Collect Accurate Data with Online Survey Software
Online survey software is a powerful survey tool for designing and administering online surveys, collecting and managing accurate data, and facilitating advanced analysis and reporting. Maintaining highly accurate data is extremely important when determining strategies that affect your business, organization, association, or government agency. Survey data is used by businesses to formulate important strategies and make informed business decisions. It is used by educators to assess education outcomes through course evaluations, student evaluations, needs assessments, and longitudinal studies. Hospitals and medical practices use online survey software to collect accurate data to measure patient satisfaction, perform patient assessments, and conduct medical research. And local and national government agencies use online survey software to collect accurate data for social, policy, community, economic, and demographic research studies.
To get the most accurate data from any online survey software solution, it is The Role of the Researcher to ensure that survey questions are understandable and respondents interpret the questions the way in which the Researcher intended. If this is done, the Respondents can answer accurately and truthfully, ensuring a good survey outcome.
In an online survey, the respondent does not have the benefit of asking someone for clarification. All they have to go on is the following information:
- The Question Text – Words and Formation of the Sentence That Asks the Question of the Respondent
- The Answer Set – The Range of Offered Answers for a Closed Question
- The Context – Prior Questions, Instructions, Guidance Within the Questionnaire
Language can be ambiguous. Good survey design is highly dependent upon how well you develop your survey questions. The meaning of a word can change based on context or situation. The Researcher needs to structure the online survey in a sequence that is most understandable to the Respondent. This will ensure that survey questions are clearly understood and have the best chance of a truthful, accurate response.
General Guideline for Developing Online Survey Questions to Collect Accurate Data
- Link the survey question to your research objectives. Does this question result in information that I require?
- Ask short questions. Don’t add words or use long descriptive sentences. Use direct and unambiguous language.
- Avoid emotionally loaded words in your questions. Don’t use ‘leading’ words.
- Put your survey question in context. Questions should flow in a natural progression to reduce misinterpretation.