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9 Best Methods to Analyze Online Survey Data

Online Survey Data
Wondering what your survey will reveal?

Survey reports help you discover key business insights and identify patterns that may go unnoticed. The right analysis can give you a clear edge in the market by telling you just what needs to change or reveal exactly what you are doing right.

After all, data on its own isn’t worth much. It’s the analysis that changes the game.

To get the most actionable analysis – let’s begin at the beginning – while you create surveys:

1.   Keep the end in mind

The best designed surveys have the objective in mind. If you’d like to know how many customers are likely to recommend you, then you know just the question to ask.

This is how your top research question comes into play.

2.   Use Relevant Question Types

Data can be acquired in the form of numerical or text responses through close-ended and open-ended questions.

Close-ended questions will give you data that is easily quantifiable. These can be in the form of drop down options, MCQs, or more.

It is the survey equivalent of asking participants whether they like cricket or football instead of asking which sport they prefer.

Open-ended questions are the exact opposite. They produce rich and meaningful data, allowing your participants to elaborate.

You can decide which to use as you create surveys based on your purpose. If you have a definitive objective in mind, for example – which day and time is most popular among movie goers – then close-ended survey questions would be useful.

However, if you would like to know why that day and time is the most popular, then open-ended survey questions would help.

3.   Ensure the relevance of your sample size

If you have 1000 customers but only survey 20, your sample size is too small to give you real insight.

Instead, your sample size needs to be representative of your audience. The more answers you get, the more relevant your results will be.

Once the survey results are in, it’s time to get started!

The Best Methods to Analyze Your Survey Results

Your top research question will give you overarching insights about your survey results. To get more nuanced and actionable data, however, you need to plunge into the details.

1.   Segment the Responses

No customer is the same, and more often than not, they can be divided into various segments. To get the most relevant data you need to segment your responses. The segmentation can be done on the basis of anything – region, age, gender, loyalty, and more.

Perhaps you will uncover that female customers are more likely to recommend your product to their friends, or that you aren’t as popular in certain regions.

2.   Cross-Tabulate Your Data

Getting more into the details, cross tabulation helps you understand micro-trends within your sub-groups.

Perhaps those women who approached customer support are also more likely to recommend your product than women who did not.

Cross-tabulation takes two or three factors into consideration, highlighting unique patterns that might otherwise be missed.

3.   Benchmark and Compare Data

If you regularly survey your customers, you will be able to compare your business perception over time.

This data helps you see how your business has improved or new weaknesses that have emerged.

4.   Open-Ended Questions

While these don’t yield easily quantifiable data, open-ended questions give customers a chance to pour their heart out.

It’s best to assign a separate person to sift through these responses and record the insights. Customers may mention factors that have been overlooked or point out important strengths and weaknesses that you hadn’t identified.

Follow up with these, and include the new data in future surveys where relevant.

5.   Question Your Data

It’s not enough to observe your results. To make the most of your data, you will need to really interrogate the answers.

–      What is the most common answer for question X?

–      Which of the answers impacts us the most?

–      What are the differences between last year and this year?

–      What did respondents in sub-group A say?

–      What pattern emerges amongst the various sub-groups? Why?

Questioning your data will help you understand consumer trends, preferences, and even the changes required to enhance your business.

6.   Did You Spot any Patterns?

Segmentation and cross-tabulation makes it easier to identify micro-trends, while benchmarking will give you an idea of the patterns over time.

You can combine the results using advanced survey tools to spot patterns amongst your customers and products.

7.   Visually Represent the Results

Numbers can be overwhelming. So instead, visually represent your data to get clearer insights.

Online survey reports help you analyze and understand your data with ease. What’s more, online platforms reduce the chance of manual errors, accurately tabulating the results in moments to give you answers without all the hard work!

8.   Verify Your Surveys

Don’t make drastic changes based on just one of the survey reports. While the analysis may reveal unique insights, it is important to verify these with multiple surveys. Rephrase your questions, choose a different time, and send the survey out again.

The new results will help you understand the authenticity of your answers.

9.   Determine your next step

Once you’ve analyzed all the responses, verified your data, and have all the information you need, it’s time to make the change.

Take immediate action to make the detractors passive, and see which passive customers can become promoters.

Implement changes to ensure that key concerns are addressed, and focus on improving your Net Promoter Score!

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