Survey Research Glossary

360 Degree Surveys
360 Degree Surveys provide feedback from members of an employee’s immediate work circle.  Most often, 360 Degree Surveys include direct feedback from an employee’s subordinates, peers, and supervisor(s), as well as a self-evaluation.
Attitude
An attitude is an expression of favor or disfavor toward a person, place, thing, or event.
Autonomy
The degree of unsupervised freedom granted individuals to do their work.
Bedside Manner
The informal, interpersonal behavior of a physician.
Behavioral Sciences
The psychological and sociological fields of study that seek to understand human behavior.
Benchmarking Data
Data that represents the normal or average score for any factor across various levels of performance, such as survey scores. By comparing one’s own score with benchmarks, it becomes apparent which scores are high or low. Learn more about Benchmarking Data.
Benefits
Company paid or sponsored programs that benefit employees in addition to compensation.
Bias
A large number of biases are possible in survey research which will artificially skew the data to the positive or negative. Scale bias refers to the use of rating scales that have more options for the positive than the negative, or vice versa. Wording bias refers to statements to be rated which lead the rater in a particular direction. Selection bias refers to samples taken for research which do not accurately reflect the total population. Measurement bias includes using research methods which will affect the overall results or are not ideal for the type of research. Intervention bias refers to how much the researcher, or other factors, intervene with the test subject(s).
Career Development
Company sponsored programs that prepare employees for advancement within the organization.
Casino Environment
The lighting, cleanliness, security and other factors relating to the physical characteristics of a casino. Learn more about Gaming & Hospitality Surveys.
Casino Services
The beverage service, cashiers, slot attendants, and other service personnel typically associated with a casino.
ClearPath Feedback Management
NBRI’s ClearPath Feedback Management is a comprehensive solution for managing all feedback systems including Employee, Customer, and Market Research, and includes all of the following in every study: ClearPath Research, ClearPath Benchmarking, ClearPath Analytics, ClearPath Synergy, ClearPath Action, and ClearPath Financial.
Climate
The general mood of the work place.
Communications
The exchange of information relating to one’s work.
Community Involvement
The degree to which the company promotes participation in community or charitable events.
Company Behavior
The actions or reactions of a company in response to external or internal stimuli.
Company Image
The public perception of the organization.
Compensation
Money received for the product or service a person provides to another.
Competition
Those organizations that provide products or services which, if purchased by the public, reduces the revenue of the company.
Competitive Position
A company’s ability to thwart the efforts of competition.
Competitor Rewards Program
The incentives competitors offer to their customers to encourage them to return more frequently.
Competitors
see Competition.
Confidence Interval, Confidence Level
In statistics, a confidence interval (CI) is a type of interval estimate of a population parameter and is used to indicate the reliability of an estimate.  It is an observed interval (i.e. it is calculated from the observations), in principle different from sample to sample, that frequently includes the parameter of interest if the experiment is repeated.  How frequently the observed interval contains the parameter is determined by the confidence level or confidence coefficient.  More specifically, the meaning of the term “confidence level” is that, if confidence intervals are constructed across many separate data analyses of repeated (and possibly different) experiments, the proportion of such intervals that contain the true value of the parameter will match the confidence level; this is guaranteed by the reasoning underlying the construction of confidence intervals. This value is represented by a percentage, so when we say, “we are 99% confident that the true value of the parameter is in our confidence interval”, we express that 99% of the observed confidence intervals will hold the true value of the parameter.
Control Systems
The means by which the company ensures compliance with policies and procedures.
Core Competencies
Employee capabilities that the organization deems are central to its success.
Correlations
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data.  Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence. Familiar examples of dependent phenomena include the correlation between the physical statures of parents and their offspring, and the correlation between the demand for a product and its price.  Correlations are useful because they can indicate a predictive relationship that can be exploited in practice.  For example, an electrical utility may produce less power on a mild day based on the correlation between electricity demand and weather.  In this example there is a causal relationship, because extreme weather causes people to use more electricity for heating or cooling; however, statistical dependence is not sufficient to demonstrate the presence of such a causal relationship (i.e., Correlation does not imply causation).
Cost & Value
The relative assessment of the amount paid versus the worth of a product or service as measured in usefulness or importance.
