Monday, April 13, 2020

What is Survey Research?

One method of data collection is survey research where data is gathered through the use of a standardized survey questionnaire or interviews. Survey method can be used for descriptive, exploratory or explanatory research. A questionnaire is an instrument for collecting data which almost always involves asking a given subject to respond to a set of oral or written questions. A survey is a process of gathering data that involves a wide variety of data collection methods such as a questionnaire. In its broadest sense, every questionnaire is a survey, but not every survey is a questionnaire.

Eight (8) Inherent Strengths of Survey Research

1.    Questionnaires are inexpensive
First of all, questionnaires are one of the most affordable ways to gather quantitative data. Especially self-administered questionnaires, where you don’t have to hire surveyors to perform face-to-face interviews, are a cost-efficient way to quickly collect massive amounts of information from a large number of people in a relatively short period. A questionnaire can be placed on your website or emailed to your customers.

2.    Questionnaires are practical
Apart from being inexpensive, questionnaires are also a practical way to gather data. They can be targeted to groups of your choosing and managed in various ways. You can pick and choose the questions asked as well as the format (open-ended or multiple choice). They offer a way to gather vast amounts of data on any subject. They can be used in a wide variety of ways.

3.    Questionnaires offer a quick way to get results
Considering that you have scales (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for example) you can easily encode the result unlike qualitative for example where you need to do transcription.

4.    Scalability
Questionnaires and surveys allow you to gather information from a large audience. Online, you can distribute your questions to anyone, anywhere in the world (provided they have an internet connection). All you have to do is send them a link to your survey page. And you don’t even need to do this manually. This could be done through an automated email in your customer onboarding or lead nurturing campaigns.
Geography no longer stands in the way of market research either, thanks to the internet. But be aware of cultural differences between people and countries when conducting worldwide research. Thanks to Survey Anyplace’s multiple language features, you can easily create a single questionnaire available in multiple languages.

5.    Comparability
When data has been quantified, it can be used to compare and contrast other research and may be used to measure change. This makes monthly or yearly questionnaire more and more valuable over time.

6.    Easy Analysis and visualization
Most surveys and questionnaire providers are quantitative and allow easy analysis of results. With built-in tools, it’s easy to analyze your results without a background in statistics or scientific research.

7.     Questionnaires don’t have time constraints
When using mail-in, online or email questionnaires, there’s no time limit and there is no one on the other end waiting for an answer. Respondents can take their time to complete the questionnaire at their leisure. As a bonus, they will often answer more truthfully, as research has shown that having a researcher present can lead to less honest and more socially desirable answers.

8.    Questionnaires can cover every aspect of a topic
One of the biggest advantages is being able to ask as many questions as you like. Of course, it benefits the marketer to keep each questionnaire short, since respondents may find a long questionnaire frustrating. We suggest a limit of 10 questions for online surveys.

Five Considerations in Crafting Survey Questionnaire
Is the question clear and understandable?
Is the question worded negatively?
Is the question ambiguous?
Does the question have biased or value-laden words?
Does the question have biased or value-laden words?
Is the question too general?
Is the question presumptuous?
Is the question too detailed?
Do respondents have the information needed to correctly answer the question?

Types of Response Formats
Response formats. Survey questions may be structured or unstructured. Responses to structured questions are captured using one of the following response formats:

Dichotomous response, where respondents are asked to select one of two possible choices, such as true/false, yes/no, or agree/disagree. An example of such a question is: Do you think that the death penalty is justified under some circumstances (circle one): yes/no.

Nominal response, where respondents are presented with more than two unordered options, such as: What is your industry of employment: manufacturing/consumer services/retail/education/healthcare/tourism & hospitality / other.

Ordinal response, where respondents have more than two ordered options, such as what is your highest level of education: high school/college degree/graduate studies.

Interval-level response, where respondents are presented with a 5-point or 7-point Likert scale, semantic differential scale, or Guttman scale. Each of these scale types was discussed in a previous chapter.

Continuous response, where respondents enter a continuous (ratio-scaled) value with a meaningful zero point, such as their age or tenure in a firm. These responses generally tend to be of the fill-in-the-blanks type