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A Comprehensive Guide on Conducting Surveys: Survey Types, Survey Methods, Survey Data Analysis

dissertation or a thesis is written based on data that we do collect either from secondary resources or primary resources.  For this reason, different kinds of data collection methods are used. One of them is conducting the surveys. This article offers comprehensive information on the types of surveys, different methods to conduct a survey and rules you need to follow for the best outcome.



Surveys and interviews are data collection tools in primary research. are best we have to require a huge amount of data.  A survey is defined as a data-collection method from a pre-defined group of respondents. The data which is gathered from a sample of respondents is known as resultant data. This resultant data provide us with comprehensive information about a particular topic idea.
In order to gather the data for a dissertation or a thesis, various survey conducting techniques are available. Some of them are online surveys, telephonic surveys and face-to-face surveys etc.

Types of survey methods based on deployment methods

On the basis of the deployment methods, the survey methods are divided into four main types. These types are explained below;

1) Online surveys

If you want to conduct a cost-effective survey which reaches to a maximum number of people, an online survey is the best choice for you. If we get an idea of the performance of this essential data collection technique, we will know that this data collection technique is much more widespread than other data collection techniques. Computational logic and branching techniques are required to gather the data with the help of online survey conducting technique. With the help of online surveys, the students can get a huge amount of data in less time. In order to analyze and decide the correct measures, online surveys provide real-time data to the students.

2) Face to face surveys

Face-to-face surveys provide a chance to the respondents to gather enough information about a particular topic via a face-to-face medium. The feedback and information gathered with the help of face-to-face survey technique are considered as most effective and reliable because most of the respondents only provide legal information in the face-to-face conversation. With the help of face-to-face conversation, the respondents can also get an idea about the comfort zone of the respondents about the sensitive topics. Usually, this kind of data collection technique is more expensive than online surveys. That’s why it is necessary for the students to get the necessary training before gathering data by adopting this kind of data collection technique.

3) Telephone surveys

If you are not able to invest huge amount on data collection by adopting face-to-face data collection technique, telephone surveys are the best technique for you. With the help of telephone surveys, you will have to contact the respondents via telephone. This telephonic contact requires less effort and manpower. With the help of face-to-face surveys, it is easy for the students to create a friendly environment with the respondents. On the other hand, the main drawback of telephone surveys is that there is a bridge of medium between the respondents and students and due to this bridge, it is difficult for the students to create a friendly environment with the respondents.

4) Paper surveys

Pen and paper are considered as age-old data collection techniques. Its reason is that sometimes, it is not possible for us to bring laptops, computers and tablets in some places. At these places, paper surveys are the best data collection techniques. Usually, this kind of data collection method is helpful for the students in the field research. With the help of this data collection technique, the respondents can strengthen the responses of the respondents. After that, the students can also ensure the validity of these responses.

Types of the surveys based on the frequency at which they are administrated

On the basis of the frequency of the distribution, the survey techniques are divided into three essential types. These types are explained below;

1) Cross-sectional surveys

It is an observational research method technique to gather the data. With the help of this technique, the researchers take different variables and they try to get an idea about the responses of these variables at a given point of time. This kind of data collection technique also provides an idea to the researchers about the feelings of the respondents. This kind of data collection technique is more effective in such a situation when you want to measure the opinions of the respondents at a particular period of time.

2) Longitudinal surveys

If you want to gather data about a particular topic by making observations for an extended period of time, longitudinal data collection technique is the best survey technique to you. The researcher is free to select the nature of this data collection technique (qualitative or quantitative) on the basis of his requirements. While designing this kind of data collection technique, the survey creators don’t need to interfere with the respondents.

3) Retrospective surveys

If the nature of your research is such that you will have to report past events of the respondents, a retrospective survey is the best data collection technique to you. This survey technique allows the respondents to gather in-depth data about a particular topic in less amount of time than longitudinal surveys. All the past beliefs and experiences of the people are reported in this kind of data collection technique.

Steps and tips to analyze survey data

Once, you have gathered enough data by adopting a particular survey technique, you can’t write as it in your dissertation or thesis. Its reason is that while collecting the data by adopting a particular data collection technique, there is a possibility that some irrelevant data will also be collected. In order to sort out irrelevant data, you will have to analyze the survey data. Some essential steps and tips to analyze the survey data are given below;

1) Understand the most popular survey research questions

No doubt, there is a particular purpose of conducting the surveys. Therefore, the questions of a survey should be aligned with the purpose of the survey. After aligning the questions, the researchers will be able to gather such data which is helpful for them. For example, if a researcher has to prepare a post-seminar research report, he will have to get an idea about the experiences of the attendees of the seminars. The researchers should ask those questions from the attendees that are helpful for them to explore their point of view about this seminar.

