Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    11-5-15 What you need to know about surveys

    Everybody is doing surveys.

    A while ago NPR did a feature on the popularity of surveys.  And, I recently did a blog about the abundance of surveys as we get into political season.

    Here’s a brief summary to help you understand what you can conclude from survey results you see.

    It seems more and more companies are doing surveys, generally on-line.  The companies believe this is a good way to let customers know they really care about their opinios; they feel they get good information about what people like, their concerns and ideas.

    They are able to keep track of the people who complete the on-line surveys so they can continue to send them more surveys.  And some companies keep track of those who delete the survey requests and remove the names from their lists.

    If you’ve read my blogs, you’ve learned the difference between a random sample survey process, where the data collected represents the views of the total population being sampled (within a certain error range) vs. a self-select survey, like the ones described above, where the people who respond make a choice to do so.

    Self-select surveys provide good information about peoples’ opinions regarding what’s important and what they appreciate about the product or service a business provides and they can also be a quick way of identifying negative concerns, because that’s often what motivates someone to respond to a survey.

    So both random sample and self-select surveys are valuable.  But, it’s a good idea to understand how a survey has been conducted when interpreting the data collected.

    If it’s a self-select survey, data is only accurate for the people who completed and returned a questionnaire.  A random sample survey must follow specific procedures, including sample selection and numbers sampled, in order to provide data that is relatively accurate for an entire population.


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    « 11-12-14 Langley Whale Center is helping to bring business to Langley | Main | 10-29-015 Beware of “surveys” that purport to tell you what’s happening »