If you want to compare survey results - either across your organization or over time - it can be useful to identify a set of core questions and supplement that set of questions with optional questions, as needed.
Core questions form a set of questions that remains the same across an organization and over time. These questions rarely, if ever, change.
For example, let's say you are doing an employee survey. You might want to compare the scores of different locations or business units, departments or work groups to one another. If your "core" questions are designed to focus on issues that are strategic to your enterprise and consistent throughout your organization, then they will be relevant to all of your employees and comparing them might help you find areas of best practice or areas that are performing poorly on specific measures. We can include your historical data in your Interactive Report Viewer (IRV™), so that you would also be able to compare the results over time. This will help you to measure the effectiveness of the action plans you implement to try to improve scores in specific areas.
As long as you are going to be surveying your employees, there might be questions that you would like to ask that are only relevant to a particular business unit or location or are only relevant this year (perhaps you are reviewing your benefits package and want to get some input on what is important to your employees). We call these questions "optional" and they can be easily changed as needed.
Core and optional questions can be used on any survey, whether you are surveying employees or customers, if the survey will be applied to more than one business unit or location, or will be repeated on a regular basis.