What is Survey Research?
Survey Research is the process of surveying or preparing questions targeted to a group of people to extract a particular field of information. This information can be further used for drawing certain conclusions.
This data is collected in the form of surveys from the individuals as their responses, and a thorough analysis of this response is done to attain more information demographically.
Survey research can be done in simple ways like a face-to-face conversation, over calls, or by providing a questionnaire that the group of individuals has to respond to objectively.
Objectives for conducting Survey Research
The organization that wants to understand their audience’s responses should first know what the research is conducted for.
Once that is decided, it can be created in different formats depending on the suitability for which the survey is designed.
Some common objectives for conducting Survey Research are
- To get feedback. This is one of the reasons why a lot of individuals and organizations, specifically, conduct surveys. It helps them to know their performance in the changing market scenes and get an unbiased report. Opinions cannot leave a scope for improvement. But a full-proof survey conducted methodically and strategically can.
- To provide an area for audience suggestions for improvement. As a brand, you should know how to keep your target audience happy. If you keep them involved by conducting regular surveys about your performance and their expectations, you can erase that gap between the brand and the audience.
- To understand the mindset of the audience towards a particular topic, brand, or product. Before launching a new product and establishing it in the market, one must know its necessity. It must be able to solve an issue faced by the audience in some way. Only then will people find it relevant and will purchase it for whatever it is that they require.
- Understanding consumer behavior. It is said that the consumer is God, and therefore, any company or organization should invest wholly in understanding how the consumer behaves or what are their opinions and patterns. Understanding consumer behaviorisms will help them to place their brands and ideas more effectively to the consumer.
- Open a channel for communication and relations. When the audience’s opinion is taken into account, it helps earn trust in the organization. Also, with certain levels of communication and public relations built, the brands can build long-lasting equity and bond with its consumers. It helps them gain an edge over their competitors.
- To have strong organization-community ties. Some companies conduct services towards the community, society, and environment. Conducting surveys helps them find a social issue that they can contribute to. Well-placed surveys can even help them to find out the efficacy of the initiatives taken up by them. It helps them build stronger community ties.
Data collection methods
It is essential to collect data from the respondents that are objective and not biased. Opinionated data cannot help in gaining insight; instead, facts help. To better understand the implications and the efficacy, the survey conducted has to be simple yet profound. Otherwise, the whole process of the research will be in vain.
The following are some ways in which this data can be collected.
This is one of the most common ways of conducting survey research because it helps engage the individuals well.
A questionnaire can be taken up by the individual conducting the surveyor at times, which might require professionals like psychologists, etc., to explain the people’s questions. These can be in the form of a sheet or can be emailed or questioned over the telephone.
2. Conducting interviews
Conducting face-to-face interviews helps people respond better because they connect to the idea of it when they are being guided through the process. A telephonic interview can also be conducted in a discussion format to keep the individuals engaged in answering.
Sampling for Survey Research
Survey research requires individuals or a set of individuals who can be targeted for a particular type of information that they may be acquainted with. The following has to be maintained while sampling.
- Sufficient samples have to be extracted from the target audience because not all populations can be taken for the research.
- So, the sample set has to be representing the audience in mind, and it should suffice for the research.
- It is essential to identify the target audience correctly.
- Depending on the data required, people of any sex, socio-economic classification, and age can be chosen.
- Having a strong sample set helps achieve the credibility and authenticity of the research that is being conducted.
- Having a larger sample set. Answering objectively can help achieve accurate results of the research.
Probability sampling is essential while performing Survey Research because such models give the closest representation of a population and its dynamics. The sampling sizes used under probability sampling enable the organization to employ numerous statistical analysis forms to arrive at more concrete meanings and conclusions.
There are different types of Probability sampling. They are as follows:
1. Simple random sampling
- The three basic criteria for a simple random sampling are that the population should have N objects. The sample should consist of n objects, and all of them are equally likely to occur in any given situation.
- The ways of getting a simple random sample are varied.
