Hosted Surveys

November 26, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Broadband Internet

In less than a decade the Internet came and conquered the world. Whereas previously the developed world has benefited from new technology for years before it eventually filters through to the undeveloped world, the Internet has turned out to be a leveller. By being accessible to all it has introduced something new, or been responsible for altering the way certain things are done.

An example of something new would be E-bay, that has brought buyers and sellers together in a manner that was not possible to do before; an example of a revolutionised process would be in conducting questionnaires.

There are very few people who would ever argue against the benefits of a questionnaire when they are used to determine the level of customer or employee satisfaction, gauge public opinion or provide market research.

However, traditionally the reason that questionnaires were used sparingly was that the effort required to create the survey in the first place was cumbersome, and the effort and cost needed to distribute the questionnaire, collate the results and then analyse the results were definitely not insignificant.

For many, the results, irrespective of how helpful they proved to be, were typically tinged with a ‘not again’ feeling having experienced the quantity of effort that was once required.

Then along came the Internet to revolutionise the process.

Preparation

Although a word-processor holds untold benefits over paper and pen for normal writing and correspondence, with regards to something specific like writing and designing a questionnaire it’s to some extent as practical as using a wet fish.

It can be accomplished, in the same manner as a hammer can be used with a screw, it’s far from ideal. Word-processors are good for correspondence, documentation and basic writing; spreadsheets are ideal for dealing with numbers and online questionnaire web sites are perfect for creating Questionnaires and Surveys surveys.

With a web-based questionnaire web site surveys can be created, designed and easily modified using any browser by means of the use of quick and easy interfaces. All the complicated formatting is taken care of as, unlike a word-processor, the questionnaire software is aware of all there is to know about questionnaires.

Dissemination

The Internet is the most effective form of world communication known to man. Gone are the days of having to print hardcopy surveys and questionnaires, stuffing them into envelopes and mailing them, all costly and time consuming. With the web survey once created they are good to go often by sending the link to the questionnaire in an e-mail or by establishing a hyperlink to the questionnaire on an internet site; processes that are both fast and virtually free.

Collating

Where as in the past completed questionnaires needed to be returned and then collated by entering the information into a database either manually or by utilizing some type of optical reader, online questionnaires update the database in real-time.

The Internet has revolutionised the entire process and in doing so has made something that used to be thought of useful, but expensive and cumbersome, into a resource that is so quick and simple that questionnaires can be used to bring benefits to many different everyday areas.

With survey websites the limitations to conducting questionnaires have been torn down. Now they provide a cost effective and simple resource that is open to not only the small charity and local community group but additionally the largest of the world’s multi-nationals.

No longer are geographical borders of any concern a questionnaire can now be published to all the world as easily and for the same cost as a local or internal group.

Easier to Test

In addition, questionnaires can now be easily tested from start to finish to ensure that not only is the questionnaire simple for the respondents to complete but in addition that the information collated is in the best format to provide the required intelligence.

Easier to Complete

No longer is it necessary to ask respondents to skip specific questions depending on their earlier answers, with on-line surveys you only need to ask respondents the questions that are related to them as based on their answers irrelevant questions can be skipped with the respondent automatically being directed to the next relevant question.

Partially Completed surveys

Previously if a respondent didn’t fully complete a questionnaire they would hardly ever bother sending the partially completed questionnaire back. With online questionnaires there isn’t any problem as the data is collated in real time so information from partially completed surveys and questionnaires can still be counted.

In short online questionnaire websites have revolutionised the world of surveys and questionnaires.

In summary on-line surveys are fast, they’re easy and they’re cost effective.

A Harvard mathematics graduate and a part-time professor in Survey Methodology at the University of California. He has carried out studies and published many articles in international scientific journals on laboratory and field-experimental studies regarding questionnaire design for face-to-face surveys, telephone surveys and self-administered surveys. He has often lectured on comparative surveys and nonresponse and recently co-authored a book on nonresponse in the US Social Survey. He has designed social surveys, interviews, and observational research within the US and Europe and his current analysis pursuits includes the harmonization of socio-demographic variables for national and cross-national comparative analysis.

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