A survey is a tool that is commonly used when carrying out human research. It is usually used to extract data from a predefined group of people.
Surveys are often used to assess emotions, thoughts and feelings of the respondents. It can be specific and limited, or more general and widespread—depending on the researcher and purpose of the survey.
When researchers evaluates a survey taken over a sample population which is usually part of a larger population, it can be used to make predictions on the larger population. Such predictions may be wrong in some cases, but they are legitimate statistical procedures.
A survey is a research tool that uses questionnaires to collect data from a predefined group of respondents, and analyzing those responses to discover trends and make future predictions. It consists of a predetermined set of questions given to a sample of a large population.
There are a variety of uses for surveys, which can be carried out in different ways depending on the methodology and purpose of research. Some of the uses of surveys are; behavioural analysis, customer service, competitive analysis, etc.
The need to obtain facts about a research topic is what leads us to carry out a survey. These facts are obtained through standard procedures that ensures each response is unbiased.
There are various types of surveys, where the classification is based on 3 main factors, namely:
Online survey consists of questions that can be easily deployed as a link sent through emails, WhatsApp, added to the website, etc. Online surveys have seen a rise in their usage due to the advent of technology.
You can increase your survey response rate with Formplus online survey templates. These templates make administering online surveys easier.
Offline surveys use is administered without the use of the internet. Offline surveys are the traditional way of carrying out surveys.
The advent of technology has made it easier and created more methods of carrying out offline surveys. They are mostly carried out by meeting with the researcher in person or having voice calls.
There are 4 main divisions of offline surveys namely:
As the name implies, paper-based surveys are carried out using the traditional pencil and paper approach. This approach requires physical manpower that involves deploying people to share papers to respondents and having them fill it out. The good part is that they can go where devices like laptops, tablets, etc. can’t go.
This survey type involves researchers conducting phone interviews. They reach out to the respondents via phone call, ask them some set of predefined questions and record these responses.
Telephone surveys are commonly used for the first interview stage of job interviews. The HR representative calls the applicant to get more information about them after they must have passed the first screening phase.
The mobile offline survey is used to collect data in remote locations or places without a reliable internet connection. It can also act as a backup to the standard online forms especially in cases where you have unreliable WiFi, such as large conferences and field surveys.
Using a conversational SMS-like feature, it collects data without an internet connection. This feature is currently available as a beta release on Formplus.
A one-on-one interview is a face-to-face conversation between 2 sets of people with the sole purpose of collecting relevant information that satisfies a research purpose. The 2 sets of individuals involved in an interview are the interviewer and the interviewee.
We use the term, “sets of people” in this definition because the interviewers and interviewees may be more than 1. Some of the tools used for one-on-one interviews are audio recorded, digital cameras, camcorder, etc.
Longitudinal surveys are those surveys that span a very long period of time. They employ continuous observation measures of collecting the data of an individual for as long as a decade or more.
There are three main types of longitudinal surveys, namely; trend surveys, panel surveys, and cohort surveys.
This survey type is deployed by researchers to understand the shift or transformation in the thought process of respondents over a period of time. They are administered to investigate the changes and the factors that influenced these changes in people’s inclination over a long while.
Researchers study how respondents made decisions in the past, how they are making decisions now and use the information to predict what decisions they will make in the future.
For example, a media company may carry out research about the political party people have been voting for the past ten years and use this information to predict the outcome of the next election.
In panel survey type, investigations are carried out on a sample population from a larger population of potential subjects of study. Panel surveys are administered to the same set or group of people, known as the panel over the years.
Mostly designed for quantitative analysis, they are expensive in nature and researchers to try to stick to their panel to gather unbiased opinions.
A cohort survey is carried out on a group of people with similar experiences. This group is usually called a cohort. For example, a study may be carried out on the first cohort of a code boot camp to see how far the participants would have gone in their careers after 10 years.
Things like the kind of projects they embarked on at a point in time, positions they held, companies they worked for, etc. will be studied.
When carrying out a cohort survey, people are categorized depending on whether meet certain criteria. It is not necessary that the same people will form a group, however, people forming a group should have certain similarities.
A retrospective survey is a type of survey in which respondents are asked to narrate events that occurred in the past. Unlike longitudinal surveys, this type of survey does not involve browsing through past resources to gather information about research.
Rather, it deploys the research method that involves getting information directly from the subject who experienced the event. This way researchers can save the cost and time required, unlike longitudinal surveys.
Cross-sectional type surveys are administered to a small sample of a large population within a short time frame. It gives researchers a brief account of the respondent’s view at that given time.
These surveys are usually brief, quick to answer and measure the respondent’s opinion of a particular situation at a given time. This is quite the opposite of longitudinal surveys, as it is taken over a small sample and measured over a short period of time.
For example, consider a study into the race that are prone to skin cancer in America. By choosing a sample to obtain cross-sectional data, it is indicated that skin cancer is prevalent in white people.
The researcher may choose to dwell deeper into research by deploying a longitudinal survey.
Organizations and businesses in different industries are known to conduct regular surveys. These surveys are used to improve their overall service and better satisfy customers.
There are different types of surveys, specifically used in different industries depending on the business needs. The different types of survey also include some general survey types that are common to all industries.
Some of the industry-based survey types we have are; satisfaction surveys, employee surveys, demographic survey,s and evaluation surveys.
Satisfaction surveys are usually sent to customers immediately after using a service or a little while after purchasing a product. It takes a while for organizations to reach out to a customer after purchasing their product so as to give the customer enough time to use the products and give feedback.
They are used to get information on whether customers are satisfied with the product sold or service rendered by an organization. Here are some types of satisfaction survey templates;
This survey should be anonymous so as to encourage employees to express their feelings.
Companies use employee surveys to get feedback on various issues relating to the employees. They are used at different stages of an employee’s career with the company.
For example, the employee referral form is used by a 3rd party when referring a potential employee to an organization, while the employee exit survey is used when the employee terminates his/her contract with the company.
Here are some types of Employee Survey Type Templates:
The responses made by employees are needed to help improve the company’s work culture. These responses are captured using the employee exit survey.
Demographic surveys are used to collect the personal data of respondents. It gives insights into respondents’ age, gender or marital status.
The information gathered from this survey can provide details about users that other question types might fail to achieve.
A demographic survey can be used to collect data on —age, gender, marital status, work status, household income, level of education, ethnicity, etc. It is basically used to collect any data relevant to your study or research.
Evaluation surveys are commonly used by organizations to assess a situation or the respondents in order to arrive at a certain conclusion. They are used in different industries but are deployed with similar intentions, which is to assess.
Here are some types of Employee Survey Type Templates
It can be used to improve employee productivity by identifying training needs, providing clear communication for work responsibilities, and improving the company work culture.
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Surveys are a very broad data collection and analysis tool. They are used for various purposes in research, marketing, product development, brand communication, etc.
There are different ways in which surveys can be distributed, depending on the basis of the research project. Some of the factors that play a part in the mode of distribution of these surveys include; cost, research study type, the flexibility of questions, time to collect responses, statistical analysis to be run on data and willingness of the respondent to take part in the survey.
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