Surveys measure by gathering responses to questions. The responses can be to open-ended questions, e.g. “What is the one thing you like most about…?” The responses can be scalable (with responses such as, “strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree nor disgree, agree, strong agree” being asigned a numeric value between 1 and 5). Or they can be non-scalable, e.g. “choose all that apply.” In each instance the participant gives their input through a reponse which is then the basis for the scores or in the case of written comments the aggregated data for each question.
Click on one of the links to the left to learn more about Types of Survey Questions, or Core vs. Optional Questions.
Basic survey design allows for the use of a cluster of scalable questions called “categories” whose scores provide a way of evaluating the areas designated in the survey design. If for instance the category is “Immediate Supervisor,” then questions in that category might measure the Supervisor’s 1) availability, 2) clarity in giving feedback, 3) fairness and 4) knowledge. The scores of each of these are rolled up together to give the category score. In general these are most accurate when the cluster itself contains at least 4 – 6 questions.
Indices are groups of questions and/or categories which when looked at together indicate a connection or pattern. If individual questions are part of an index, they may come from different categories. For instance, there are a variety of factors to be considered in determining the overall level of employee engagement. By selecting questions from a variety of categories that appear on an Employee Opinion Survey, an Engagement Index can be built to measure this overall level. More than one index can exist within the same survey to measure different areas of interest.
The meaning of the term “dimension” varies in general practice. Some survey practitioners use the term “dimension” for indices. Some use the term “dimensions” to describe categories. For this reason, Opinions Incorporated has chosen not to use this term.
Key to the effective use of questions, categories and indices is design. Well designed questions, categories and indices produce clear and actionable results. Poorly constructed questions, indices and categories lead to poor data and increase the risk that action based on the results will hurt rather than help the initiative the survey is launched to support.
For More Information: To find out more about how Opinions Incorporated can help you improve your business results with a well-designed survey click here, to receive a quote click here, or call 314-645-8585.