Planning an online survey – tips and tricks (1)

I realised I haven’t blogged for a while, so I thought I’d start a series of useful posts about designing online surveys. These tips and tricks are based on my training materials and I hope they can be useful to you.

So, first things first. It’s important to consider five things when planning an online survey:

1. Population: Who is your target population? How many people are there in this target population?

2. Objectives: What is the main reason for running this survey? What’s the single most important focus? Write this down, and don’t be tempted to bloat the question set with loads of other questions.

3. Ethics and data protection: How can you treat people fairly, and how will you store and handle data now and in the future?

4. Timeline: How long have you got to plan it, run it, and analyse results?

5. Sampling method: Who to contact, and how? How many responses do you need to get valid data that represent the population?

Everyone who plans a survey should get into the habit of documenting the answers to this question.

To help this process I’ve created a single page A4 planning document. Please feel free to download the survey plan document and use for your online survey planning.

Watch this space for the second update of tips and tricks in the next few weeks!