Creativity
The degree to which employees are encouraged to express innovative thinking.
Culture
The history, traditions, and social mores of an organization.
Customer Loss Reviews
A survey designed to allow organizations to learn why customers stop doing business with them and discover what to do to prevent additional losses. Learn more about Customer Loss Review Surveys.
Customer Loyalty
A customer’s feeling of attachment to the company, which may be expressed in terms of their intent to continue doing business with the company.
Customer Satisfaction
A company’s ability to fulfill the business, emotional, and psychological needs of its customers. Learn more about Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
Customer Service
The degree of assistance and courtesy granted those who patronize the organization. Learn more about Customer Service Surveys.
Customer Surveys
A method of collecting data from customers. Learn more about Customer Surveys.
Decision Making
The efficacy of obtaining approvals from management within an organization.
Demographics
Current statistical characteristics of a population, including gender, race, age, disabilities, mobility, home ownership, location, and much more.
Descriptive Statistics
Typically, descriptive statistics may include the mean score, the number of respondents, and the distribution of responses to describe a dataset superficially.
Distribution of Responses
The number or percent of individuals who selected each response option.
Diversity
The degree to which the company supports differences between people.
Downsizing
The elimination of jobs.
Employee Behavior
The actions or reactions of an employee in response to external or internal stimuli.
Employee Commitment
The degree to which employees feel a responsibility to their company.
Employee Engagement
The extent to which employees are committed to their organization. Highly engaged employees apply 100% of their knowledge, skills, and abilities to the success of the company, and are loyal in all they think, say, and do both internally and externally to the organization.  They care deeply about their company, and regularly have peak performance experiences at work. Learn more about Employee Engagement Surveys.
Employee Exit Interviews
A survey designed to allow employers to learn why employees leave their organizations and discover how to reduce turnover. Learn more about Employee Exit Interviews.
Employee Loyalty
The degree to which employees feel an allegiance to their employer.
Employee Retention
A company’s ability to retain qualified employees.
Employee Satisfaction
A company’s ability to fulfill the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of its employees. Learn more about Employee Satisfaction Surveys.
Employee Surveys
A method of collecting data from employees. Learn more about Employee Surveys.
Employee Values
The expressed or implied underlying understandings between individuals in a work group.  Employee values may supersede company values, rules, or regulations.
Entertainment
Recreational activities. Example: Recreational venues provided by casinos, other than gambling.
Ethics
The standards for behavior expected by management and commonly known throughout the organization, whether expressly communicated or not.
Executive Hosts
Casino employees who are assigned to serve VIP guests.
Facilities
A casino, hotel, banquet room, meeting room, parking buildings, and other amenities associated with a casino or hotel.
Financing
The provision of credit from an organization to another organization or individual.
Food & Beverage Services
The quality, value, appeal, timeliness, friendliness, and other aspects of a restaurant, hotel, or casino’s service of food and drink.
Friendliness
The degree to which service personnel are pleasant toward patrons.
Health
The degree of physical well-being of individuals in an organization.
Helpfulness
The degree to which service personnel are responsive to patron requests.
Hospital Behavior
The actions or reactions of a medical organization in response to external or internal stimuli.
Hospital Image
The public perception of the organization. Learn more about Healthcare Surveys.
Hotel Services
The valet, front desk, telephone operators, housekeeping, and other facets involved in the delivery of service to patrons in a resort organization.
Human Resources
The set of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, or an economy.  “Human capital” is sometimes used synonymously with human resources, although human capital typically refers to a more narrow view; i.e., the knowledge the individuals embody and can contribute to an organization.
Inferential Statistics
System of procedures that can be used to draw conclusions from datasets arising from systems affected by random variation, such as observational errors, random sampling, or random experimentation.  Initial requirements of such a system of procedures for inference and induction are that the system should produce reasonable answers when applied to well-defined situations and that it should be general enough to be applied across a range of situations. The outcome of statistical inference may be an answer to the question “what should be done next?”, where this might be a decision about conducting further experiments or surveys, or about drawing a conclusion before implementing some organizational or governmental policy. Learn more about ClearPath Analytics.
Invoicing & Statements
The accuracy and timeliness of invoices or bills that are issued by a seller to a buyer, indicating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller has provided the buyer.
