Discover how Lee Stewart and the Metropolitan Nashville Department of Social Services uses Remark Office OMR to survey residents with the goal of improving the community.


For several decades, Metropolitan Social Services (MSS) has provided a range of services to help Davidson County Tennessee residents who are in need, including: home delivered meals for seniors, indigent burial, homeless prevention and services, and planning and coordination (P&C). The P&C unit researches and publishes an annual Community Needs Evaluation – a data-based overview of current and anticipated social service needs based on trends in the community. Part of the community needs evaluation data is collected from a variety of customer and community surveys and evaluations. Before discovering Remark, staff manually tabulated survey data and performed simple analyses.

The Challenge

In the last four years Lee’s department has surveyed over 4,000 Davidson County residents annually about what they think the social services needs are in seven issue areas. Each survey has eight multiple choice questions, zip code, and comments. They also do smaller internal surveys such as attendee evaluations of workshops, employee surveys, and more. Lee was tasked with finding an easy to use, affordable, and faster alternative for collecting and analyzing data from their surveys and evaluations.

The Solution

Remark Office OMR was brought in to automate their data collection and analysis process for their community, customer, and employee surveys/evaluations. By modifying their existing forms and creating new plain paper surveys formatted for Remark Office OMR, they were able to eliminate the tedious manual data entry and save a great deal of time. Lee says, “Remark was easy to learn and use, especially with the available web-based free training modules. We saved about two weeks of staff time and approximately $3,000 for the Community Needs Evaluation survey alone. The accuracy of analyses is also a big benefit.”

Favorite Feature

When asked about Lee’s favorite Remark feature, he states, “First, the forgiving nature of software for OMR and image regions boundaries and marks – respondents use a variety of response marks (even when instructed how to mark) and the software accurately picks up most of them. Also the software provides error/information messages when OMR or image regions are incorrectly drawn during template creation. Third, the speed and variety of survey analyses, and finally how easy it is to learn.”