Just like others even I had issues on how to start surveying. I learned that it is easier to if we follow a few steps. First we need to set objectives. Understand what the purpose is all about. Identify who will use the results and how the results will are to be used. I decided to question myself on whether the results will be used externally or internally, what decisions are to be drawn from the survey results, will it be to test any hypothesis or will the reporting be on how it will affect a program devised for a grant. Once these objectives are set it is easier to start with the next step.

Many think that it is irrational to think of report before starting survey questions. But I found out it is not so. In fact, it can help you stay on track. So find out what report is your target. Is it a percentage report, ranking or rating report, does it deal with regulations or correlations of things, types of people who will compare the results or the complexity of the analysis. Among these, I found out that it is easier to report percentage related to rank and rate across various groups of contributors. Picking questions is easier as it is available in the form of tools.

What made it difficult was when it comes to identifying the relation between various things. Here the questions have to be decided carefully. In this case, analysis is needed, and this can be done with the help of statistical software that are available online or with the help of consultants. The next step is to design process flow. Now this comes even before picking the survey questions. Find out who will use the data, what type of data to collect, the area of success in collecting data, and time of administration of the survey.

Following this, you will decide on the kind of data that is needed. Remember that there are only four kinds of data. Knowledge allows you to gauge or learn how people understand things. Options explain what people believe about a thing. This can be past, present or future. Behaviors are expectations of what people may do. Characteristics will analyze the attributes of the samples for the survey. This can be geographic, demographic, lifestyle or status. Once these steps are done, it is time to pick the questions. The questions can be close-ended, partially closed, paired or open-ended.

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