Survey Services uses a generic process flow for its projects and this is customized to fit the nature of the survey. We can provide services in all or any combination of these steps. The generic steps are outlined below. In addition, special issues that need to be considered for different types of surveys are outlined next.
- Survey project planning
We work with you to develop a comprehensive and customized project plan with timelines, responsibilities and costs. The plan will cover all the steps, where applicable, that are listed below. We will also clarify objectives and uses of the survey and how it links with other initiatives you may have in place.
- Questionnaire design and development
Using our question bank, your existing questionnaire, or starting with a blank sheet we will help you develop a valid, consistent and reliable questionnaire in line with your project objectives. This will incorporate existing research material and plans and may involve qualitative interviews and focus groups. We will assist in ensuring appropriate language, phrasing and clarity of expression.
- Sample/population decision
If a sample is to be used, at this point the sample parameters and design are decided. If a population survey is required, we must consider how everyone will be identified.
- Delivery methods
This is deciding how will the questionnaire by deployed - web (intranet/internet/email hyperlink) or paper (mailed, handed out, facilitated group, etc) - and the resulting activities required as a result of this decision, eg, installing software, organizing print production, data entry, delivery times.
- Communication program
Communication programs are not designed just to inform respondents that a survey is about to happen. They should also address how to get a high response rate, how to recognize and even reward participation, how to share and debrief results and how to act on the messages that are contained in survey results. We can design an entire communication campaign to support your survey or assist you to engage your employees in the process.
- Pilot testing and refinement
An important step that helps achieve an outstanding result. Pilot tests not only give you valuable feedback about question wording, questionnaire layout, technology effectiveness but you can use the results to identify redundant questions.
- Questionnaire loading delivery
This involves loading respondents, preparing delivery messages, physically sending questionnaires, or organizing collection groups.
- Collecting responses and monitoring progress
e have on-line tools that can give you instant access to amount and type of response, for web surveys. In some cases, this step may involve providing helpdesk or helpline support.
- Data entry, if required
This is an unnecessary step if you are using respondent data entry or data entry at point of interview, eg, CATI. However, there are always circumstances when data entry is required. We can provide data entry staff for your surveys using your own software, spreadsheets, statistical packages or our own specialized survey software systems. It is your decision whether data validation is required and the amount of free-text coding or content analysis needed.
- Analyzing results and producing reports
The amount and type of statistical or qualitative analysis required will depend on the survey type and purpose. Also, report detail and sophistication is a consideration in this step. Survey Services can merge data sets and perform longitudinal or time series analysis which may be useful for benchmark or trend analysis.
- Providing feedback
The amount of emphasis in this step will depend on the nature of the survey. However, it is a critical step and requires careful decision-making.
- Deciding priorities and implementing ideas
Surveys provide information for decision-making--the don't make decisions in their own right. So this is the hard work part and the reason for initiating most research.