Job Satisfaction
The degree of personal gratification one receives from one’s work.
Job Training
Company paid or sponsored education provided to individuals to improve their abilities to do their work.
Life Balance
The degree to which an individual coordinates personal and professional responsibilities.
Loyalty
Faithfulness or a devotion to a person, business, country, group, or cause.
Management Style
The methodology of leadership employed by one’s superiors in an organization.
Market Effectiveness
The degree to which an organization dominates their market.
Market Research
A key factor in gaining advantage over competitors.  Market research gathers important information that is used to identify and analyze market need, market size, and competition.
Market Share
The proportion of the total sales of a product or service secured by one particular company or brand.
Mean
The “average” which is calculated by adding all scores and dividing by the total number of scores.
Median
The middle score which is calculated by counting the total number of scores, dividing by two, and selecting whatever score fills the middle place.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The combining of two distinct organizations through partnering or purchase.
Mode
The most commonly occurring score which is identified by counting how many times each score occurs and selecting the one that occurs most often.
Morale
The general mood of individuals in the workplace.
Multicollinearity
A statistical phenomenon in which two or more predictor variables in a multiple regression model are highly correlated.
Normative Data
Synonymous with Benchmarking Data.
Norms
Benchmarked scores.
Onboarding
A comprehensive approach to joining an organization which ensures each employee is immersed into the culture, quality, and operational systems of the organization. Learn more about Onboarding Surveys.
Opinion
A belief or conclusion held with confidence, but not substantiated by proof.
Organizational Assessment
The accurate identification and measurement of the key drivers of financial performance of a company.
Organizational Change
Those conditions under which dramatic adjustments in people or policies occur within a company.
Organizational Structure
The hierarchical, departmental, and business unit configurations of a company.
Path Analysis
In statistics, a path analysis is used to describe the directed dependencies among a set of variables.  This includes models equivalent to any form of multiple regression analysis, factor analysis, canonical correlation analysis, discriminant analysis, as well as more general families of models in the multivariate analysis of variance and covariance analyses (MANOVA, ANOVA, ANCOVA).
Patient Loyalty
A patient’s feeling of attachment to a medical organization, which may be expressed in terms of their intent to recommend the organization. Learn more about Healthcare Surveys.
Performance Evaluations
The comprehensive review of an individual’s work performance, usually occurring annually.
Physician Loyalty
A physician’s feeling of attachment to a medical organization, which may be expressed in terms of their intent to continue working within the organization. Learn more about Healthcare Surveys.
Policies
Principles or rules to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes.
Political Research
Gathering information about voter opinions and intentions, primarily through straw polls, which is a non-binding voting process. Learn more about Political Research Surveys.
Pricing
The currency value charged for a product or service.
Product Delivery
The ability to convey the result of physical labor or intellectual effort to a client.
Productivity
The output of an individual, group, or company.
Products
The result of physical labor or intellectual effort.
Professional Conduct
Exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner.
Profit Improvement
The increase of revenue, decrease of expense, or both.
Project Management
The discipline of planning, organizing, securing, managing, leading, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals.
Psychology
An academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors.
Quality
The non-inferiority or superiority of a product or service.
Recognition
Formal acknowledgement given to an individual or group.
Regression Analysis
In statistics, a regression analysis is a statistical technique for estimating the relationships among variables.  It includes many techniques for modeling and analyzing several variables, when the focus is on the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables.  More specifically, a regression analysis helps one understand how the typical value of the dependent variable changes when any one of the independent variables is varied, while the other independent variables are held fixed.
Reliability
The overall consistency of a measure.  A measure is said to have a high reliability if it produces similar results under consistent conditions.  For example, measurements of people’s height and weight are often extremely reliable.
Representative Sample
A subset of a statistical population that accurately reflects the members of the entire population.
Rewards Program
The incentives offered to customers to encourage them to return more frequently.
Root Cause Analysis
A root cause analysis (RCA) is a method of problem solving that identifies the root causes of faults or problems that cause operating events. RCA Practice solves problems by identifying and correcting the root causes of events, as opposed to simply addressing their symptoms. Learn more about ClearPath Analytics.
