Planning a Survey

The success of a survey starts with an intense, detailed and comprehensive planning. Before you conduct a survey, you need to begin with brainstorming about the purpose of the survey, the goals and objectives, the creation of questions, and other important details included in utilizing the survey method.

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Defining Goals

Survey goals encompass the very purpose of conducting a survey. Having these goals, you will be able to create the right questions for the right participants. Survey goals will direct you to the type of survey you have to use and the type of survey administration you have to do. The survey goals also provide hints on the appropriate sample size of your survey, as well as the inclusion and exclusion criteria in terms of answering the question: “To whom should I administer the survey?”

Participant Selection

Based on the survey goals or the purpose of conducting the survey, choose the participants that will be able to effectively represent the general population. In this step of the planning phase, you should be able to determine the inclusion and exclusion criteria so only the right people can be included in the target group. For instance, if you want to do a survey about teen mothers, you should eliminate women who bore children at the age of 20 and above.

Schedule Setting

Conduct the survey in a time-bounded fashion by means of planning out a schedule. First, start with setting a date for the creating of questions. Then, set a time frame for the standardization and/or revision of the survey. After this, mark your calendar for the period of administering the surveys to the participants. Next, schedule the date for tallying, summarizing and analyzing the results of the survey.

Budget Planning

When planning a survey successfully, budget allocation should be settled. When preparing for the budget, consider first the number of people that will participate in the survey. This will give you a good estimate of how much money is needed for the reproduction of the survey.

In terms of the questions, using a standardized survey for the study may or may not require money. This depends on whether the creator of the survey allows the free use of the questionnaire or obliges payment for it. On the other hand, creating your own survey and having it standardized or verified may require payments.

Another thing that needs to be considered in planning for the budget includes the time period of conducting the survey. If you are to have a survey of a very large target group, you must set aside a budget for the compensation of people who will help you administer the survey

Full reference: 

(May 26, 2012). Planning a Survey. Retrieved Jun 19, 2024 from

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