survey data collection

What to Expect and Look for in Survey Data Collection

What to Expect and Look for in Survey Data Collection

survey data collection

There’s far more involved in survey data collection than you may think. That’s because this data contains factors that go beyond mere questions and geographies. 

But all survey data collection methods and their resultant data aren’t the same. They will differ based on the method you use to gather the data, along with your market research service provider.

There are lots of ways to go about this and thus, various types of survey data you can collect, depending on your approach.

93.4% of respondents will not give out their personal details in the surveys they take. While this may sound concerning, there are solutions to get around this, which, in turn, allows you to gain key details without violating respondents’ privacy. 

This article delves into survey data collection, including its importance, popular collection methods and the actual data you should expect and look for in your research campaigns. 

Understanding Survey Data Collection

Survey data collection refers to the practice of collecting various information about your target population through the use of survey research

Survey data collection involves obtaining various kind of information from your target group: their opinions, sentiments, behaviors, needs, aversions and knowledge. In market research specifically, this data largely comes from your customers, or your target market — those most likely to buy from your business.

Survey data is defined as the resultant data you gather from a sample of respondents that took a survey. This respondent pool is called a survey sample. This data must exist as a fair representation of the opinions and perceptions of your audience.  

This is possible to achieve if you use the proper method of collecting survey data. There are different methods and approaches to gathering this data. 

You should opt for the method and provider that grants you the most timely and accurate results. Price and provider capabilities are also important considerations. 

Survey data collection ought to be as comprehensive as possible about your target audience and also must be specific to the topics related to your research campaign. 

Survey data collection can be applied in a vast number of industries and applications. It can be used within the following industries and  for different purposes:

  • Scientific research
  • Politics and political polling
  • Sports and sporting events
  • Socioeconomic research
  • Demographics research
    • This includes censuses. 
  • Real estate research

This list is not exhaustive, as collecting survey data is useful for anyone who seeks answers from a target audience. However, survey data is most commonly used in market research and its various sub-practices. 

Thus, any business can and should conduct market research and this is feasible using the market research survey and the myriads of other surveys. 

Methods of Survey Data Collection

There are many methods used for survey data collection and its various ensuing analyses. Consider the efficacy and drawbacks of each method before you decide on the best for your research needs.

Some researchers prefer using multiple sources to gather their data collection. 

While doing so may help you research certain demographics (e.g., elderly respondents who are more prone to responding to snail mail), it is best to opt for one robust survey data collection method. 

That’s because survey data should not just be exhaustive, it should also be well-organized so you can draw accurate conclusions without referring to various sources and trying to make sense of them all.  

Data collection involves the following methods:

  1. In-person interviews 
    1. Businesses and other organizations can conduct in-person interviews with their target market to obtain the data they need. This often involves a pre-agreement to partake.  
  2. Telephone surveys
    1. Like other surveys, telephone interviews can be conducted with the masses, but they have a major vulnerability: most people don’t want to spend their time taking a phone survey. 
    2. These are also not ideal as they don’t provide as much anonymity as do other surveys, as the respondents’ voices, names and contact information is known.
  3. Mailed questionnaires
    1. These take the most time out of any method to get results.
    2. However, older demographics who spend less time digitally may be optimal for this kind of survey method. 
  4. Focus groups
    1. A focus group is a small group of people selected based on shared characteristics to take part in a group discussion for market research.
  5. Syndicated research
    1. This kind of survey research involves relying on a research firm that conducts the surveys.
    2. The firm owns all the data and sells it to interested parties. 
  6. Online surveys
    1. These can take many forms and have different methods of deployment.
    2. For example, in the Random Device Engagement (RDE) method, surveys are sent to a massive network of over 250 million+ websites and apps, prompting users that exist in their natural digital environments to take the surveys. 
    3. You can also send surveys to specific people and through specific digital channels, like your homepage, landing pages, emails, newsletters, etc. This requires using the Distribution link feature.

The Importance of Survey Data Collection

A collection of survey data is extremely important for businesses that want to not merely survive, but remain competitive.

importance of survey data collection

That’s because the data from surveys is used to form the basis of informed decision-making in different contexts. Everything from product development to product satisfaction, consumer needs and post-serivce sentiments about your brand can be studied through surveys.

This means you form a survey data collection at any part of your customerscustomer buying journey

Whether your customers are just getting acquainted with your brand, have just made a purchase or are longtime buyers, gathering survey data will fortify all of your marketing and business campaigns. 

As such, survey data won’t merely inform you on post-campaign activities. For example, you can conduct surveys for more than just asking respondents about their thoughts about a already launched product or an advertising campaign that’s already in effect.

Instead, you can survey your target market on their needs, problems and frustrations before you innovate your products or come up with an ad or marketing campaign. You can also survey them on current products in your industry and discover their weaknesses, allowing you to better innovate your own. 

