Best practices in survey analysis

Once the response collection phase is complete, you will be faced with an enormous amount of data that, in order to become valuable information, needs to be properly interpreted.

As explained in previous occasions, the analysis of results is the key stage in the process of creating online forms.

Once the response collection phase is finished, you will find a huge amount of data that, in order to be transformed into valuable information, needs to be interpreted properly. This situation poses a central challenge that we could sum up in a question: Now what?

Therefore, in order not to go crazy when we find ourselves with all that great mass of data and in order to be able to do something with it without being a specialist in mathematics and statistics, below we offer a series of good practices to analyze online surveys.  

Save time and work by using the adequate platform

To begin with, it is important that you have tools to visualize the real value of the responses. When choosing the way to create an online survey, it is convenient to select an option that saves time and work when processing the data.   

Therefore, we recommend that you create your online survey using platforms that automatically transform numerical results into percentages and graphs, allowing you to see the real value of the responses clearly. By doing this, you will avoid having to deal with that and have all the results available simply and immediately, without wasting time creating your own graphs with Excel spreadsheets, for example.

Find ways to categorize open responses

An online survey usually includes open questions in which the respondent is free to expand, without having to choose between predetermined options. The analysis of these types of questions is usually more complicated because we are faced with very diverse comments.

In these cases, one possibility is to quickly read all or most of the responses to obtain a first approach that allows establishing possible ways of categorizing them. A quick look at the wide variety of results will help you form a basic idea of ​​general categories in which responses that use different words to express related or similar positions can be included.

Now, unless your survey has been answered by few people, this quick read will inevitably be imprecise and incomplete. So, how to do it if you have received thousands of responses?

Use word clouds to visualize the main answers to open questions

A very useful resource in these cases are word clouds, which visually represent the most repeated terms in all responses. This cloud is a practical way to interpret the results of your survey. The most frequently mentioned words in responses are the ones that will be the largest in the cloud, allowing you to easily appreciate the prevailing themes.

For this reason, we recommend that the platform you choose to create your online survey has the option of automatically creating word clouds. This way, you can save time when it comes to finding analysis variables for open-ended questions.

Establish comparison parameters

Another issue that you should consider when analyzing the data, is the possibility of looking for points of comparison and reference outside of a specific survey to know if its results are in line with what is expected or not. Therefore, defining these parameters or benchmarks will allow you to understand the true value of the numbers or percentages that you obtain from your online survey.

How to set these parameters? There are different ways. If you have already done this survey previously, the simplest way is to look up the responses from previous surveys and see if this new edition delivered similar results.

By setting this parameter and repeating the survey on a regular basis (once per year, per month, or for whatever period is useful to you), you can begin to identify trends and new and valuable information.

"It is important that you have tools with graphics and word clouds to visualize the real value of the answers"

If this is your first time creating an online questionnaire, we recommend that you look for information on the topics of your interest through other sources or research published by other organizations or companies that can serve as a reference for establishing a first parameter of comparison. Then, once you start making your own online surveys, you will be able to establish references with the data you collected yourself.

With SurveyKiwi you will be able to create high-impact online surveys and analyze them using graphs in various formats that will allow you to clearly and simply view the results of each response. Also, you can create word clouds to identify the most repeated terms and understand the real value of each response. Visit our site to learn more about us and try some examples.

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