A survey is a research method that can be applied when a person or entity faces a need for information and to gain insights into a topic of interest. The process involves asking people for information through a questionnaire, which can be either online or offline, and deployed in different formats. The data is then collected and stored for further evaluation and analysis by an expert in the field. With the new technology wave, it is more common now to distribute surveys using digital media, such as URLs, QR codes, social networks or email.
Surveys can have multiple purposes, and so researchers can conduct them in many different ways depending on the methodology chosen and predefined research question(s). Surveys can be quantitative and qualitative data generators, as they can collect feedback from people and entities that directly contribute to a business or organisation internally and externally. Surveys can set the ground for statistical models.
Individuals and entities can get valuable data for market research purposes, for satisfaction rate assessments from customers, employees and other contributors, or general primary information of a concerned or pre-defined population. The data gathered usually defines the reach of the analysis.
When designing a survey, asking the right question, in the right order, with the right wording and through the right means is far from easy. Only well-designed questionnaires will yield valuable information that can be used for statistical analysis following the data collection stage. Apparently interesting questions sometimes turn out to be uninformative because they allow for multiple interpretations. To minimise biased opinions that could influence the outcome, it is important to choose the right mix of question types that offer the most value to the exercise while being the clearest to understand and answer by respondents.
A second challenge is to have the right people responding to the survey. Only a well-designed sample of respondents will allow accuracy and representativeness of the results.
The decision-making process requires a significant amount of information where several pieces are often insufficient or missing. Online surveys are an efficient way to generate primary data from large groups of stakeholders.
CORESO assists its partners in the design of surveys, the definition of the sample and the implementation. Our experience in surveys will help our partners ask the right questions and get the most out of their questionnaires.
Surveys are used as independent projects or as part of larger projects for which additional primary data is required.