Purpose of Surveys

Surveys are taken for many different purposes. They are a manner in which business and other entities gather information for evaluation. Information that is collected for surveys give insight on trends, markets, and other areas of interest depending upon what someone wants to gain knowledge about. The purpose of a survey also, is to question different groups of individuals on different matters, and then assessing the data for pertinent information relevant to the areas of question.

Just as surveys are taken for different purposes, there are also different types of surveys. The most commonly given surveys are also taken in different forms. The types of surveys that are most common are telephone surveys. Telephone surveys: allows a person to be more candid in their opinions with no face to face action required (Bluman, 2010). Telephone surveyors, have the task of calling individuals and hoping they are able to get someone to stay on the phone long enough to complete a survey. These individuals are known as telemarketers, for the reason that telephone surveys for the most part are for researching various market trends.

Another type of survey is a mail survey, where questionnaires are sent to individuals in the mail. Mailed questionnaire: are used to cover a wider geographical area than telephone or personal interview surveys (Bluman, 2010). Even though these surveys can reach more individuals than telephone surveys, it doesn’t mean all the surveys sent out will be answered and returned. Usually mailed surveys receive a “low number of responses and inappropriate answers to the questions (Bluman, 2010).

Another survey, which is much more dependable, is a person interview. This type of survey allows individuals to be more precise in their answers, and give more information as to what they are specifying. A personal interview survey is an excellent way for businesses to question employees regarding working conditions and other work related matters. If the surveyor is allowed to choose who they will interview, whether or not the survey is biased is questionable. A disadvantage to this survey method is the interviewer may be biased in their selection of respondents (Bluman, 2010).

To ensure that answer that are given when you do participate in a survey, you should make sure there is a statement in the survey, or given orally, that your privacy is guaranteed. This privacy is ensured through The Confidential Information and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA). This act ensures that information provided to statistical agencies for statistical purposes under a pledge of confidentiality can be used only for statistical purposes, and that individuals’ or organizations’ data confidential data should be kept confidential (Privacy and Confidentiality).

Whether or not a survey is unbiased is always an area of concern. The best way to assure that a survey is unbiased is through randomness. By surveying individuals from all different areas including, gender, race, economic status and other sociological aspects, will ensure that the surveys will produce unbiased results.

Planning for a survey and having the proper amount of time in which to conduct and complete a survey is very beneficial to the end results. Having the right amount of time to conduct a survey will give the surveyor the opportunity to ask the questions, and make sure the respondent understands the question, as well as giving the respondent ample time to think about the question, give a response and making changes if necessary to the response. References:

Privacy and Confidentiality (2009), Laws and Regulations about Privacy and Confidentiality, retrieved February 20, 2011 from, http://www.amstat.org/committees/pc/laws.html. Bluman, A.G. (2010). Elementary statistics, 5th ed.. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.