Surveys are one of the most practical modern tools for understanding public opinion and making change. The ability for them to be taken online has only made them more popular. Still, the process of creating and analyzing a survey is challenging. Here are some key dilemmas that have to be dealt with in the process.
What questions to ask? This question seems simple, the answer should just be whatever the survey is about. Although it’s not always so simple. Questions in a survey have to be unbiased, clear, and concise. If the questions lead the participant to an answer, are unclear, or assume answers, the results are skewed. This is really important to avoid if the survey is meant to be a tool for future change.
How to code and analyze the data? The more technical side of survey creation isn’t overwhelmingly challenging, but it’s time consuming. Modern vendors and companies exist explicitly to code and analyze survey data. This lowers time and complexity but increases cost. Finding a balance between outsourcing and man hours is a tough question for any modern survey.
How to display the data? The most simple of the three dilemmas can also be the most impactful. There’s so much data that exists today, but what most people see is the most well organized and displayed. This means effective graphs, clear and concise explanations, and general good formatting. Failing to do this will lead to even really great data being ignored.