The tech industry is well known for its flexible schedules and telecommuting opportunities, which makes sense, considering most tech companies are web-based and technology is the greatest resource when working from home. With video chats, conference calls, VPN networks, and wireless Internet, we can constantly stay connected as though we were sitting in our office, rather than at home.
Some products also include display logic, which is the ability to show or hide a question or section of a survey based on conditions that occurred before it. This can require far less upfront planning, although a few products in our review roundup implemented it very poorly, preventing question order from changing after setting it up. On the other hand, some packages that can accommodate particularly long and complex surveys can divide questions into sets or blocks; this can make it much easier to keep track of questions that pertain to a similar subtopic, for example.
For telephone surveys, interviewers call respondents as they would in the actual survey. Surveyors often listen to respondents as they complete the questionnaire to understand if there are problems with particular questions or with the order questions are asked. In addition, surveyors get feedback from interviewers about the questions and an estimate of how much time it will take people to respond to the questionnaire.
First, it is important to ask questions that are clear and specific and that each respondent will be able to answer. If a question is open-ended, it should be evident to respondents that they can answer in their own words and what type of response they should provide (an issue or problem, a month, number of days, etc.). Closed-ended questions should include all reasonable responses (i.e., the list of options is exhaustive) and the response categories should not overlap (i.e., response options should be mutually exclusive).
Define the research question: This is critically important to the success of a survey research project. Without a clearly defined question, it is difficult to determine the best approach for conducting the survey. For example, based on the research question, are the needed data exploratory, descriptive, or causal? The answer to this basic question has huge implications for the entire research process, yet it is often not directly addressed.