Because of this, a strong survey data collection will help you form or consolidate a marketing strategy or product idea. This essentially means that surveys help you throughout any stage of your business and, to reiterate, any point in the customer lifecycle.

Thus, surveys thoroughly serve your market research needs and can be used as the final (or beginning) touch to using any sort of behavioral data analytics. In fact, some of the most reknown companies of the world like Apple adn Verizon rely on a survey data collection.

Having a solid survey data collection is also important when it comes to making decisions — particularly, looking for answers. That’s why your collection should be well-organized. No matter how adept of a researcher you are, surely you won’t want to parse through mountains of onorganized or loosely related data.

That’s why we suggest forming your data collection via one source. This source should allow you to target anyone and gain granular insights. 

A potent online survey platform can provide this, as it uses technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to remove low-quality data, provide a broad range of survey and question types and can fully customize your surveys.

The Actual Data You Should Expect and Look for

Collecting survey data is far more than just creating questionnaires and gathering them. Instead, there is particular data you ought to expect from your survey provider.

Here is what you should keep your eyes peeled for to create a well-built survey data collection:

  1. The ability to opt-in only the respondents you need for your survey campaign.
    1. This should include a screening section, allowing you to ask screening questions and target respondents as granularly as possible.
  2. Set quotas so that your survey gets the number of respondents you desire.
    1. This is not just for preferential reasons, but to reduce biases like the margin of error and sampling errors from your research.
  3. Create multiple audiences per survey or survey campaign. 
    1. Some providers, like Pollfish, allow you to create separate audiences in one survey and achieve any targeting combination you like.
    2. This feature allows researchers to create quotas within quotas and set multiple conditions for granular targeting. 
  4. Having various types of survey questions on hand to enrich your campaign and data collection. 
  5. Have a wide range of survey templates as you prepare a survey.
  6. Route respondents to certain questions based on their answer to a previous question.
    1. This can be done via advanced skip logic, which automatically directs respondents to relevant follow-up questions based on a previous answer tey provided.
  7. The ability to filter data.survey data collection
    1. This includes data at the questionnaire level and results section (a dashboard in a survey platform).
    2. On the survey results dashboard, you should be able to filter data based on demographic and location information. For example, you should be able to filter data by gender, age, location, and any other targetting you set to understand how each demographic group answers your questions.
  8. Various ways to view and organize your data:
    1. The ability to see and analyze your survey data as you please is crucial to you and your team, as no one works in the same way.
    2. As such, you should be able to view your survey data collection in various formats:
      1. Charts
      2. Graphs
      3. Tables
    3. This involves having access to different visualizations of both the questionnaire (survey answer) data and the respondent data. 
  9. Various access points to your data via exports:
    1. PDF: A visual document that can easily be shared with stakeholders and saved as reference docs. A Pollfish PDF is laid out similarly to a PowerPoint presentation.
    2. Excel Spreadsheet: Recognizable to most businesses, with a Pollfish spreadsheet export, researchers have full access to all Pollfish survey results. They can add pivot tables, graphs and get deeper insights.
    3. Crosstabs Report: Crosstabs are a matrix-style data visualization format for analyzing data. This report allows researchers to look into individual insights and organize their data in different ways, opening different consumer insights that wouldn’t be readily available from the initial results.
    4. SPSS Report: This allows you to add your Pollfish results to various kinds of complex data analyses. Ideal for combining varied, complex data sets, researchers use it to make connections, find correlations and graph results from various data exports at once. 
    5. CSV file: A Comma Separated Values file is a plain text file containing a list of data. This kind of file is often used to exchange data between different applications. 
  10. Pause, stop and change your survey while it is still running.
    1. This can only be done via a digital means, such as an online survey platform. 
    2. You should be able to alter your survey to get only the most relevant and necessary information.
    3. A strong platform will allow you to pause and alter your survey before it reaches all quotas. This way, you can modify the targeting or the questionnaire itself. 

Build the Best Market Research Campaigns

The Pollfish team is constantly making upgrades to our online survey platform to provide you with a comprehensive market research experience. 

Our survey software allows you to establish a thorough survey data collection, one you can customize to your liking, view however you please and organize to the max.

In addition, with our vast array of question types, you can create any survey type to aid any research campaign.

Our survey platform is optimized for both the respondent and the researcher. Thus, it is a win for all parties involved. 

Researchers can reap a wide breadth of information on their respondents and access a wide pool of insights in their survey results dashboard.

In addition, there’s the advanced skip logic feature, which routes respondents to relevant follow-up questions based on their previous answers. 

With a research platform containing all of these capabilities, you’ll constantly have a strong survey data collection on hand, there for you for all your business ventures.