A survey is a technique or method for collecting information where it interrogates a group of people in order to get certain information needed for an investigation.
Is often thought to do a survey is a difficult task for which it is necessary to hire a research company that is responsible for this; but the truth is that it is a simple task that anyone can perform if you know the steps.
The following is a guide that will show you step by step how to do a survey:
1. Establishing the objectives of the survey
The first step is to do a survey to pinpoint the targets that seek to achieve this.
The survey targets are set according to the reason it was decided do it; for example, if the reason you have decided to do a survey is to assess the feasibility of launching a new product to market, some of the objectives of this survey could be meet the acceptance that could have the new product, meet demand could have the same, and know the tastes and preferences of consumers as to the type of product.
Some common examples of survey objectives are:
- acceptance know you could have a new product or service.
- meet the demand that could have a new product or service.
- know the tastes and preferences of consumers with respect to a particular product or service.
- measure customer satisfaction.
- measure the working environment of a company.
2. Determination of the population or universe to study
Once established objectives, we proceed to determine the study population or universe.
The study population or universe is the set of people with similar characteristics which it is desired to obtain information to, once analyzed, fulfill the objectives of the survey; for example, if the objective of a survey is to know that acceptance could have a new product, the study population or universe would consist of consumers who make up the target market.
Some common examples of population or universe of a survey are:
- consumers that make up a given market.
- customers of a company.
- workers of a company.
- business owners in a given sector.
3. Identification of information collecting
Once given population or universe to study, we proceed to identify information to collect.
The information to be collected should be that from the population to allow, once analyzed, fulfill the objectives of the survey; for example, if the objective of a survey is to meet the acceptance and demand which could have a new product, the information to be collected could be made up buying intentions of consumers, average spending by to buy similar products, the frequency with which they buy, etc.
Other examples of information that is usually required of consumers in a survey are their opinions, impressions, motivations, preferences, desires, habits, hobbies, lifestyles, etc.
4. Questionnaire design
After identifying the information to be collected, we proceed to design the survey questionnaire.
The questionnaire survey should include questions that allow to obtain the required information; for example, if the information to be collected is one that allows to know the acceptance and demand which could have a new product, some of the survey questions could be:
- Would you be willing to try this new product?
- How often spend on average when purchasing similar products?
- How often buy similar products?
Or, if the information to be collected is one that allows to know the tastes and preferences of consumers with respect to a particular type of product, some of the survey questions could be:
- What’s the first thing taken into account when buying this type of product?
- What are your favorite models?
- What features would you change or add?
Something important about the questionnaire is that questions of this can be closed or open.
Closed questions are those that only give the respondent certain alternatives in response;for instance:
Would you be willing to try this new product?
- Do not
- Do not know / no opinion
What is the first thing to take into account when buying this type of product?
- The brand
- The quality
- The model
- The price
While open questions are those that give the respondent the freedom to work through their own words; for instance:
Why did you choose our service?
How can we improve our service?
Closed questions have the advantage of being fast to count and process, and easier to analyze; while the open questions is time-consuming to be recorded and processed, and are more difficult to analyze; but they have the advantage of allowing important conclusions that could not be obtained by using only closed questions, so although not used much, it is always advisable to combine with closed.
For an example of questionnaire visit article survey model.
5. Calculation of the sample
Once designed the questionnaire, we proceed to the calculation of the sample.
The sample is representative of the number of people who will be surveying people and, therefore, the number of surveys to be carried out.
The reason for calculating and only a sample survey is that it is possible to obtain accurate data without having to survey the entire population, thus saving time and money; for example, in hiring, training and supervision of interviewers, and the collection, accounting and information processing.
The sample is usually obtained through a statistical formula (formula shown), which in short is as follows:
|n = (Z²pqN) / (Ne² + Z²pq)|
- n : sample (number of people representative of the population that is going to be interviewed).
- N : population (group of people with similar characteristics which are desired information).
- Z : confidence level (measures the reliability of the results It is usual to use a confidence level of 95% or 90% The higher the confidence level, the results have improved reliability but on the other hand, higher.. the sample number).
- e . degree of error (measures the percentage of error may be in the results as usual is to use a degree of error of 5% or 10% The smaller the margin of error, the results have greater validity but for. Furthermore, the greater the number of the sample).
- p : probability of occurrence (probability of the event occurring The usual practice is to use a likelihood of 50%.).
- q : no chance of occurrence (probability that the event does not happen as usual is to use a non-occurrence probability of 50%.).
For an example of calculation shows visit article survey model.
6. Collection of information
Once designed the questionnaire, we proceed to gather or collect the information required; that is, to enforce the survey.
In the collection of information the interviewer addresses or contact the respondent on the street (for example, in a shopping center), at home or office or by phone, and makes the questionnaire while writes down their answers ; or sends the questionnaire by mail or email to fill out.
In case of a field (the interviewer goes out to address the respondent) is required good planning of this, which could include selecting and hiring interviewers, training them to perform properly the questionnaire, organize them by groups or teams, determine the place or places where the survey, the date and time that will begin and how long it will last is performed.
7. Accounting and information processing
Once it collected the information, proceed to posting it and process it so that it can be easily analyzed.
For example, if one of the survey questions was “what it is the first thing to take into account when buying this type of product?”, And after counting and tabulating the responses, the following results were obtained:
|The brand||26 votes|
|The quality||156 votes|
|The model||39 votes|
|The price||39 votes|
To analyze them better, you could calculate the percentages (the sum total of the votes is 260 so to find the percentage of votes for each answer the results are multiplied by 100 and then divided by 260) :
8. Analysis of the information
Finally, once the information is processed and counted, we proceed to analyze and interpret it, and get the appropriate conclusions.
For example, if to the question “would you be willing to try this new product”, the following results were obtained:
|Do not know / no opinion||5%|
We might find that a large percentage of consumers would be willing to try the new product is intended to market and, therefore, this could be welcomed if it proves to be better than competing products or offers differentiation.
Or, if to the question: “What is the first thing taken into consideration when purchasing this type of product”, the following results were obtained:
One might conclude that consumers do not take much account of the mark when buying the product type, but considered quite the quality and, therefore, a new brand for the product type could compete on equal terms with brands already on the market, and overcome if good quality.
The results of each survey question should allow to draw conclusions, but also the result set of all questions be allowed to draw general conclusions; for example, of the above it may be concluded that launching the new product to market is feasible, because a large percentage of consumers would be willing to try it, since these, when purchasing the product type, taking into account quality rather than the fact that it is a known brand.