Three Tips to Strong Survey Results
The process of conducting a quality survey can be challenging. It requires a lot of time, dedication, and forethought. If the questions are poorly formed or the process delayed, results can be very skewed. Of course there’s always power in hindsight, but what about once the data is collected? Here are three tips to ensure strong data results post collection.
First, slow down. It’s very exciting to have data, but very hard to make it useful. It’s also a mistake to try to interpret incomplete data. Sometimes the best thing to do is to slow the process down. A good way to not get ahead of oneself is to ask how the results should be managed? There will be statistics, formatting, graphs, exporting, software, and a lot of other somewhat technical things happening. Make sure there are clear goals and deadlines.
Second, report clearly and visually. By the time data is done being analyzed it becomes very obvious in terms of meaning to the creators. Who it will not be obvious to is everyone trying to understand it. Make sure that data is being represented in a very clear way. A good way to do this is through graphs, tables, and other visual representations. Without it people will stop paying attention and the data becomes useless.
Finally, feel free to bring in external help. The process of conducting a survey and analyzing and reporting it are very different. There are companies explicitly made to analyze and help with those later steps. Maybe it’s a matter of low manpower, low time, or low experience, it doesn’t matter. Outsourcing and external help can be useful for anyone.