The Pew Research Center is a Washington, D.C.-based, non-partisan think tank that “…informs the public about issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.” It accomplishes much of this through surveys, polls and other types of research.But considering that a majority of American households no longer regularly use a landline — which was the primary way surveys were conducted in the past — I wondered how they’re able collect their survey data.
In order to find adequate, statistically accurate samples, Pew still uses traditional survey methods such as dialing random landlines and oversampling. But recognizing the realities of our increasingly unplugged society, Pew also collects data using web surveys, mobile phones, paper questionnaires and even in-person interviews.
Though this has failed to stem the tide of declining response rates, Pew’s commitment to rigorous methodology and finding new avenues to collect data has ensured the samples they are able to collect are accurate and representative.
If your business or organization conducts online surveys, they can learn a lot from the Pew model. Even if your audience is fragmented, you need a way to reach them. SoGoSurvey allows you to reach your audience in a variety of ways including email, social media and SMS. You can also embed your surveys onto your website or blog and allow your respondents to forward your survey to their contacts.
Leveraging these multiple channels is useless, however, if your data is corrupt. As a result, our platform places a premium on maintaining data integrity. Besides the Distribution Report, which allows you to track survey participation, SoGoSurvey’s Data Cleansing Module gives you easy options to clean your data.
Although traditional survey methods are increasingly ineffective, there are still ways to collect valuable and actionable data. You just have to be willing to cast a wider ‘net.