Survey Research Definition, Steps & Research Design

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 00:00 -- Umar Farooq

Survey Research Definition

Survey is an extensive cross sectional approach, where a number of cases are considered at a particular time and the data is gathered to study the opinions, behavior, attitudes, habits, desires, values and beliefs etc. (the characteristics of certain population are studied).

Survey is a type of research to obtain information by gathering data from a particular sample of a given population, through personal or impersonal means, to study its characteristics.

  1. Personal means, The Interviews
  2. Impersonal means, Questionnaires, Mails, Telephone etc. The findings are finally generalized.

In education, the surveys are used for many purposes, e.g. knowledge level, curriculum, administration, educational policies, programme and such other fields. Educational problems are dealt through descriptive surveys by which they are identified and then means and measures are introduced to solve these problems.

Steps in Survey Research

In order to conduct a research of survey type, the following important steps are to be taken.

  1. Defining the purpose and objective of the study i.e. the problem, why to conduct a research and what is its worth, the clear objectives formulation etc. are included in the first step of survey research.
  2. Selecting and defining the target population, i.e. upon which the study is based.
  3. Choosing and selecting techniques for data gathering. (i.e. the instrument like interview, questionnaire etc. to be used for data collection). The selection of instrument depends upon the cost, applicability and the research design.
  4. A major and good representative (sample) of the population is to be taken (i.e. this is the step of sampling).
  5. The process of data gathering (or simply the step of executing the research), where the interviews, questionnaires or any other instrument is used for which the questions are pre designed.
  6. The questionnaire (if used) is then followed up. The questions asked from the interviewee are answered, evaluated and hence the process of data gathering is completed.
  7. The data gathered is processed, analyzed, and interpreted, from which the results are concluded and the findings are then generalized.
  8. The whole study is then presented in the form of research report (called survey report) for the purpose of transmission and further study. Thus the survey type of research is completed while following the above 8 steps.

Survey Research Design

Conducting accurate surveys has utmost importance in market research where companies spend huge amount of money on findings about people needs and want. Accurate research can lead the company to success while inaccurate research can cost millions.

The survey research design is a powerful tool for knowing the market trends. It is helpful both on large and small scale i.e. judging public opinion with quality designed surveys can lead to successful strategies.

  1. Establishing the Aims of Your Research
  2. Researching and Determining Your Sample Group
  3. Methodology means choosing methods to reach people.
  4. Structuring and Designing the Questionnaire
  5. Cover Note specify your identify objective and who the subject can contact you back.
  6. Types of Question or question structure
  7. Analyzing Your Results
  8. At the end be self-critic while concluding survey research design.