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FAQ: Benchmarking

Can I compare my survey results against others in my industry?

Yes, with benchmarking. Benchmarking is critical to survey research and is the only objective means to judge whether a survey score is high or low, good or bad. The diagram below illustrates this fact.

Although the mean score of the responses to the two questions, ‘I am satisfied with my compensation’ and ‘My supervisor is a good coach’ are identical at 3.99, when compared with scores from other people, it is clear that one is a high score, and one is a low score.

Whatever the issue being investigated, the way in which people ‘normally’ respond is always represented by the mean score at the 50th percentile. This is true of survey research, and this is true in all scientific research. For instance, the mean or average score of female heights in the U.S. is 5’5” tall. From the benchmark of Average at 5’5” at the 50th percentile, we can then determine if someone is tall or short, and to what degree, as we determine the percentile to which their height corresponds, such as the 90th or the 20th percentile. So whether someone is at the 78th percentile, or the 33rd percentile, you know if their score is high or low, and to what degree as compared to Average or Normal at the 50th.

Likewise, no matter what the survey question, benchmarking data provides stakeholders with hard, objective scores that are not subject to interpretation. Benchmarking scores provide Management with definitive information about differences between departments, demographics, organizations, industries, or any other groupings of survey data, and remains the only way to truly understand the meaning of survey scores.

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Does benchmarking matter if I only want to see my own survey results?

Yes, because without benchmarking you have only the survey scale against which to compare your results and then try to determine if they are good or bad, high or low. While mean scores and percent favorable may be interesting, they don’t tell you what the data means in reality. ClearPath Benchmarking enables you and your management team to immediately and objectively understand your results.

How does NBRI ClearPath Benchmarking work?

ClearPath Benchmarking provides you with:

  • Objective data. Without benchmarking, scaled survey data is subject to interpretation.
  • Comparative data. Since benchmarking data is standardized and objective, comparing across groups, divisions, units, and categories is instantly simplified.
  • Enduring data. Industry standards will change over time, and benchmarking data has the flexibility to adapt to changes.

NBRI houses the largest and highest quality employee, customer, guest, patient, and physician benchmarking databases in the world with over 11 billion individual opinions from more than 30,000 organizations.

What is ClearPath Benchmarking?

ClearPath Benchmarking is the comparison of your survey data to survey data from other companies that have used identical survey questions. Benchmarking represents the way people ‘normally’ answer a survey question. Benchmarking data is expressed in percentiles, from the 1st to the 100th. The 50th percentile represents the true average, the 75th percentile represents ‘Stretch’ performance, and the 90th percentile represents ‘Best in Class’ performance.

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