Surveying Surveys


Research gone wrong

When conducting surveys, I often say that the best survey is one where 80 percent of the figures match your guess and 20 percent of the figures surprise you. Why?  Well, you hope to learn something new, hence the 20 percent.  But you also hope that a good proportion of the survey matches your view […]

By Kevin RainesRead More


LinkedIn Survey

Last fall we blogged about LinkedIn’s entrance into research. While one might think this means LinkedIn understands research, a recent survey I received from them makes me think otherwise. I took their survey, which was done on survey monkey (with all of their partners, they couldn’t find a better service?); skip patterns didn’t work (or […]

By David KennedyRead More


Research gone wrong – online polls

We’ve all seen quick online polls on news sites, in our email, and on social networking sites. While the purpose of these polls is often for entertainment the way they are executed is often too similar to that of real surveys – anyone can take it and can take it as many times as they […]

By David KennedyRead More


How to rank – Four tips for smarter ranking questions

Have you ever taken a survey that asked you to rank a list?  Maybe it was just a few items.  Maybe it was many more.  I was recently asked to rank a LONG list of attributes on a survey which quickly became an exercise in futility.  When ranking nearly 20 items, can you really decipher […]

By David KennedyRead More


Timeliness of surveys

I was going through my mail last night and discovered  a survey from the manufacturer of my car.  Since survey research is a major part of my work, I figured it would be good Karma to take it. I happily started the survey and realized it was supposed to be about my most recent visit […]

By David KennedyRead More


Seth’s five tips for better online surveys

How to improve online surveys?  Ask anyone that creates or takes surveys and you’ll probably get an opinion.  We’ve even chimed in on the topic in the past. (And on another Seth post.) Seth Godin recently posted Five tips for better online surveys, and, as usual, we have our own two cents to contribute. 1. Every […]

By David KennedyRead More


Ski surveys

We’ve talked plenty about good survey methodology, sampling, and making sure you’re getting the right information, and here is another excellent example: I was up in the mountains this past week skiing and decided to demo (i.e. try out) some new skis.  So, I went to the shop at the resort and tried several different […]

By David KennedyRead More


What are we weighting for?

Let’s say that you just conducted a public survey of your community for a community needs assessment.  In your community, 29% of residents are between age 18 and 34, and 29% are age 55 or older.  Yet among your survey respondents, 8% are  aged 18-34, while 52% are aged 55 or older (this is a […]

By Beth MulliganRead More


Tradeoffs between survey length and cooperation

In a previous post we discussed how survey length can indirectly drive up participation recruitment costs.  Another often-ignored consequence of long surveys is poor quality data that may or may not be easy to identify.  Even conscientious participants lose the desire to be cooperative as a survey drags on.  By the sixth page, or the […]

By Beth MulliganRead More


The not so ultimate question?

In a recent edition of Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, there was an article (Article ID: 20081004….requires registration, but it is free) on the Net Promoter Score (NPS).  The NPS has long been touted by many as the best way to measure customer satisfaction, and a key characteristic of the system is its simplicity. In case you […]

By David KennedyRead More