Article Side

Online Article Directory!

Hello Guest! Login or Register to submit articles!

The 4 Keys to Successful Data Collection

By Janet Taylor Subscribe to RSS | December 23rd 2011 | Views:

It really takes a special type of individual to manage a survey project. I’ve learned that no matter how big or small a survey is – it’s definitely more challenging and complex than you’d think. You have to have loads of patience, strong organizational skills and lots of coffee!

So here are a few tips on making your life easier when you start your next data collection venture.

1. Setting Stringent Timelines

One of the keys to a successful data collection cycle is putting into place firm timelines. It is vital to plot out each task, and all the resources related to the task for a survey. This will aid in ensuring that there is ample time for data collection deadlines and performing necessary quality assurance and testing for data integrity at the end.

Surveys are a huge undertaking that involve countless components. From managing the minutest tasks such as setting up conference calls/meetings, to the more complex tasks such as analyzing and compiling the data itself; each step needs to be properly documented in order to clearly identify responsibilities and resources. I suggest using either an Excel-based template such as a work breakdown structure (WBS) or Microsoft Project. Both tools are resourceful for managing data collection timelines.

2. Data Collection Tools

There are several methods of collecting data: online-surveys, phone interviews, focus groups and yes, even dreaded handwritten surveys. Each type possesses its own advantages and disadvantages. Whichever method you use, there are bound to be obstacles to overcome along the way.

One of the more contemporary methods of data collection is through online surveys which by the way, I am a HUGE fan of! Taking surveys online was a lifesaver at a small association I worked for. They were still, get this, collecting survey responses from paper! Talk about being stuck in a time warp. I knew I had to make changes quickly to keep my sanity. A co-worker of mine introduced me to InSite Surveys and that was all she wrote. Everything was at my fingertips: designing and customizing surveys for my data collection needs, managing responses, respondents, contacts and even a quantitative and qualitative breakdown. InSite Surveys allowed me to nearly triple the organization’s annual statistical study’s participants from 800 to 2100 respondents.

3. Incentives

One of the bigger challenges to online surveys is ensuring that there is an adequate amount of responses in order to guarantee data integrity. Without valid data, the whole project is a bust.

For those of you who struggle to increase the participation rate for your surveys, the answer is formulating a high-quality and efficient incentive campaign. There are several ways to incentivize your survey respondents. In the world of associations, we utilized a great deal of discounts and coupons good towards our conferences, education and even free publications. But you can think outside the box and come up with your own unique solutions: free iPods, gift cards and yes, even cash! The key to incentives is thinking of one (or two) that pertain to your industry and will lure respondents and sustain participation for future surveys.

4. Fresh Eyes

Probably one of the most demanding tasks of data collection is, well, the data itself. Once the data is in, someone has to be accountable for the dirty job of sifting through it all to make sure certain respondents properly entered the requested data. And if there are any data calculations involved, those need to be verified as well.

Try to find a set of fresh eyes that will assist when your eyes begin to experience “lazy eyes” with all the data you’re trying to scan through. Because after awhile all the data starts to get jumbled together and look the same.

So the next time you’re asked to take on a survey project and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about getting through it, you can implement some of these tactics and breeze through it like a pro.

Janet Taylor - About Author:
Janet Taylor writes for InSite Systems, a leader in surveys systems and a pioneer of online survey software. For more information about our online survey tool visit

Share on Facebook Tweet It Stumbleupon this post This post is delicious !

Article Source:

Related Software Articles Subscribe to RSS

Benefits of online Sales tracking and leads management software
Published by Elizabeth Cooper on March 19th 2012 | Software
The lead management software is part of the complete sales force automation process that helps in tr...
Buy laser toner cartridge online from a printer toner Canada
Published by Sophia Milller on February 21st 2012 | Computer
There are times when you are absolutely frustrated when you need to shell out huge amounts every yea...
Download new PC ones at excellent saving offers online
Published by Lamar Wisneski on February 16th 2012 | Computer
'Games on sale', 'Games on 80 percent discount' and 'one game free on the booking of other'!...
Turn your online aircraft games into real life actions with flight simulators
Published by Juegosen Guerra on May 8th 2012 | Computer
Feel the thrill of real aircraft flying and combating with enemies from air by playing exciting jue...
Take help of online Computer virus protection softwares for your PC
Published by Pawantechmagnate on March 14th 2012 | Computer
A Computer virus protection can prevent your computer from the threats a virus can pose. Some websit...
Get online pc repair for blue screen error problems
Published by Pawantechmagnate on February 15th 2012 | Computer
Ways to fix blue screen is now an easy go with the presence of several cool websites offering servic...
Purchasing laser toner cartridges online at unbeatable rates
Published by Julia Bennet on January 23rd 2012 | Computer
For ensuring smooth business operations, the laser toner cartridges prove indispensible. The toners ...
How to search for an excellent mass effect 3 online
Published by Lamar Wisneski on December 23rd 2011 | Computer
So again if you are looking for an excellent online game and an upgrade version to keep you boosted ...
Custom Management System is developing a growing need of online business
Published by Pranav Thakker on December 15th 2011 | Software
Content Management Systems (CMS) is one of the most important tool for webmasters and there are diff...
What should be the features of online restaurant booking system?
Published by Siketich Simon on April 3rd 2012 | Software
When you are in the market for an online restaurant booking system, the following are some of the fe...
Cheap laptops for sale – check out online
Published by AngeloEverton on January 11th 2012 | Computer
Very often, when we hear the word “cheap”, we tend to think cheap quality. Even when we are some...
Virtue Mart Import Extension - Contributing virtuously in online Industry
Published by Terry Littrell on July 19th 2012 | Software
A free and open source content management system, Joomla is the best bet for developing websites in ...
Different online pokies games in awesome categories
Published by Jane Cyrus on June 5th 2012 | Computer
Online pokies a well known Australian online game, these days is very popular among the players all ...
Benefits of online PC repair
Published by Pawantechmagnate on April 12th 2012 | Computer
With online PC repair facility, you can easily get your PC repaired without any hassles. Not only do...
Email marketing is an important aspect of your online strategies and getting bulk email software can ease your way in to success
Published by Jack on May 29th 2012 | Computer
Nowadays, internet consumers recognize the power and relevance of online marketing. Businesses are n...
Tips to play online pokies games for more entertainment
Published by Jane Cyrus on April 11th 2012 | Computer
Online pokies these days are most popular among the youngsters as they many rewarding wins and also ...
Quick and cost saving PC games Download online
Published by Lamar Wisneski on January 20th 2012 | Computer
What are doing these weekends? Are you planning to go out on a long trip or you are going to pass yo...
Tips on purchasing the best Brother Toner Cartridges online
Published by Avena Sowell on May 4th 2012 | Computer
Finding a good quality brother toner cartridge might prove to a bit challenging at times but with th...
How to share video online to YouTube?
Published by Joyce.Q on November 29th 2011 | Software
Do you want to find a easier way to share video or picture on You Tube, Flickr, Tudou, Youku or othe...
Hire PHP Developers to enhance your online business
Published by Vivekcis on December 30th 2011 | Software
Hiring php programmer for your business is a good idea. These programmers can help in designing and ...