Survey Data Collection: How to Get the Best Results? 

Survey Data Collection: How to Get the Best Results? 

A survey is participated by a large number of respondents. The resultant data gathered from analyzing all the responses to a survey is known as survey data. Survey data collection happens via several techniques. It gets processed via multiple statistical analyzing tools, too. 

The medium of collecting survey data ( telephone, email, face-to-face surveys, etc.) opens a survey among audiences of multiple preferences. Each of them has a different taste, age limit, belief, and demographic distribution.  

All these factors influence a survey and its data collection capability. The same survey conducted among different types of people yield different cluster of survey data. 

How Many Types of Surveys are There to Collect Survey Data? 

In the market, there are different methods following which a researcher can yield trustworthy survey data. The Survey Point’s experts in a previous blog have already delineated effective survey data collection methods. Please go through it to grapple better with the idea of the data collection methods. More to it, there is a traditional way of survey collection method known as the Paper Survey Method. 

It is a method followed to survey academically poor people. The same is also meant to conduct surveys in areas where there is no laptop, mobile, or computer available. 

Advanced Methods for Survey Data Collection 

Based on the frequency of distribution, surveys can be broadly categorized into three types: 

Cross-Sectional Survey 

  • It is a type of observational survey method. 
  • It analyzes variable data collected at one given point in time across a diverse sample population. It may also consider a pre-defined subset. 
  • The post-processed survey data is time-specific. An understanding of the psychology of a particular population at a certain time can be gained from this. 

To exemplify, let us take the example of app-cab companies. Let us consider that a survey takes place in Manilla during office hours, particularly from 8 am to 11 am. The researcher wants to study a gender-specific demarcation of preferable cab types. 

By analyzing the gathered survey data, the researcher found: 

  • 21 to 35 years of males prefer motorbikes. 
  • 21 to 35 years of females prefer shared cabs. Generally, a basic variety of four-wheelers. 
  • 35 to 45 aged males prefer shared cabs. 
  • 35 to 45 years of females typically take their own car. And do not prefer cabs at all. 

This type of survey helps to form the base of a longitudinal survey. 

RELATED: When To Conduct A Cross-Sectional Study? 

Longitudinal Survey 

Longitudinal Surveys help market researchers to make observations on a set of survey data collected over a more extended period.  

  • Longitudinal surveys are quantitative and qualitative in nature. 
  • Here, the survey formulators do not interact with respondents. 

For example, a longitudinal survey regarding women can be carried out in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (both in Japan). The problem statement addressed in this survey can be— 

 Due to the effects of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, do women still give birth to disabled children? 

Such a survey can be studied over a span of 20 years. The study participants are healthy women with no chromosomal abnormalities. 

Retrospective Surveys 

  • Retrospective Surveys ask respondents to report pre-occurred events. 
  • It can yield in-depth survey data in a shorter period of time. 

For instance, Adventure Sportpeople can be a good audience for conducting a retrospective survey. Suppose a rafter group goes to raft in some hilly river.  

After they finish their expedition, a survey takes place asking them what challenges they met, what hurdles they tackled, etc. And one by one, they fill in the answers. Such a survey is called a retrospective survey. 

How Can You Gather the Best Survey Data? 

To gather the best quality survey data, you need to conduct a survey following the steps below. 

Step 1: Carefully Choose Your Audience 

Every researcher knows the problem statement their conducted research aspires to answer. 

Suppose the problem statement of a researcher is: 

1. Is Samba Dance Losing its Cultural heritage? 

  • To answer this question, a researcher chooses a group of Brazilians, Spaniards, Mexicans, and Latin Americans. 
  • Another researcher for the same question targets Germans, Brazilians, Australian, Indians, and Portuguese. 

Who do you think will yield a better result? Clearly, the first instance since people from similar cultural backgrounds is grouped together. 

Step 2: Choose your Survey Type 

To get access to the best quality survey data, decide how you want to conduct the survey.  

