online survey design and data analysis

In 2013 the University of Cambridge approached Bristol Online Surveys requesting assistance with the analysis of their CROS (Careers in Research Online Survey) data. The CROS is targeted at research staff in Higher Education. It is carried out biennially, and aims to gauge opinions relating to working conditions, career aspirations and career development. Cambridge wanted to compare results between Schools, between years, and between a bench-marking group of four other HEIs. BOS contacted Tabetha to ask for her help.


Tabetha worked with Cambridge to identify the core goals of the analysis, and determine the best way to present data in order for them to make effective decisions. Tabetha ensured that communication occurred throughout the project, allowing us to alter our course where needed, focus in on specific areas of interest as they appeared, and manage the budget efficiently.


Three reports were created that summarised the comparisons between Schools, between years, and amongst the bench-marking group. The reports included lots of easy-to-interpret graphs and short summary tables. They also included the results of statistical analyses, so allowing Cambridge to know where differences were real (and not due to chance variation). This is making a significant contribution to planning for career and professional development for the University’s largest staff group.
“Thank you for doing such a great job with our CROS reports. They’ve been very well received, by a wide variety of people. I’ve had a number of comments about how effective the graphics are, in particular.” Dr Tait, Head of Academic Practice Group