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.
PollDaddy doesn’t allow data exporting, meaning you can only see responses in the aggregate. This view is sufficient if you’re just looking for the big picture, or aren’t confident in your analytical skills. The type of survey you need to run often determines whether you need data exporting functionality or not, so be sure to think through your survey plan in advance.
Similarly, it is important to consider whether certain words may be viewed as biased or potentially offensive to some respondents, as well as the emotional reaction that some words may provoke. For example, in a 2005 Pew Research survey, 51% of respondents said they favored “making it legal for doctors to give terminally ill patients the means to end their lives,” but only 44% said they favored “making it legal for doctors to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide.” Although both versions of the question are asking about the same thing, the reaction of respondents was different. In another example, respondents have reacted differently to questions using the word “welfare” as opposed to the more generic “assistance to the poor.” Several experiments have shown that there is much greater public support for expanding “assistance to the poor” than for expanding “welfare.”
For companies, one of the major dangers of paid online surveys is that you are giving participants an incentive to lie and cheat in order to take more surveys [source: Selling to Kids]. People might lie on their demographic profile to qualify for more surveys. They might sign up with the same company under multiple e-mail addresses to maintain several different profiles. They might rush through multiple-choice surveys randomly checking answers in order to complete the survey in the least amount of time possible.
Two of the packages provided a simpler, cleaner approach to this UI model: the very basic SurveyPlanet and Zoho Survey, the latter being part of a broad suite of web apps available via subscription. Between the two, Zoho Survey emerged as a surprisingly powerful package that could hold its own against apps that took the SurveyMonkey approach. And I recommend it even for those who don't use the other Zoho apps.
Assimilation effects occur when responses to two questions are more consistent or closer together because of their placement in the questionnaire. We found an example of an assimilation effect in a Pew Research poll conducted in November 2008 when we asked whether Republican leaders should work with Obama or stand up to him on important issues and whether Democratic leaders should work with Republican leaders or stand up to them on important issues. People are more likely to say that Republican leaders should work with Obama when the question was preceded by the one asking what Democratic leaders should do in working with Republican leaders (81% vs. 66%). However, when people were first asked about Republican leaders working with Obama, fewer said that Democratic leaders should work with Republican leaders (71% vs. 82%).
The apps on this list offer more than that. They help you tackle advanced techniques, like gathering images, recording audio, integrating with calendars, and crafting questions that get unbiased answers. Some are best online, while others shine in mobile apps or in offline world on a clipboard—it's true, several of these survey apps allow you to print out your questionnaire, then add the results to the app. This roundup focuses on survey tools offering standout features, with an emphasis on apps that make it easy to get started.
Tired of tapping a "+" button to add more answers to your survey questions? SurveyPlanet takes away that pain by automatically adding a blank answer spot as soon as you type an answer in the last blank field. You can tap and type as many times as you need to enter all your answers. Then, you can duplicate your questions in a tap to reword them for detailed branched surveys easily.