Surveys are more than just a series of questions – they are a study design that collects hard data (demographics, measurements) and soft data (opinions, behaviours) both quantitatively and qualitatively from each item in a sample; producing a standard data set which can be analysed and interrogated.
Each survey needs to be tailored to the question asked but there are some key principles:
- Appropriate sample population and sample size for study,
- Clear and simple language,
- Appropriate mix of closed and open questions,
- Integrating methods to reduce bias,
- Maximising response rates.
A well developed survey therefore collects only the necessary information required to answer a hypothesis in a targeted approach without over-burdening the survey taker.