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Beyond SurveyMonkey

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Tim Servinsky

on 9 August 2013

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Transcript of Beyond SurveyMonkey

Beyond SurveyMonkey
Collecting web data you can count on
What is a web survey?
Uses for Web Surveys
Is a web survey the right data collection t
What kind of information do I need?
Study Design Considerations

Electronic questionnaire

Collects data from respondents via computer, tablet, or other electronic device
Respondents submit data electronically

Data is stored on a server that is maintained either on-site or by a third party
Utilizes web browser so that most respondents can participate without installing any special software
Limited only by your imagination and software choice
Many uses.
Conducting academic or institutional research
Evaluating opinions of groups of people
Collecting feedback from customers/users
Evaluating trainings or interactions
Testing products/ideas
Conducting market research
Collecting RSVPs to an event
Updating contact information
Collecting applications
Can my research question be answered through a web survey?

Good for limited budget
Good for shorter timeframe
Advantages of web surveys
Lower cost than other quantitative data collection methods
Controlled access
Can have a short or long fielding period
Can ask both closed- and open-ended questions, depending on analysis needs
No interviewers- reduces bias
Challenges of Web Surveys
Response rate
Potential bias: Older, poorer, no internet access, lack technological savvy
Requires technological knowledge to program
Junk filters
No interviewer
Easy to use
Free version available
Instant reporting features (paid only)
Facebook and Twitter integration
Allows manual entry of additional records
Very limited features
Poor logic options
Free version limited to:
10 questions/100 responses
No survey logic/piping
No branding/redirecting/exporting/secure connection
Premium accounts:
Database of pre-set response choices
Excellent reporting features
Very customizable
Interactive question types (including multimedia features
Good survey logic capabilities
User-friendly interface
Piping capabilities
Custom re-direct option
"Over 100 ways to ask a question"
Fee per user: renews in February, no prorated amounts
1 user, 15 surveys: $90
1 user, unlimited surveys: $180
25 users, unlimited surveys: $1,500
Unlimited users/surveys: $4,200
Less robust respondent tracking ability
Skipping logic learning curve
Data hosted remotely
Learning curve to program
Limited access to direct technical support
Requires extensive technical knowledge to set up and host
Powerful feature set
Extensive user-driven support forum
Open-source, fully customizable
Free to use (no licensing fee)
Can house data on-site
Excellent survey logic capabilities
Excellent set of question types
Easy to add response choices
Piping capabilities; can limit choices based on previous selections
Excellent token/control
Robust respondent tracking
Can see how long respondents spent on each screen and entire survey
Web surveys defined + uses
Is it the right tool for you?
Advantages and Disadvantages
Web software options
Study Design Consideration
Length of survey
Reading level
Question wording
Response choices
Stakeholder input
Who to survey
Open vs. controlled access
Level of anonymity
What is your universe?
Is your list exhaustive?
Are you surveying everyone in your universe? Or just a sample?
Existing email lists
Web panels
Available from many vendors for a fee
Typically non-probability based sample
Introduces bias, depending on how panel is built
Open vs. closed access
What is a web panel?
Group of people assembled for the purpose of participating in online surveys, focus groups, message boards, or market research

Usually paid or compensated, but not always

May focus on a specific type of person (i.e., stay-at-home moms or tech-savvy individuals)

Usually pay by the complete to utilize a panel

Attempts can be made so that final dataset is representative of certain known demographic characteristics (i.e., gender/age/region), but no guarantees
Open access allows you to distribute a link via a web page, social networking site, or email and utilize a snowball sample

Closed access creates a unique token or pin that is included automatically with individualized links sent to each selected participant
Design and Accessibility
Level of anonymity
Fielding length
Design and Accessibility
Are my color schemes easily readable on different types of screens?

Are my font choices easy to read?

Are my font sizes appropriate for those with visual impairment?
Level of Anonymity
Should I be collecting de-identified data?

What level of identifier do I need to keep? (i.e., name? email address? ip address?)

Some closed-access surveys allow for collecting data anonymously while still following up with non-respondents
Usually helps boost response rate, which can be a challenge with web surveys

Choose someone outside of the research team with whom the respondents would be familiar, if possible

Send out a day or two in advance. This helps with keeping it on respondents' radar and increasing the chance that they will see the message
Fielding Length
Am I giving enough time? Consider work constraints, vacations, etc.

If looking to assess a snapshot of opinions, a shorter fielding period would be appropriate, but it may be difficult to get a good response rate in a short period of time
For a closed-access survey, how many email reminders will I do? Consider at least two, if the length of fielding allows

Space reminders out at least a week apart so as not to harass or bombard with contacts

Consider phone follow-up. Costly and time-intensive, but can be very effective in increasing response rates
Tim Servinsky
Project Manager
Center for Survey Research

CSR Research Services
Web programming
Research design consultation
Survey software training
Questionnaire design
Focus groups
Sample prep and management
In-depth Interviews
Data analysis and reporting
Phone surveys
Digital dashboards
Full transcript