Four Best Practices for Survey Research
When it comes to surveys, OHPI is always looking for ways to improve and deliver the best strategic insights. Don’t know where to start? We analyzed the best industry practices and narrowed them down to the four we find most important.
1. Develop questions
One of the most important parts of a survey is the questions. It is important to make sure that you avoid using triggering words or phrases that imply a certain response. Taking proper time to develop questions is key so that you are avoiding creating a desired outcome and are able to discover true insights. This way, your analysis will be untainted and you will be able to act on real data.
2. Ask the right people the right questions
Once you have the right questions, it is important to break down the correct audience to make sure you are asking questions to the right people. There are two ways to do that: isolate who you are looking for and model the market on a larger scale. By isolating the audience you are looking for, you can make sure the demographics match the people whose opinions you are interested in, from consumers to voters. Modeling the market you are trying to reach is also key, because it helps the polling firm mimic that audience on a smaller scale, to give you a representative sample.
3. Disclose Methodology
It is important for any polling firm to disclose their methodology, to ensure credibility in their polls. Among pollsters, there is an obligation to show polling has been done to the best of their ability and that the numbers are accurate and were gathered correctly. Any polling firm that does not demonstrate transparency and a willingness to answer questions about how they collected their data is one to stay away from.
Once the information has been gathered, then comes the time to analyze it by combing through the data and finding what is the most important. Most polling firms will only pick out what is statistically significant, but a good firm will also look for patterns in the numbers that create a narrative.
At OHPI, we like to go above and beyond. That’s where we add in a fifth, optional step: visualizing. We consider this the most important step, because it allows the results to be communicated to the client. We analyze the data and outline key suggestions for ways our clients can implement actionable change in their business. Being able to hand over data-driven solutions allows us to act as strategic partners to our clients, which is much more effective than solely handing over research. After all, the most important part of our job is to make sure our research helps clients make strategic decisions to better their business or organization.