Gmail was the most widely used Google Apps service for Brown University (above), but Chat tops the customer satisfaction charts (below)

Brown University conducted a telling survey in May, asking some 1,100 students and faculty/staff members to evaluate Brown’s migration to Google Apps for Education eighteen months ago. Like everywhere, Gmail was the service of choice for a whopping 98 percent of the respondents, but satisfaction index for Chat – used by two-thirds of the respondents – topped the charts: 99 percent for Chat versus Gmail’s 90 percent. Nearly five out of five undergraduate, graduate and professional student respondents were “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied” with Google’s web-based email.

Google Sites was less popular, having been used by one in three respondents. Docs and Calendar were used by the respectable 85 percent and 79 percent of the respondents, respectively. Most frequently used apps on a daily basis? Gmail (97 percent), Calendar (60 percent), Chat (33 percent), Documents (29 percent) and Sites (eight percent). And when issues rose, nearly half the respondents sought answers on Google’s official help pages and Google search.

More food for thought and four additional pretty charts bellow.

“From our initial deployment to the time of the survey, satisfaction increased and dissatisfaction decreased,” Brown says. Asked how satisfied they were with Google Apps when they first received an account eighteen months ago versus in May 2011, 38 percent were initially “Very Satisfied” (29 percent “Satisfied”). Those results had improved over time and in May of 2011 48 percent of the respondents were “Very Satisfied” and 32 percent were “Satisfied” with the faculty’s switch to Google’s online office suite.

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