2) Filter obtained results with the help of a cross-tabulation technique

In your target audience, you will see different categories of the audience and their thoughts will also be different from each other. In order to categorize the categories and thoughts of the target audience, we use a cross-tabulation format. In the previous example, if you are going to prepare a post research report about a seminar, you should take an overview of the audience of this seminar. Its reason is that if the attendees of this seminar are students, teachers and other employees, you can’t mix up their views because they have a totally different point of views due to different mindsets.

3) Evaluate the derived numbers

After gathering enough information about your topic idea, you will have to analyze this information. No doubt, evaluation of the data is a crucial step for the students, but it is important to ensure the reliability of the information. In the previous example, you should evaluate the gathered data and on the basis of your evaluation, you should predict how much attendees will eager to attend the next seminar and how much attendees will never try to attend this seminar.

4) Draw conclusions

At the end of the survey, it is also an essential thing for you to weave a story about your survey report. This story is weaved on the basis of the collected and analyzed information. In this story, you will have to tell the audience what was the attention of your research and how you have achieved the objectives of your survey? This is possible only if you draw the conclusions on the basis of your survey report.

Survey data analysis methods

If you are going to conduct your survey without having enough idea how to get access to the resultant data and how to draw the conclusions, your survey is pointless. Therefore, while conducting a survey, you should have access to the data analysis. Most of the students adopt some difficult data analysis techniques like pen and paper. They should come to know that online data collection methods are much easier than these traditional data analysis techniques. Some essential data analysis techniques which are helpful for the students are given below;

1) Cross-tabulation

Cross-tabulation is known as one of the most effective and widely used data analysis technique. With the help of this data analysis technique, we can make sense about the collected data by preparing a basic tabulation framework. This is also known as a statistical analysis technique. This technique allows the researchers to arrange their data into easily understandable rows and columns. This technique is effective for such kind of data in which there is some connection. You can apply this technique on such data which is identical.

2) Trend analysis

If you want to look at your survey data for a long period of time, trend analysis is the best analysis technique to you. It is possible for the researchers to draw aggregated responses with the help of this data analysis technique. After analyzing data by adopting this kind of technique, it is also possible for the researchers to make perceptions over time about these variables.

3) MaxDiff analysis

While writing a dissertation or a thesis about the performance of a product or service, we have to gather data about its customers. After gathering data, you should analyze this data with the help of MaxDiff analysis. Its reason is that MaxDiff analysis can easily provide you with an idea about the performance of a product or a service on the basis of different parameters like price, customer satisfaction and ease of use etc.

4) Conjoint analysis

The nature of the conjoint analysis is similar to the nature of MaxDiff analysis. The only difference between them is that conjoint analysis is more complex than MaxDiff analysis. Its reason is that MaxDiff analysis can only provide us with an idea about the price, customer satisfaction and ease of the use of a product, whereas, conjoint analysis can also provide us with enough idea about purchasing behaviour of a customer along with these parameters. In short, conjoint analysis can easily tell us about the importance of a product for a customer.

5) TURF analysis

TURF analysis is known as Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency Analysis. With the help of this analysis technique, it is possible for us to get an idea about the total market reach of a product or a service of a company. Usually, this kind of analysis method is used by the companies and organizations to get an idea about their prospective customers. On the basis of this analysis, it is possible for them to tweak their go-to-market strategies.

6) Gap analysis

Planning is considered as one of the most important components of a company. With the help of proper planning, a company can enhance its performance. For proper planning, it is necessary for a company to get an idea about the expected performance and actual performance of its products or services. They can easily get an idea about the expected performance and actual performance of their products or services with the help of gap analysis.

7) SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is also one of the most effective and widely used analytical techniques for companies and organizations. Its reason is that with the help of SWOT analysis, a company can easily get an idea about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for their products or services. After measuring all of these things, it is possible for a company or an organization to prepare new business strategies.

8) Text analysis

Sometimes, we gather open-ended data with the help of a particular survey technique and it is almost impossible for us to understand this open-ended data. In order to make this open-ended data understandable for the audience members, the researchers use a text analysis technique.

With the help of this comprehensive debate about the surveys for the data collection, it will be easy for the students to gather a huge amount of data for their dissertation or thesis. If you are struggling to design a questionnaire for your survey or with data analysis through, Dissertation writing services can be of great help. 


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