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What are Surveys| Benefits, Types and Steps to Design a Survey

Updated: Jul 10

Surveys have become a common tool for obtaining data, from the pop-up window on your preferred website requesting feedback to the extensive form your doctor's office may use.

However, why are they so widespread?

Basically, surveys are a quick and efficient approach to quickly get insightful information from a big audience. They support organizations in comprehending opinions, preferences, and trends that can guide choices and promote success

Knowing the different kinds of surveys and their applications is important, whether you're a researcher, business owner, or simply inquisitive. Let's explore the field of surveys and look at its types, importance, and methods to design effective surveys.

Importance of surveys

Understanding the Purpose of Surveys:  Surveys are significant in today's data-driven society, so it's important to understand their purpose in research. They provide an organized means of gathering quantifiable and analytical data.

Surveys are used by businesses to determine how satisfied customers are, by researchers to acquire empirical data, and even by governments to comprehend public sentiment. It would be difficult to gather trustworthy and consistent data from a large audience without surveys.

Benefits of Surveys

  • Surveys give you a direct connection to your audience by obtaining information directly from the source .

  • They facilitate the identification of organizational improvement opportunities.

  • Surveys are used to evaluate new services or products.

  • Surveys can forecast future patterns based on present consumer behavior. 

  • Survey is one of economical methods of obtaining information.

  • Surveys are quite accessible as they can reach a large audience.

Types of Surveys

1. Online Surveys

Online surveys have surged in popularity due to their convenience and reach. A range of methods are used for these online surveys, making it easier to create, distribute, and analyze survey results.  They can be promptly implemented, are affordable, and have a worldwide audience.

Online survey platforms include Google Forms, Typeform, and SurveyMonkey. These tools all have special capabilities including real-time data analysis, customized templates, and software integration.

Examples of online surveys

Survey Monkey: This well-known platform for creating comprehensive surveys with a wide range of question kinds and logic is easy to use and has a powerful feature set.

Google Forms: Many people choose Google Forms since it's free, simple to use, and easily interacts with other Google services.

Type form: Type form makes filling out surveys interesting and enjoyable by emphasizing aesthetics and user experience.

2. Paper Surveys

Paper surveys are still used in spite of the digital age, especially for some demographics that prefer conventional methods or in environments with restricted internet access. Paper surveys are simple to use and can be sent via mail or handed over in person. They are frequently employed in hospital settings, educational environments, and certain market research scenarios.

Best Practices for Paper Surveys

Paper surveys must be clear, succinct, and easy to comprehend in order to be effective. Obtaining relevant data requires using fonts that are readable and clear, leaving enough room for answers, and providing instructions. If the survey is mail-only, it's also beneficial to provide a pre-paid return envelope.

3. Face-to-Face Surveys

In face-to-face surveys, interviewers interact with respondents face-to-face. If the respondent has any questions or concerns, this approach enables them to clarify and provide in-depth answers. It's especially helpful for complicated subjects or situations that call for a personal touch.

In-person surveys are frequently employed in exit polls, qualitative research, and customer feedback gathering in shopping centers.

Strategies for Conducting Effective Face-to-face Surveys

  • Ensure that the interviewers are familiar with the contents of the survey and have received sufficient training.

  • They can establish a better connection with respondents and collect more precise data as a result.

  • Choosing a favorable time and place for the survey might also boost response rates.

4. Telephone Surveys

In a telephone survey, participants are called and asked questions directly. This approach offers a personal touch and is still reasonably priced, bridging the gap between in-person and online surveys. They are frequently employed in follow-up research, customer satisfaction surveys, and political polling.

Guidelines for Telephone Surveys

  • To ensure consistency, having a well-scripted questionnaire is essential when conducting telephone surveys. 

  • Ensure that the call list you have is current and consists of a varied sample. 

  • Remember to be considerate of the responders' time and make sure your interviewers are kind and well-mannered.

5. Mobile Surveys

Mobile surveys have grown in popularity as cell phones have become more prevalent. People who are constantly on the go can complete these surveys because they are made to be completed on mobile devices. SMS, mobile apps, or mobile-friendly online forms can all be used to disseminate them. Some of the most well-liked mobile survey applications are QuickTapSurvey, Survey Monkey Anywhere, and SurveyPocket.

Common Mobile Survey Tools

Survey Monkey Anywhere: The platform is ideal for data collection while on the go because it enables you to conduct surveys offline.

SurveyPocket: It is a popular offline tool that is great for field research because of its extensive offline features.

QuickTapSurvey: This app functions flawlessly on mobile devices and is intended for in-person data collection.

How to Design an Effective Survey?

Formulating Clear Questions

Your survey's questions will have a significant influence on the quality of the data you acquire. The best questions are those that are easy to understand, brief, and clear. Make sure each question only focuses on one topic at a time and avoid clear inquiries that are biased or leading. A balance of quantitative and qualitative data can be obtained by using a combination of closed-ended and open-ended questions.

Choosing the Right Survey Format

Different survey formats meet various purposes. Selecting the best format for your questions multiple-choice, Like scale, or open-ended is essential for obtaining insightful answers. When choosing the format for your survey, take your audience and the kind of information you require into account.

Ensuring Confidentiality and Anonymity

Confidentiality and anonymity are essential in surveys, particularly when discussing delicate subjects. Assure responders that, if relevant, their answers will remain anonymous and that their information will be kept private. It may also lead to a rise in response sincerity and involvement rates.

How to Analyzing Survey Results

Methods of Data Collection

It is now time to analyze the data gathered from the survey responses. This includes categorizing open-ended responses, classifying the responses, and, if required, entering the data into analysis tools. This procedure can be streamlined with the use of programs like Excel, SPSS, or specialist survey analysis tools.

How to Interpret Survey Results

When interpreting survey data, one must search for noteworthy discoveries, trends, and patterns. This could entail figuring the mean scores, response rates, and correlations between various variables. Understanding and presenting the results might be facilitated by using charts and graphs to visualize the data.

Reporting Results of Surveys

Reporting the results is the last step after data analysis. Interactive dashboards, printed reports, and presentations can all be used for this. A comprehensive report, in-depth analysis, and practical suggestions derived from the survey outcomes must all be included.


In conclusion, surveys are an effective way to get information and make wise choices in research. You can use this tool to obtain useful information by being aware of the various survey types and how to create them efficiently. Using best practices guarantees that the data you collect whether via online surveys, in-person interviews, or mobile questionnaires is as accurate and valuable as possible. Thus, the next time you require collecting data, think about employing a survey to get the answers you require.


Which one is the best survey method to collect data?

The best survey method will vary depending on the particular needs of the research endeavor. Online surveys are typically preferred due to their effectiveness and affordability; but, depending on the audience and context, face-to-face and telephone surveys may offer deeper insights.

Which survey type is the most common type of survey?

Nowadays, online surveys are the most often used types of surveys. They have become popular because they are affordable, simple to administer, and have a rapid reach to a large audience. Online surveys are flexible for a range of research and feedback gathering needs because they can be carried out via email, websites, or specialist survey platforms.

What is the main aim of the survey?

The primary aim of conducting a survey is to collect particular data and opinions from a chosen population or organization. 


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