At the heart of a survey is data collection. By doing this online you can save time and money in ways that could not be imagined before the advent of the Internet.
Online surveys eliminate cost of printing and costs associated with distribution and data collection via mail. Electronic communication makes the entire process instantaneous. What took months to accomplish can be done in days. And it is no exaggeration to say that it can be done better. The process of migrating surveys online eliminates many of the steps that are most prone to errors.
A few advanced online survey solutions also offer a great deal of analytical capability you need to analyze the data. Without such analysis you have lots of data but no insight. Eventually, it’s insight you’re after and so this capability is critical to your success. It’s not until users see the power and benefits of these analytical tools that they realize how little utility they were getting from their surveys earlier.
As would be expected, online surveys have introduced challenges of their own. The following list highlights some of them:
- Increasingly, emails sent inviting people to participate in online surveys end up trapped in spam filters. This explains serious decline in response rates and no hopes of improvement unless you have a way to get around spam filters. Zarca designed a Spam Filter Beater technology for its surveys.
- Ease of sending surveys has led to survey abuse. The resulting apathy to participation in surveys - called survey fatigue – has contributed to a serious decline in surveys.
- You may not have email address for everyone you wish to survey. You will need a strategy to send “offline invites” to ensure you cover everyone.
- A lot of people may believe that their computer keystrokes can be monitored and computer IP addresses are tracked. Responses to HR surveys can be dominated by such paranoia. If you want to get effective feedback on such issues you must overcome the perceptions that will cause responses to be biased. Simply asserting that responses are anonymous may not be enough. Zarca Interactive can assist in building a “culture of trust.”
- Garbage-in Garbage-Out. Posting a survey on a website can be tricky. Anyone can participate in it. The same person may respond multiple times. You need to ensure your data has integrity before you use it to draw any serious conclusions.