In this article, learn...
- Why the survey questionnaire is the foundation of solid data
- What a questionnaire audit can do for you
- What can go wrong with a questionnaire
The value of strong questionnaire design, complemented by the task of high-quality sample development, is not fully appreciated. Too often researchers relegate those two essential building blocks of market research to a status secondary to the analytics and presentation of results. Big mistake!
A strong questionnaire design and, specifically, conducting an audit to ensure quality, is the focus of this article.
Research Axiom No. 1: You can never fully recover from a poorly written questionnaire.
No manipulation of data points, regardless of how cleverly done; no amount of analysis, regardless of how brilliantly executed; and no degree of interpretation, regardless of the intellectual insights, can save you from a poor research foundation. Your building will collapse as if shaken by an earthquake!
Questionnaire design is a task repeatedly given insufficient time and attention. Clients and research professionals alike often underestimate the effort it will take to develop a well-structured and concise research instrument.
What amazes me most? Project leaders relegate the task to a status depicted in this attitude: "Once the questionnaire is done, we can get on with the important stuff, like analysis and reporting."
The assumption that analysis work is the essence of the research, and the expectation that interpreting the results is where the mastery of research ultimately lies, is a mystery to me.