What is Survey ?

Fundamentally, a survey is a method of gathering information from a sample of people, traditionally with the intention of generalizing the results to a larger population. Surveys provide a critical source of data and insights for nearly everyone engaged in the information economy, from businesses and the media to government and academics.

While surveys vary widely in how they are conducted and used, there are a number of components that are common across nearly all surveys. Many of these common features have been studied in extensive detail by survey methodologists, psychologists, statisticians, and many other fields of research.

How to Design a Survey

Define your research question and goals:

What exactly are you trying to find out? Do you want to understand what customers think of your latest product or of your brand overall? Are you looking to see what benefits your employees want to see implemented, or if your employees are engaged at work through employee engagement surveys? Defining the research question before you start is critically important to the success of a survey research project. Without one research question and certain metrics that you want to measure, a survey will only give you data and not the insights you need to make changes to your processes, product, or services.

Identify who you’ll be surveying:

Who can help you answer your research question? Is it your customers, employees, or consumers who are not using your product? You must identify this population and understand the best way to reach them (social media, email, your website, etc).

Design and pre-test surveys:

Designing the questionnaire carefully and then pre-testing it before sending it to your entire audience is crucial to getting data that are valid and reliable. For example, careful survey design and pre-testing can help bring clarity and reduce the chance that respondents may interpret the meaning of questions differently.

Select a sample to survey:

Selecting a sample from your contact base is also important for collecting valid and reliable data about the population as a whole. For example, if you are sampling from a large database of customer email addresses and only wanted one response per household, you might want to cross-check each email address against mailing addresses and remove duplicates to avoid some households having a greater probability of selection.

Benefits of Surveys:

Millions of surveys are sent out each year and although some companies still send out paper surveys, there would be a lot of wasted paper if most were not digital. Online survey software has been the most popular way of conducting survey research for over a decade now, and because getting faster insights is imperative to business success, more and more companies will migrate to digital solutions.

Advantages of Surveys

High Representativeness:

Due to the usual huge number of people who answers survey, the data being gathered possess a better description of the relative characteristics of the general population involved in the study. As compared to other methods of data gathering, surveys are able to extract data that are near to the exact attributes of the larger population.

Low Costs:

When conducting surveys, you only need to pay for the production of survey questionnaires. If you need a larger sample of the general population, you can allot an incentive in cash or kind, which can be as low as $2 per person. On the other hand, other data gathering methods such as focus groups and personal interviews require researchers to pay more.

Convenient Data Gathering:

Surveys can be administered to the participants through a variety of ways. The questionnaires can simply be sent via e-mail or fax, or can be administered through the Internet. Nowadays, the online survey method has been the most popular way of gathering data from target participants. Aside from the convenience of data gathering, researchers are able to collect data from people around the globe.

Good Statistical Significance:

Because of the high representativeness brought about by the survey method, it is often easier to find statistically significant results than other data gathering methods. Multiple variables can also be effectively analyzed using surveys.

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