What is Survey Data & How to Use It
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What is Survey Data and what to take care of when buying?
Survey data is data that comes from the answers that respondents give when answering a survey. Surveys are conducted to gather information or to conduct research and are created to research a particular topic of interest. Then a target audience is asked to respond to the survey. The information gathered from the target respondents is used to gain information and insights on the respondent views. Surveys serve a variety of research purposes.
The nature of the survey topic decides the demographics of the people to be surveyed. Most surveys will decide on a particular number of people to be surveyed to get a versatile result. A survey asks a predetermined section of the population for information, using a questionnaire.
As technology has evolved, so too have the methods of conducting surveys. Many surveys are now conducted through telephone conversations or email requests. Response rates differ with different collection methods.
The three main types of survey are:
- Cross-sectional surveys — help measure the opinions of a sample population at a given time in a certain situation.
- Longitudinal surveys — collect data over a long period of time.
- Retrospective surveys — data collected about past events.
Surveys have many advantages for businesses. Surveys, particularly online, are cheap to conduct. They collect data easily and can reach thousands of respondents.
In order to get quality survey data, the objectives of a survey must be well-defined. To get the best results from a survey:
- Be clear on what it is your business wishes to discover
- Keep questions to the point
- Avoid multiple objectives, (it’s better to have two separate surveys than multiple objectives)
- Don’t make the survey too lengthy, or respondents will lose interest and may not complete it.
- Keep language and question structure simple.
- Test out surveys for interpretability before issuing to real customers.
Who uses Survey Data and for what use cases?
Surveys are one of the most widely known ways that businesses can collect information. They are used by businesses to gain insights into their target markets and are a flexible way to gathering important marketing data. With surveys you can directly ask the questions you really want to know the answers to. Instead of building and testing different versions of your product to see which sells the best, your business could get the same results with just asking customers a few questions in a survey, thereby saving you time and expense.
Conducting surveys was once time consuming, but with new technology, even the smallest company can benefit from survey data quickly. With online tools you can design a survey in minutes and send it to your customers at very little cost. Surveys have advantages for any size of business — big or small. They are often a cost-effective way to conduct market research. Survey data helps businesses to understand their audience and allows businesses to monitor their customers’ satisfaction, respond to their customer’s needs and improve their brand.
Surveys are a great way of engaging with customers. This is why they’re used to improve marketing, help make better business decisions, improve customer service and more. Survey data can reduce new product risk and other risk.
Survey data on store experience can help businesses learn what they are doing right or doing wrong according to their customers. This can have far-reaching consequences for customer footfall and customer retention. Perhaps customers aren’t happy with your customer support, or find your pricing policy confusing. These are things that can be fixed. However, how would you fix them if you didn’t know about them? Fixing what gives your customers a negative reaction is key to business success.
The data from the surveys is not only for determining issues to be fixed — it can let you know your business is moving in the right direction, even give you confirmation on what you’re doing right. Surveys can give you information that helps you to know what to focus on to satisfy your customers. Customer satisfaction is the most important factor in increasing revenue.
Sending customers surveys just after they buy a product is a way of showing you care about their opinion. As they have just had a pleasant experience with you they are more likely to respond. The results of customer surveys can also be advertised on your webpage i.e. 9/10 customers are happy with our new brand. Sending a survey after a purchase also acts as a quality check, making sure everything went well with the purchase and that the customer is completely satisfied.
Surveys can also be used to get customers more involved with your business. If you are thinking of changing your webpage, let customers help to choose the new theme by voting on a survey for the theme they like best.
How is Survey Data typically collected?
Survey data is typically collected in a number of ways:
- Online surveys
- Telephone surveys
- Email surveys
- Face-to-face surveys
- Paper surveys
Once survey data is collected, it needs to be analyzed to ensure it meets the needs for which it was created. There are four main steps in analyzing survey data:
Understand the most popular survey research questions — the survey questions should align with the reason the survey is being conducted.
Filter obtained results using cross-tabulation — compare and contrast the various sections of the target respondents.
Evaluate the derived numbers — analyze the information that has been gathered.
Draw conclusions — develop results from the collected and analyzed data.
Nowadays most survey data analysis is performed using analytics software. Statistical analysis is also used to form greater insights from survey data.
Here are some common insights that can be derived from survey data through statistical analysis:
- Trend analysis — measures changes of perception over time
- Maxdiff analysis — measures what a customer likes best about a product
- Conjoint analysis — measures all the reasons a customer buys a particular product
- TURF analysis — measures the frequency that marketing messages reach customers
- Gap analysis — measures the gap between expected performance and actual performance
- SWOT analysis —measures strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of competition
- Text analysis — creates easily understandable data from unstructured data
How to assess the quality of Survey Data?
There are several processes for assessing the quality of survey data, which come under the headings of quality assurance and quality control. Good quality survey data should be:
- Relevant — does the survey meet the requirements of the users and the client?
- Interpretable — is the survey data easy to understand?
- Comparable — is data from different sections or groups comparable to each other?
- Coherent — is the data coherent and can it be rearranged and combined with other data?
- Time — how much time was there between the end of the survey and when the survey data was analysed?
How do I get Survey Data?
Respondents hardly pay any price for partaking in surveys, indeed customers may fill out most surveys for free. Respondents may even be paid a small remuneration for filling out surveys
There are several ways survey data is typically priced for buyers, such as:
- Businesses may create their own surveys and obtain their own respondents.
- Businesses may hire a survey company to create a survey and obtain their own respondents.
- Businesses may hire a survey company to create a survey and the survey company may also obtain respondents to partake in the survey.
- Businesses may purchase survey data that has previously been collected, from survey brokers.
What are the common challenges when buying Survey Data?
There are several common challenges when buying survey data, such as:
- Is the survey data timely?
- How accurate is the data?
- How relevant is the data?
- How accessible is the survey data?
What to ask Survey Data providers?
There are several questions businesses can ask survey data providers when purchasing survey data:
- When was the survey data collected?
- How often is it updated?
- How was the data collected?
- How was the survey data checked for errors?
- How relevant is the survey data to my business needs?