Top 10 Tips

Online surveys 

Online surveys can be a great way of doing research, but sometimes their implementation is poor.  If you want to avoid some of the common pitfalls, here are some simple tips: Read more 


Sample Size: a sample of 200-300 is usually enough

What is the best trade-off between statistical accuracy and cost?  Do I need to do 1,000 surveys for the results to be reliable?  Usually not.   Read more 


Focus groups – beware rationalisations 

This is an obvious one but worth saying anyway. When you put us human beings in a group setting, our default is to justify our actions and opinions…. to sound rational, intelligent and logical.  Read more   


Survey length: keep it short

A client that really impressed us made sure to keep the questionnaire short.  It was of their SME customers and the average survey length came in under 4 minutes. Smart client – they got the information they wanted and they gave a very positive message to their customers (i.e. we want your opinions but we respect your time).  Our experience is that 6-8 minutes is about right for consumer surveys.  For business surveys make it less. 


‘Derived’ importance – use correlation not regression

You can ‘derive’ the relative importance of different factors using correlation or regression.  It is standard practice in research, but using regression can cause problems.    Read more  


Surveys: make use of open-ended questions

There is nothing more frustrating for a respondent when there is something they want to say but they never get the opportunity to say it.   Read more   


Calculating the margin of error

It’s handy to be able to calculate a margin of error, and you can do it in 10 seconds on your calculator.   Read more  


Rating scales – use 7–point scale for business surveys, and 5-point for consumer surveys

We prefer the 7-point scale as it gives the respondent more options to describe their level of satisfaction. It gives more ‘granularity’.   Read more  


Focus groups – get the participant details in advance 

This is just a small detail but something we’ve had positive comments on.  Read more  

The 30 second rule

We’ve all heard this one in some form or another, but it’s still a good rule.  Can I summarise the research in 30 seconds?  Read more