During the past few months issues were being raised concerning the quality and relevance of surveys. Looking at some recent examples, by definition, surveys seem to be considered as being ambiguous, rarely providing a correct answer and useless as a tool for making predictions for the future. Is there any point in spending so much attention to conducting surveys?
The answer is and remains a resounding ‘yes’
Well-conducted research often provides a unique and unknown insight into desires, attitudes and opinions of ordinary people. They are barometers which measure and provide an objective view of things we can otherwise only guess at or decide upon based on one-sided input.
Surveys are rewarding, but also sometimes used or understood incorrectly in order to unravel an undercurrent or unspoken knowledge in our society.
But let’s remain critical first and foremost
That is why we like to give you some rules of thumb. For the next time you conduct a survey. Or if you read about an extensive survey in the Saturday edition of your favourite newspaper.
There they are:
– Shit goes in, shit comes out: a survey is only as good as its sample or the methods used to question people. So always check who took part in the survey, in a correct manner, and how the sample was done. Interviews in a shopping precinct do not provide representative results, nor do tests on the internet. Working with a quality panel or via a reliable sampling is the way to go.
– Dubious questions provide dubious answers.
– Think before you speak. Sometimes a survey’s conclusions are very creative indeed. So be critical too, don’t just believe what is written, but try and find out exactly what was asked in the first place.
At Bpact we invest greatly in knowledge about and the best available methods for research. This is exactly the reason why we have concluded a strategic partnership with the Antwerp Management School concerning this matter. Want to know more? Read more HERE.
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