Getting the most out of Survey Data Collection survey data

Getting the most out of Survey Data Collection

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What is survey data?

The resultant data collected by researchers via feedback and surveys is known as survey data. This collected data is extensive information which is gathered about a specific topic from a chosen target demographic or audience. There are multiple methods available to researchers for survey data collection and for data analysis.

There are several channels available which can be used to gather feedback and survey data from your target demographic or pool of respondents. For a holistic research process, researchers typically prefer using multiple channels for survey data collection. These channels can be face-to-face, online or over the phone. Typically channel usage depends on the demographic you wish to survey, with each segment responding differently to various channels. 

The effectiveness of the data you gather can depend on several factors – how did you contact your respondents? How much information do respondents have about the survey? What channel did you use for which demographic?

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Methods of Survey Data Collection based on channels

In the beginning, surveys were paper based, with people having to manually fill in their responses. With advancements in technology, researchers were able to get feedback via telephone (CATI Surveys), and then via online surveys. Online surveys could further be divided into email surveys, standard online surveys, app integrated surveys. Each survey has varying levels of effectiveness depending on the demographic they’re employed with.

Survey response rates also depend on the channel used as well as the respondent demographic. Researchers must choose their channel according to the target demographics’ characteristics.

Types of surveys

There are many types of survey data collection available to researchers.

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Getting the most out of Survey Data Collection survey data

Online Surveys

Online surveys are one of the most widely used methods for researchers to collect feedback. They are the most cost-effective solution and can reach the largest number of respondents as well. They excel in scenarios where respondents are unguided and need to answer multiple questions.

Today’s online survey software’s allow for complex branching logic which can help refine the quality of feedback one can get from a survey. They typically take less time to answer and complete, and require a smaller investment (although that can vary on a case by case basis).

Voxco’s online survey platform allows for researchers to view results in real-time, which can help them make decisions and judgments on the fly. 

An example of an online survey in use would be when a buyer is prompted to partake in an NPS survey or CES survey after a transaction with an e-commerce website.

With the right feedback management platform at your disposal, online surveys are safe and can synchronize data seamlessly with your servers.

Telephone Surveys

Telephonic or CATI surveys may require more investment than online surveys, but can deliver exact results. Telephonic surveys typically require less effort, manpower and financial backing than face to face surveys. 

In fact, this survey methodology has proven to be extremely effective since the Covid-19 pandemic started. People in isolation desperate for human contact were far more receptive to participating in CATI surveys than they would be previously. These surveys require a skilled interviewer, but with arranged, one can get respondents to divulge feedback which they would otherwise be unwilling to do via other mediums. 

Telephonic surveys are more conversational in nature, and therefore can be extremely useful for social research.

Face-to-face surveys

This is an excellent technique for researchers to get honest feedback directly from respondents. People are usually willing to open to professionals and provide honest responses.Skilled interviewers can understand when people are uncomfortable answering certain questions and can guide them through the process. 

However, face-to-face surveys are extremely manpower intensive and are costly as well. Depending on the target demographic of respondents, researchers may need to train and acclimate themselves in order to get better feedback.

Methods of survey data collection based on frequency of surveys

Depending on the frequency of your survey distribution, there are 3 types of surveys

Longitudinal surveys

There are surveys which can help researchers make observations and gather responses over an extended time period. Longitudinal surveys are both quantitative and qualitative by nature, and survey owners have zero say or influence in responses.

Cross-sectional surveys

These surveys are an observational technique for research. With cross-sectional surveys, researchers analyze data collected at a certain point of time from a sample demographic/population or pre-defined respondent base. This method collects survey data that can help researchers understand how and what respondents are feeling about the topic at hand. It is great for understanding opinions about situations, products, laws etc. 

Retrospective surveys

In this type of survey, respondents are asked to report their recollection of events which have happened in the past. Retrospective surveys provide deep survey data in a short time-frame. For example, asking travellers about their experience at a particular monument or tourist trap is a retrospective survey.

Analyzing data after survey data collection

Gathering data from respondents is only one half of the equation. Analytics is what helps researchers make sense of the data and uncover insights. Voxco’s analytics tools can help researchers view survey data and generate reports for key stakeholders. 

A few methods for survey analytics are:

Trend analysis: This is a form of statistical analysis. It provides researchers with the ability to go through survey feedback collected over a set period of time. Trend analysis helps analysts and researchers gauge response data over time and draw a trend line of any changes noticed about the topic.

Conjoint analysis: With Conjoint analysis, researchers can analyze every variable behind a consumer’s purchase habits and behavior. With this method, one can easily understand what factors are important to customers and their considerations before they make a purchase. 

Cross-tabulation: Crosstabs are one of the most popular methods for data analysis. Researchers can use a basic tabulation framework which can help them make sense of data. It is a statistical analysis method – it divides respondent data into rows and columns making them easily understandable. This can help researchers observe similarities among varying attributes of their research. 

SWOT analysis: SWOT stands for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. It is a widely used statistical method for analysis. SWOT analysis infers insights from collected survey data and finds data which shows the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the topic at hand. It allows analysts to understand how their product, service or company stacks up  against the competition. SWOT analysis helps organizations plan business strategy.

MaxDiff analysis: The MaxDiff analysis method is very similar to conjoint analysis, with the key difference being that it is easier to implement. It is used to understand customer preferences regarding a product or a service. Multiple parameters or attributes are considered in MaxDiff analysis. It is often referred to as the “best-worst” method.

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