Several of our non-profit clients recently decided to conduct surveys of their supporters, and we were asked to seek out a good solution for conducting these surveys. One of the biggest challenge was finding a free service that did not severely limit the number of questions we could ask nor the number of respondents we could allow. We determined that SurveyPlanet had the flexibility and services we required. Building questions was simple and effortless, and we are now analyzing the results with the excellent tools available. We highly encourage others seeking an easy way to conduct surveys to use this excellent service.
Now that you've learned the basics you need to build a survey and have found a survey app to use, you're all ready to create an amazing survey and gather the data you've been needing. But what will you do with all that data? That's what Chapter 8 is for. It's an in-depth guide to optimizing your survey and turning your data into meaningful graphs—complete with template spreadsheets to help you easily analyze your survey data.
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In general, questions that use simple and concrete language are more easily understood by respondents. It is especially important to consider the education level of the survey population when thinking about how easy it will be for respondents to interpret and answer a question. Double negatives (e.g., do you favor or oppose not allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry) or unfamiliar abbreviations or jargon (e.g., ANWR instead of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) can result in respondent confusion and should be avoided.
One kind of order effect can be seen in responses to open-ended questions. Pew Research surveys generally ask open-ended questions about national problems, opinions about leaders and similar topics near the beginning of the questionnaire. If closed-ended questions that relate to the topic are placed before the open-ended question, respondents are much more likely to mention concepts or considerations raised in those earlier questions when responding to the open-ended question.
Online surveys are great—they let you get people's opinions, wherever they are, and whenever they're free to fill out your survey. But some surveys are best filled out offline—from door-to-door surveys where you may not have consistent internet coverage, to in-house QA assements inside factories and other areas with limited connectivity—and QuickTapSurvey is a great option to build offline surveys that are perhaps even better than online ones.
Here are some great ways to automatically send out your survey, thank and follow up with respondents, analyze your data, and make your survey fit into your workflow. You may be able to do some of these things with your app itself. For everything else, use Zapier, an automation tool that works with hundreds of apps, including many of the survey tools in this roundup.
Amazon gift cards and PayPal are obviously popular choices, so naturally like most sites MySurvey had those. These guys did not stop there though. At the time of writing (I double checked) they also offer various sweepstakes, gift cards to restaurants, you can donate to charities like UNICEF through them, they have iTune gift cards, their very own merchandising products and also Starbucks, Walmart and Tango gift cards among many more options!
Ipsos is a funny name for one of the oldest and largest global market research companies. They were founded in 1975 and if you follow US politics, you'll recognize them partnering often with Reuters to produce approval surveys of Congress, the President, and other notable figures. They're headquartered in Paris, France and publicly traded on the Paris Stock Exchange. They have revenues of over a billion dollars – Ipsos i-Say is just a small piece of their business.
A questionnaire, like a conversation, should be grouped by topic and unfold in a logical order. It is often helpful to begin the survey with simple questions that respondents will find interesting and engaging to help establish rapport and motivate them to continue to participate in the survey. Throughout the survey, an effort should be made to keep the survey interesting and not overburden respondents with several difficult questions right after one another. Demographic questions such as income, education or age should not be asked near the beginning of a survey unless they are needed to determine eligibility for the survey or for routing respondents through particular sections of the questionnaire. Even then, it is best to precede such items with more interesting and engaging questions.
“As a programmer, I need large chunks of time to really make progress on a project,” states Ann Gaffigan, CTO of Land Pros Systems, Inc., “In an office, there are so many potential distractions, with people knocking on the door or customers stopping in. This way I can control when I answer calls and emails and when I 'go silent' to get some work done.”
While surveys vary widely in how they are conducted and used, there are a number of components that are common across nearly all surveys. Many of these common features have been studied in extensive detail by survey methodologists, psychologists, statisticians, and many other fields of research. The general process of survey research is outlined in the figure below.