Safety Performance
An organization’s record of protecting its employees from harm.
Safety
The degree of immunity from physical danger in the work place.
Sales Assistance
A consultative approach resulting in the understanding and fulfillment of a client’s needs, wants, and desires.
Sales Process
The specific steps involved in the completion of a sale.
Sample Size
The sample size is an important feature of any empirical study in which the goal is to make inferences about a population from a sample.  In practice, the sample size used in a study is determined based on the expense of data collection, and the need to have sufficient statistical power.
Sample, Sampling
In statistics and survey methodology, sampling is concerned with the selection of a subset of individuals from within a statistical population to estimate characteristics of the whole population.  The three main advantages of sampling are that the cost is lower, data collection is faster, and since the data set is smaller it is possible to ensure homogeneity and to improve the accuracy and quality of the data.
Sampling Error
In statistics, sampling error or estimation error is the amount of inaccuracy in estimating some value that is caused by only a portion of a population (i.e. a sample) rather than the whole population.  This amount of inaccuracy is commonly referred to as an error. Sampling error can be measured and quoted in many different ways, but in practice the reported error itself is almost always an estimate of error rather than an absolute measure of error (which would require analyzing the entire population).
Satisfaction, as in Customer Satisfaction
A measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. Customer satisfaction provides a leading indicator of customer loyalty and intent to return. Learn more about Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
Satisfaction, as in Employee Satisfaction
The level of contentment an individual feels toward his or her job. Employee Satisfaction is a combination of affective and cognitive satisfaction. Learn more about Employee Satisfaction Surveys.
Scientific Method
To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. The scientific method is a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting of systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.
Scientific Research
Individuals with advanced training in a particular field use a scientific method to make discoveries and develop theories. Learn more about ClearPath Research.
Service Delivery
The ability to convey useful labor.
Services
Useful labor.
Sexual Harassment
The mental or emotional harm of one individual by another individual coupled with the threat of retribution if reported.
Short and Long Term Goals
Immediate and distant plans to achieve growth.
Social Activities
Company paid or sponsored recreational programs for the human resources.
Staffing
The supply of workers within a company.
Standard Surveys
Research instruments created by correlating topics and questions to specific subjects of interest, such as Employee Engagement and Customer Satisfaction. Learn more about Survey Products.
Standardized Questions
Survey questions or statements that have been field tested and statistically analyzed to eliminate error until the wording is fixed and unchanging across research studies.
Standardized Scores
Transformed scores that are measured in standard deviation units.
Statistics
The study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data.  Statistics also includes the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments.
Straw Polls
A straw poll or straw vote is a vote with nonbinding results. Impromptu straw polls often are taken to see if there is enough support for an idea to pursue or promote it further. Learn more about Political Research Surveys.
Supervision
The act of overseeing another’s work.
Survey Methodology
Identifies principles about the design, collection, processing, and analysis of surveys in connection to the cost and quality of survey estimates.  It focuses on improving quality within cost constraints, or alternatively, reducing costs for a fixed level of quality.  Learn more about ClearPath Synergy.
Teamwork
The collaboration of a group of people.
Technology, Information
Information technology (IT) is concerned with the development, management, and use of computer-based information systems. Humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating and communicating information since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed writing in about 3000 BC, but the term “information technology” in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Leavitt and Whisler commented that “the new technology does not yet have a single established name.  We shall call it information technology (IT).”
Unions
Organizations of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members’ interests with respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Validity
In science and statistics, validity has no single agreed definition but generally refers to the extent to which a concept, conclusion, or measurement is well-founded and corresponds accurately to the real world. The validity of a measurement tool (for example, a test in education) is considered to be the degree to which the tool measures what it claims to measure.
Values
An organization’s overtly expressed expectations of its human resources’ moral behavior.
Vision
The highest level of functioning imaginable at the present time for the future of the organization.
Wait Time
“Real” wait time is an objective measure of time spent; ‘perceived’ wait time is a subjective opinion of the ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ of the actual time spent.
Warranties
Assurances from the seller that the products are as represented, or will be as promised, often for a specific period of time.
Work Life
The quality of the human experience during working hours.
Working Relationships
The strength, value, and effectiveness of superior, peer, and subordinate associations in the work place.