A Guideline to Create the Perfect Survey Form - Part 1

Last Update: August 11, 2014

Creating a survey form is a tedious task if you don’t know where to start. Let’s start briefly, there are two types of surveys, one is for the total population which has high costs and is very time consuming and the other one is achieved by determining a sample group which will infer information about the whole group with a certain confidence rate. We, form builder users, use a sample group because it is cheaper, faster, and could possibly be as accurate as the total population survey.

1. State the Purpose of Your Survey Form



First, we should state a problem that we want to test and make an educated guess about the answer to the problem. For example, one beverage company found that their customers quit drinking a product after 2 months and they guessed that their new flavor sucks (the problem). Renewing or changing their flavor looks like the solution (answer). So, they want to test it first by creating a survey form which targets questions to the flavor of their beverage. We can relate to this in our business with one way or another.

2. Define your Audience



Whose opinions do you want to know? Is it from a certain age group, sex, household income etc.? By determining your audience you will get to know the opinion of the audience you want to interact with. For example, you may have a feature that gets negative feedback from a few people that you didn’t target or intend to sell. So, you don’t need to worry about the negative comments alone, you should worry about what your targeted audience says.


These 2 steps are crucial for preparing your survey & it will save you a lot of time. Shortly, ask these questions to yourself. What am I trying to accomplish with this survey? Whose opinion is important to my business?

Creating the Analysis Plan


In the analysis plan, you determine which statistics you will use and how much risk you can take in stating your conclusions. Simply, you will blend data to make it significant enough for the population.

Let’s get started by choosing a sampling method. Shortly, there are two sampling methods, random sampling and nonrandom sampling. We use random sampling because of the minimum amount of sampling error. In addition, random sampling has two methods, simple or stratified random sampling.

Simple Random Sampling
This method as it sounds is a simple method for random sampling. We need two conditions to be met before using this method.

  • Every member in the population must have an equal opportunity of being chosen for the sample (equality)
  • The selection of one member is not affected by the selection of previous members (independence)


We use an online random number generator which solves both of the issues above and help us select members in the population randomly and unbiased. However, if we have multiple factors such as sex, income, political views, interests etc. this method may not be representative enough. That is where the stratified sampling comes in, to represent many population attributes.



Stratified Random Sampling

This method is used when the population is heterogeneous such as, level of education in clients or different ranks of workers etc. If one group is proportionally larger than another, its sample size should also be proportionally larger. After selecting the segments of the population, we then sample each homogeneous group and calculate the sample statistics for each group to determine how many members we need from each subgroup. First, we need to measure the proportion of each group in the population and use the same proportions for the sample subgroups too. Let’s say that a population of our users is 60% female, %40 male and %90 free users and %10 paid users. With this, we can calculate the proportions of our four homogeneous subgroups in the population:


  • Free, female .90 * .60 = .54
  • Free, male .90 * .40 = .36
  • Paid, female .10 * .60 = .06
  • Paid, male .10 * .40 = .04


So, the %54 of the population will be free female users, %36 free male users, %6 paid female users, and %4 paid male users. Each percentage will be multiplied by the total sample size needed to get the actual number of each subgroup.

Now that we’ve selected a sampling method, we can go on with determining the confidence level and precision of the sample size. Most of the statisticians use %95 confidence and a 5% precision level as the absolute minimum so we’ll do the same with our example. We’ll also be lazy about this and use a sample size calculator for determining the sample size. Let’s look at the image below for %95 confidence and %5 precision level with a population for 50000.



Our sample size turns out to be 381. We should also adjust our response rate to %50 percent which means doubling our sample size value which in case equals to 762. This will guarantee our survey to get the sufficient amount of responses. For our stratified sample size determination we need to multiply the percentages with n = 762.

  • Free, female .54 * 762 = 412
  • Free, male .36 * 762 = 274
  • Paid, female .06 * 762 = 46
  • Paid, male .04 * 762 = 30


Now that we’ve prepared our sample sizes for each subgroup and determined our purpose of the survey, we can go on for the important points of preparing the perfect survey form on our next part.

This is the end of the first part of this article, we’ll give you a little time to make the research. If you will wait for the next part eagerly (we know you will!) please add your thoughts in the comments section below.


2 Comments...


   
Ursula (August 23, 2012 at 09:18 AM)

Very good explanation about the steps...I would like to continue with the article to undertand how to formulate the questions.


   
Abdul (March 12, 2013 at 01:42 AM)

Its very interesting issues to be followed


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