What Is a Sample Survey?

A sample survey is a survey that is selective about where they "sample" answers from. It does not gather data from the entire community but rather, selects only groups or individuals as a basis for information-gathering.

How to Create a Sample Survey

When creating a sample survey, you have to take into consideration the factors you want to be present (will the data be randomly gathered or be particular in nature?). There are also a few more tips you need to know in making this type of simple survey and they can be found below:

1. Give the Aim of the Survey

Is it a questionnaire for customer satisfaction survey? A preparatory survey for the release of a new product? Maybe even an international survey for tracking population growth? Whatever the reason, make sure that the respondent is aware of two things: the aim and purpose of what the survey is all about, and that the information they provide (like name, age, answers, etc.) is held confidential and will be for research purposes only. This will both make you more credible, give you a more likely chance of people answering, and it assures the respondents that their identity is kept private.

2. Make Questions Easy to Comprehend

Questions made up of hard-to-understand words may spoil your answers simply because your respondent did not know what you meant by your inquiry. Think of it this way, if you want people to answer your question, and you're looking for answers that fit the question, don't blame a faulty answer because of how the respondent interprets the question. Use everyday words that people use all the time; it'll save you a lot of revision time.

3. Decide Your Selection Methodology

Most sample surveys choose one of two methods: the probability-based and the non-probability based selection methodology. Here are the differences between both:

  • Probability-based Selection Methodology – is the method of sampling where people are randomly and equally selected for the purpose of equal opportunities to participate in your study.
  • Non-probability based Selection Methodology – is the method of sampling where factors like the researcher's convenience, ease of accessibility to individuals, or other factors can affect who can participate in the study and does not give equal opportunity to everyone.

Both methodologies have their merits and disadvantages (more on that later) so choose the one that best suits your research and work from there.

4. Have Relevant Options

This may seem like an obvious statement, but it's still something you shouldn't slip up on. When making questions for your sample survey that has options like that of a questionnaire, do make them relevant to your topic. What's the point of making a customer satisfaction sample survey when the options presented are not related to the question in the purpose you want your survey to serve.

5. Know Your Limits

With each methodology, or style of a training survey (questionnaire, interview, invitation, etc.), there will always be certain limits. Much like the inequality of a non-probability-based selection methodology or the effort and resources required in a probability-based method, know and understand the limits of your sample survey so that you do not have to resort to cherrypicking your data and present the absolute and needed truth.

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