Pre-survey Scoping Considerations
Part of the Government Statistician’s role is to provide statistical advisory services to agencies on the most effective and efficient methods to collect and analyse information. The aim of the questions posed below is to help agencies focus on their information requirements, prior to engaging with the Government Statistician’s statistical advisory team.
Overall objective of the project
- What are the objectives of the project?
- Are any of the objectives measurable through the process of asking questions?
- Can any of the objectives be met by gathering information using a quantitative survey?
- Are there any existing data collections, research outputs or information sources that could be used to meet any or all of the project objectives?
Survey design and target population
- Are responses to the survey questions likely to be varied and diverse? If so, qualitative research may be required first to inform the design of quantitative questions.
- Is the survey likely to be repeated, to measure change over time?
- Is the target population for the survey clearly identified or identifiable?
- Which particular characteristics of survey respondents are to be measured?
- What is the most appropriate mode of delivery for survey questions (e.g. telephone, mail, web, face-to-face, observation, or a combination), with regard to data quality requirements and cost-effectiveness?
- How important is it to have information collected:
- by an independent source to objectively capture both positive and negative responses?
- securely, or under legislation which protects confidentiality?
- How will the data and information derived from the survey be used?
- Who is the target audience for the survey results?
- How might the survey results be best presented to the intended audience (e.g. commentary, tables, graphs, etc) to ensure that they’re understood?
Timing and cost
- When are the outputs required? A quantitative survey takes a certain, irreducible amount of time to be developed and carried out in order to produce robust results which can be analysed and reported on.
- Are there funds allocated to conduct the survey, then have the results analysed and reporting done?
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Last reviewed 6 February 2013