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6 Tips To Make Your Surveys Useful And Affordable

Most surveys for collecting information from people are so designed that they become huge exercises, unaffordable and even unreliable at times.

In my experience of conducting hundreds of surveys through a large field force, I have seen this happen very often.  Most clients overthink their survey problems. They want all the answers from one survey itself. And they spend the least effort on the most important part of the survey, which is the survey planning and design.

Here are six simple tips which will ensure that your surveys remain simple extremely useful and within your budget:

1.Spend time planning your survey- This is  perhaps the most important part of surveying. If it is planned well, it will most probably go well. Planning means defining the survey problem, defining the survey questions, identifying the respondents,  selecting the sample size,  the survey method and most importantly your survey agency.

2.Keep the scope limited and the survey questionnaire short- In a recent survey, a client wanted hundreds of questions answered about  water, hygiene and sanitation in a community through a single survey exercise.  The questionnaire was so long and that it was difficult to keep the respondents engaged and focused. Keep your survey questionnaire short and focused on a single problem. If necessary, plan separate short surveys. Believe me, the results will be more accurate and reliable.

3.Keep the sample size reasonable- The sample size depends on the level of accuracy that you want from your survey. However, a smaller sample size makes the survey easier to conduct, and of course reduces your budget.

4.Identify the target respondents correctly- Your survey is as good as your respondents so make sure to spend time on identifying them correctly.

5.Adopt the right survey method- Online surveys are easiest but you do not know how good your data will be. Telephonic surveys or face to face surveys or a call to explain, followed by filling a form are better methods.

6.Find the right survey partner- This is perhaps the second most critical part of your survey planning.The right survey partner would also guide you in designing your survey and help you in framing all the steps. When looking for the right partner, look for their expertise and past experience in your particular area. For face to face service also check who their surveyors are,as that would directly affect the quality of your survey.

About the author

The author is MD and CEO of Brisk Olive Business Solutions, a company that helps clients grow by expanding their operations across entire India. They do this through India’s largest field force of ex-soldiers. Their USPs are the dependability and expertise of their field force, which is spread across India, including in remote areas. Their services include surveys, audits, investigations, projects execution, training, promotions,verifications, and all such operational tasks at which ex-soldiers are proven to excel.

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