- Some ways are a lottery, randomly assigning a unique number to the population members, randomly picking up chits blindfolded, etc.
- This sampling is done in an unbiased manner and is truly random so that everyone has the chance to be a part of it.
2. Stratified Sampling
- In stratified sampling, a particular characteristic is taken into consideration.
- Using these characteristics, the group of individuals is chosen. These are called strata.
- Then, within such groups, a simple random sample is selected not to give rise to any bias.
- An example would be that of the national surveys conducted for a criterion of socio-economic classification.
3. Cluster Sampling
- In cluster sampling, a member of a selected population is put into one group only.
- Many such groups are created and are together known as clusters.
- Then a sample of clusters is chosen, which means that each individual chosen is unique.
- This selection is made most often using simple random sampling.
- From the selected clusters now, the survey is conducted.
4. Multistage Sampling
- Multistage sampling is a mixture of many sampling methods befitting the sample’s needs and the survey.
- It is also done in multiple stages, hence the name.
- In different stages, the different sampling methods are employed to ensure that every individual selected is unique.
5. Systematic Random Sampling
- For systematic random sampling, a list of individuals of a population is built.
- From that list, individuals are chosen from the nth element, and the process is repeated.
- This ensures the uniqueness of each of the individuals contributing to the sample.
These sampling techniques are used when the resources and the capital is limited. This is a form of sampling used to select particular population units for survey research to be conducted. It is a form of convenience sampling, as it is easier to do and cheaper as well.
The types are as follows:
1. Voluntary Sample
- The voluntary sample includes the people who have chosen to be a part of a particular survey.
- It is based on people’s choices.
- The survey administrator plays no role in selecting individuals.
2. Convenience Sample
- This sample contains the people who are available and easy to reach for a survey at hand.
- It is an easy method of gaining participants for a survey as people who have free time in hand come to be a part of the survey.
- The accessibility of the location also matters.
Process of Survey Research
The process of conducting a successful Survey Research are as follows:
1. Preparation of questions
- After discussions with the team, plan out appropriate questions for the topic to be researched.
- The questions should be engaging and straightforward.
- Insights should be gathered from the responses, so complex questions will not be perceived well by the respondents.
- A balance between open-ended and closed-ended questions should be decided.
2. It is correctly identifying the target audience.
- This means that the individuals chosen for the sampling set should be relevant to the study being conducted.
- This will help in getting accurate results or responses.
3. Choose the medium
- The medium where the audience is going to be engaged matters to get the objective responses out of them.
- Face-to-face medium helps in the respondents’ better involvement, whereas telephonic ones have to be made more direct.
- Redundancy should be minimized as much as possible.
4. Proper analysis
- With all the data that has been collected, now the studies have to be done.
- The analysis may take a long time, but it still has to be done legitimately without false claims.
- The research model proposed for the analysis can also be improvised upon.
- Qualitative or quantitative analysis can be done depending on the type of data.
Types of Survey Research
This type of research has different types of catering to the kind of surveying that is required for the individuals.
- This is an official form of Survey Research using which information is collected from particular demographics.
- It is done periodically to keep updating.
2. Opinion Poll
- It is a public opinion survey for a particular idea, new legislation, sample, product, etc.
3. Medical surveys
- It is conducted amongst patients, caregivers, etc.
- This is done to see the level of information these people have about the medical department.
- This includes various forms of surveys.
- It caters to gender, socio-economic, household surveys, etc.
Enlisted hereon are the advantages of Survey Research.
- The initial capital required for conducting this type of research is much less than the other forms.
- The collected responses are dynamic, spontaneous, and individualistic, but at the same time, of collective behaviorisms.
- Respondents feel a kind of trust when they have to appear for such surveys, and therefore, they actively participate and respond objectively.
- A wide range of data and a versatile sample set can be accommodated.
Thus, Survey Research is a suitable and effective tool for understanding the consumer mindset and the overall functioning of a particular population towards a sample.
It can be conducted in many different interactive ways to receive responses that can be analyzed.
Now, what is your survey research definition? Share with us in the comment section.