For example: 

  • For confidential information-gathering purposes, in-person surveys work best. 
  • For surveying busy C-Suit people, telephonic surveys are widely practiced. 
  • Governmental surveys can happen through telephone or email. 
  • In a corporate, HR surveys take place via email. 

So, a researcher needs to know what type of survey works best to yield a specific type of data. 

Step 3: Design the Survey Questions 

Designing the survey questions properly is a must to pave the way for accurate survey data. 

The survey questions must be specific and brief. It should use customized tones as per the respondent’s status. 

The two types of questions the survey can ask— 

  • Open-ended questions 
  • Close-ended questions 

The questions should carry proper— 

  • Phrasing 
  • Content 
  • Ordering 

Step 4: Distribute The Survey 

By proper distribution of the survey, you can target specific audiences better. Regardless of the channel through which the survey is disseminated, it must be easy to use and clearly communicate its goals and procedures to those who take it.  

Businesses and academics can collect high-quality data and obtain critical insights into their target population if the survey is distributed successfully. 

Step 5: Filter the Obtained Result 

Use a cross-tabulation format to understand the categories of answers the target population produces. 

For example, if you conduct a survey among the vice-principal, registrar, professors, and students of a college, you may present cross-tabulation data. The tabulation can talk about whether the group wants to participate in similar future seminars. 

Step 6: Evaluate the Derived Number 

Evaluating a pool of data is critical. It has a number of answers to similar questions. Categorizing similar answers, formed by different phrasings, into a similar group is a monstrous task. 

Step 7: Derive Conclusion 

Conclude the survey by presenting the crux. Weave a story with all the jotted data. Cross-verify if the data answers the problem statement.  

If the survey matter solves the main problem statement— close the survey by developing accurate and conclusive results. 

Tools to Present Survey Data 

There are different tools by which a researcher can effectively present post-analysis survey data. Check this list out— 

Cross Tabulation 

It uses a framework of rows and columns. The layout helps to derive parallels between exclusive or connected data using different research parameters. 

Trend Analysis 

Trend analysis is a plot aggregator method used to study survey data gathered over a long period. It generates a trend line of change about perception overtime on a common variable. 

Maxdiff Analysis  

It is a best and worst type of analysis used to determine what the customer values as the best and the worst in a pool of options. 

RELATED: MaxDiff Analysis: How Businesses can Implement it? 

Conjoint Analysis 

In order to learn how consumers prioritize distinct aspects of a product or service, conjoint analysis is a standard method used in market research. Businesses utilize it to know which features customers value most and how much they are prepared to pay for them during the product development and pricing research phases.  

Participants in a conjoint analysis study are typically asked to pick between multiple hypothetical offerings that differ in some way, such as price, quality, or features. 

TURF Analysis 

It is a method of finding the right mix of products and services to reach a specific demographic using Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency Analysis (TURF).  

In this process, we look at how our various offerings overlap and determine which permutations will allow us to reach the greatest number of distinct consumers. Particularly helpful in the realm of product development and marketing, TURF analysis can help companies zero in on the items and services most likely to attract the greatest customer base. 

Gap Analysis  

It is used to highlight the gaps that prevent a company from reaching its desired size and shape. 

SWOT Analysis 

SWOT analysis lets researchers know an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and prospects. The analysis compares them against competitors. 

Text Analysis 

This analysis uses advanced tools to quantify open-ended data into comprehensible data. 


In conclusion, surveys can effectively teach about a specific audience’s beliefs, preferences, and actions. Careful consideration of the study topic, the population of interest, and the survey design will yield the most valuable data from your survey.  

It is vital that the survey questions be easily understood by respondents and that the survey itself is easy to navigate. Appropriate sampling techniques must be used to guarantee a sample accurately represents the population of interest.  

Businesses and researchers can benefit from collecting high-quality survey data by adhering to these best practices to improve their products, services, and plans. 

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