So you’ve created and launched a survey after identifying a critical business issue that you needed addressed, now what? Your next, and final, step is to get creative in how you solve your business issue, by getting creative in how you analyze your data.
The final phase of creating a survey is to analyze the data you collected. This can be one of the most daunting aspects of your survey, but with a little perseverance you can identify areas for improvement, strengths, as well as find surprising insights that you may have never imagined. The data that appears in your results can provide actionable insights that can make or break your business, and by diligently analyzing those responses you’re setting yourself, and your business, up to have an edge over your competitors, and positively impact your bottom line.
Most importantly, do not accept the data at face value. You must move beyond descriptive statistics. For example, say 70 percent of respondents like your new proposed widget. What does that mean for you? What if you sliced the data and revealed that, while 70 percent of overall respondents liked it, only 35 percent of your target audience liked the new widget design. This is the kind of actionable information that you could bring back to your product development team that will help them in future product iterations, to ensure that the target demographics’ preferences are being met.
Reviewing the data from a number of angles is important, because insights and correlations can be found by taking a step back, and determining which piece of the data is most important to solving your business issue. Go back to your initial research question to remind yourself what problem you were trying to address. Then examine the data to determine which response sets most closely answer that original inquiry. At that point, you can broaden your search and compare question responses between socioeconomic level and demographics. Compare those results to other question responses to see if you can derive a correlation between answers. This is where you’ll discover abstract data points that can provide actionable direction for you and your team about the next business steps you should take to achieve success.
Here is the final item on your survey to-do list: act on your data. You’ve analyzed your data, and determined what the most valuable insights are, so now you need to start making adjustments. Too many companies issue research studies, and then the results sit in a desk drawer, instead of being used to affect change at the company. Information direct from your company’s valued partners is a quality, qualitative asset that should be used to implement improvements. Because if you weren’t going to make any changes, what was the point of asking questions?