We’d love to talk to you about how we can assist in all aspects of survey execution; from concept through design, implementation and analysis, we can work with you to start from scratch or jump in to advise and assist at any step of the process. We can advise your existing survey research group or construct and deliver the survey for you.
What’s involved in executing a successful survey?
The results of our surveys have been used in court, been presented to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the US Commission on Civil Rights and published in journals covering the law, human resources, public policy as well as having been presented at meetings of the American Statistical Association. A small example of the types of surveys we have performed:
- Workforce behavior and attitudes
- Workplace discrimination
- Corporate ethics and behavior
- Securities fraud
- Trademark infringement
- Liable cases
- Death penalty cases
- Attitudes of the criminal justice system
- How people perform work effectively
Framing the central concepts
It is critical to spend time clearly defining what you want to accomplish with your survey and to continue to return to this idea throughout every step of the process as the survey is constructed and pre-tested before administration. We will help you work through the considerations that brought the idea of a survey to life in the first place.
Often respondents have their own unique preconceptions of the topic you are interested in exploring. Asking about concrete concepts and behaviors that may reinforce the respondent’s attitudes or ideas will ground the respondent in actual events and conditions they experience. We will make sure that subjectivity and biased or leading language is removed as much as possible.
Questions should be constructed using language the respondents are accustomed to, incorporating vocabulary common to the setting which you are asking about. We will help you identify and employ terminology that is familiar to your respondents.
The structure of the answer selection can have a big impact on the way a respondent responds. Dropdowns, check boxes, matrices, rating, branching to explore areas specific to the respondent, forced ranking and free text can all affect the way the respondent conceptualizes their answer choices. We will ensure that the right response type is selected for the right situation.
The order and progression of questions should feel intuitive and conversational to the respondent based on their experience and understanding of what they are being asked about. We will work to ensure the flow of the questions progresses in the manner which your respondents might make decisions or solve problems.
Method of delivery
The method of collecting responses should match the depth and detail of the topic as well as the cost and benefits of the method. In some cases, live survey administration is most effective, whether over the phone or in person. Paper may be best in other cases, although the vast majority of surveys are most effectively performed online. We will help you sort out the pros and cons as well as the cost-benefit analysis.
Do you have the capability in house to host an online survey and store data, or do you need to choose a third-party website? Is it important to have a third party collect and analyze the data to ensure confidentiality? If your survey is intended to be conducted live, do you have the personnel and the capability to train them properly? We will help you figure out the best method to deploy your survey.
Often it is prohibitive to survey the entire population you wish to learn about. Sometimes this approach even backfires because of a bias in the group that opts to respond to the survey. Carefully developed samples can yield more information and allow more effort to be spent on respondent completion than a whole population survey. We will help you figure out the best methodology to construct a representative sample of the population.
Determining the length of time a survey should be open to collect an appropriate amount of data and how to time and target follow-ups to encourage responses is key to survey success. We will help you determine the best schedule on which to manage your survey.
Drawing conclusions from the survey data you have collected is the most exciting phase and purpose of the entire undertaking. Knowing the correct way to combine data and represent relationships that emerge is our specialty. We will help you determine how to get the most out of your results.