settle on a single platform for gathering and processing insights? Luckily, there are some criteria that can help identify the right data platform.

Read on to learn more about how to evaluate whether your current technology is delivering what you need and how to plan for the transition to a new platform, if necessary.

Research teams should plan to take a deep dive into their current system to get a better understanding of its reliability and its ability to deliver critical features and support future needs. If the platform is missing key functionality now or in the future, technology change clearly needs to happen immediately.

Here are the things most people need:

Easy-to-use interface. Your data platform should not require technological knowledge to operate and should support all popular research methodologies with a click of a button. This is imperative to ensure agility. It’s also critical your solution provides built-in interfaces and survey designs that are intuitive and are optimized to work across various platforms and devices. Today, this is table stakes and not having this feature could result in a poor respondent experience or lower participation rates.

Strong functionality. The solution m...