5 Tips to Choose an Online Survey Sample Size

Choose the Best Sample Size with These 5 Great Tips

When planning your online survey you will want to consider these five tips for selecting your sample size. Reviewing these five important questions will guide you in determining the right sample method for your online survey.

1.)   Diversity of Target Population.  Is your group of respondents in your online survey diverse or similar? The larger the diversity, the larger the sample size should be.

2.)   Degree of Precision. How precise do you need your online survey to be? If you are interested in percentage figures for your target population, do you want estimates based on the respondent sample to be within 2% or within 5% of the true respondent population figures? The higher the precision requirement, the larger the sample size needs to be.

3.)   Sample Design & Method. The sample method you select dictates your sample size. A good example is a stratified random sample which requires a smaller sample size than a simple random sample to reach the same level of precision.

4.)   Budget. What is the budget for your online survey? Financial considerations and availability of personnel to gather the data may define the sample size for your online survey. Additionally, if you choose an alternate survey method such as a paper survey or a mobile survey, you may incur additional costs and need more personnel to administer and collect data.

5.)    Number of Break Variables for Analysis. If you have 1000 patients to be surveyed by gender (2 categories), age group (5 categories), and major (10 categories), you are reduced to 10 respondents on average for each combination of categories (2*5*10*=100 combined categories). For a target population with wide variation in responses, 10 cases may not be a sufficient representation for the online survey.

All of these tips come into consideration when planning your online survey. Reviewing these tips and developing strong answers to each in the planning stage will ensure your gain the information you need from your online survey.

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