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Five Insights on How to Improve your Survey Scripts: How to increase accuracy while data collecting

A vital part of any opinion research is the human response.  Whether you are conducting a survey or poll, collecting data from the respondents is a strategy.  Surveying is a strategy that benefits research with questions and answer choices.  There are many strategies that can ensure your data is accurate.  You will want to make sure that the survey takers feel like their opinions matter to achieve reliable results. 

  1. Script Logic

It is always beneficial to know who your survey takers are.  You can have sub-questions in addition to your previous questions to have a basis of who you are surveying.  Say you give a yes or no question for your first question, Q1.  If they answer yes, direct them to answer Q1B.  If they say no, then require them to go to question 2. 

This helps analyze your research and better understand the data. 

  1. Be Unbiased

 Some questions may come off as biased.  All the items must be unbiased to have accurate data.

Posing questions like “How would you rate our friendly service?” is not the right approach.  Using descriptive words does come off as biased.  Remember to refrain from descriptive words to keep it as unbiased as possible.  You always want the survey takers to feel like they can have an honest opinion.  

  1. Use a Likert Scale

All the answers choices must have a specific structure.  Using a 5 Likert scale can help make your options more specific.  There are two primary types of scales: the 5-Likert scale and the 7-Likert scale.  The five scale includes five answer choices with a neutral answer choice in the middle.    

How would you rate the city air pollution from 2016 till now?

  1. Much better

  2. Somewhat better

  3. About the same

  4. Somewhat worse

  5. Much worse

For a 7-Likert Scale, there are seven answers,  with a neutral break in between the answer choices.   

A Likert scale helps keep order within the questions to increase the accuracy of your results.

  1. Don’t get into the Weeds

 Lengthy questions can lose traction with your audience. Adding too much detail can cause possible confusion and possible loss of engagement.  

“People often like to say their favorite fruit is apples. What would you say your favorite fruit is?”

This question adds an unnecessary explanation.  The person might feel like answering “apples” because that is the standard answer.       

“What would you say your favorite fruit is? “

This question is short and straightforward. Survey takers feel like they can answer a question without being compelled to answer something else. There are many ways, such as proofreading, to help see if the question makes sense.

  1. Proofread Your Script

Always go through the script as if you are going to answer the questions.  Putting yourself in the survey takers’ place helps make the script cohesive and simple.  If the script does not make sense to you, it will not make sense to the people answering.  Lastly, test your script.  Testing your script can be beneficial because of different perspectives.  Having these different perspectives give insights into the script. 

Surveying is simple but remembering the strategies is how you get the most accurate results. The survey questions and answers delivery can create a precise outcome and engage people who want to answer.  The survey scripts have to be fully ready to launch. 

Here at OHPI, we provide data analysts that ensure the surveys are cohesive.  You can rely on OHPI to conduct quality surveys for your organization to provide accurate results. 



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