Conducting a survey can seem like a very daunting process, but it is not as complex as you might think. Don’t take that the wrong way. Conducting a survey is a science. It follows the old computer adage, garbage in – garbage out. If you do not conduct your survey in a strictly scientific manner you can end up with a lot of useless data and wasted months of work. Worse yet, you could create action plans based on that data and do more harm than good. However, the basic structure of a survey is easily understood.
Over the next few weeks I will do my best to try to unravel the mystery behind conducting surveys. I will try to create a base understanding of surveys, how they are conducted, and how you can create and deploy one. These posts will attempt to be very basic for two reasons.
1. These articles are aimed at newcomers. Most people who are searching for surveys are doing so for the first time. They have very little knowledge of what questions to ask and what to do with the answers.
2. I am still a rookie. My knowledge is limited. NBRI has a cadre of Organizational Psychologists who have dedicated their lives to surveys and statistics. If it is hard-core survey information that you are looking for, please read their highly informative white papers on customer and employee surveys.
Since NBRI, as a business, caters in large part to middle-to-large sized organizations, most of this tutorial will speak to that demographic. If you are interested in conducting a “small scale” survey, there is a terrific paper written entitled “How to Conduct a Survey” by Kevin Boone of the School of Computing Science at Middlesex University.
As NBRI truly believes that customers and employees are the two halves of a successful business, I will start with customer surveys and move on to employee surveys later.
If you read the NBRI blog all the time I think you will find this is a refresher course. If you are new, I hope this is educational and helps you make informed decisions on conducting surveys. I also hope to be able to answer any of your questions. If I can’t, I know people who can.
Next, let’s talk about creating your survey.