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Advantages and Disadvantages of Survey

A survey refers to a technique in which a question or set of questions are posed to a large number of people in order to understand what the majority of people do or believe about something. Measurement & applied social research both depend heavily on survey research. It covers a wide range of practices that involve posing questions to certain responses.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Survey

A survey might range from a quick feedback form to a thorough, in-depth interview that aims to collect details on certain scenarios, occasions, or circumstances. You can divide surveys into two general categories: interviews and questionnaires, despite the fact that researchers can use a variety of application approaches using this tool.

Advantages of Survey

1. Economical source

One of the most affordable ways to collect quantitative data currently available is through surveys. One option is to forego in-person interviews by using self-administered questionnaires, which indicates that you have quick access to a vast amount of data from a wide demography. This option can be added to your website, sent through email, or posted on a social network page. Some of these techniques don't even require any money because they rely on volunteer work to post and gather the data. To acquire the maximum response rate possible and produce a more accurate result, robust targeting is required.

2. Useful tool

Surveys are a useful way to learn more about a particular topic. You can either manage them in a variety of ways or focus on them for a specific demography. You are in charge of deciding what queries are asked and how they are formatted. Information can be gathered in real-time using polls, questionnaires, quizzes, open-ended questions, & multiple-choice questions so that the response is immediately helpful.

3. Quick results can be achieved

Thanks to modern mobile and web tools, surveys may deliver findings quickly and comfortably. Outcomes from this form of data collection normally come as soon as one day, and occasionally they come in even quicker depending on the scope and depth of your inquiries. Due to the fact that these questionnaires provide you with information right away, you are no longer required to wait for the other business to provide the solutions you require. That implies that you can begin making selections as soon as feasible.

4. Mass coverage

With a well-designed survey, you may collect information from participants of any size. Thanks to the global reach of the Internet, you can now ask anyone in the world a question. Sending them a hyperlink to the website where you request their information will do the trick. By automating this procedure, businesses can improve the effectiveness of their enhanced customer operations. Surveys can be used by marketers to develop lead nurturing efforts. This strategy also benefits scientific study since it can produce societal insights at an individual level that other approaches are unable to.

5. It enables records to come from numerous sources simultaneously

You can use several data points gathered from different geographic places when you design a survey to fulfill the demands of a demography. Today, there are fewer limitations on employing this method than ever before because everyone has access to the internet. Due to cultural differences between other nations, there are several difficulties associated with this advantage. If you run a global survey, you should go over every question to make sure no offence was mistakenly answered.

6. You can compare findings

Survey data can be quantified by researchers, and the data can then be utilized to contrast and compare the findings of other research projects. The information can be used to measure change thanks to this advantage. This implies that a survey that is distributed monthly or annually gains value over time. The picture you're trying to analyze will become considerably clearer once you've gathered a sizable volume of data. Surveys provide you with the chance to come up with fresh ideas or spot emerging trends to open up new opportunities.

7. It provides an easy-to-understand analysis and data presentation

By design, most surveys are quantitative. This method offers the benefit of a simple analytical procedure, allowing for immediate visualization of the outcomes. This implies that the task of understanding the outcomes can begin without a data scientist being present. To make the presentation process easier, you can use third-party software solutions that can transform this data into useful reports, charts, and tables.

8. The confidentiality of survey participants is maintained.

There is a great potential to maintain respondents' anonymity if you decide to employ online or email surveys. With postal questionnaires, complete anonymity is also a possibility, giving researchers the opportunity to enhance the comfort levels of those who provide replies. This special advantage is made possible by the fact that even phone conversations don't require in-person meetings. Researchers have the chance to gather data more accurately when participants are confident that their comments won't be immediately correlated with their reputation.

9. It is a less time-intensive research tool

Comparatively speaking to other research techniques, surveys have fewer time restrictions. There is nobody waiting for a prompt response on the other side of an email or postal survey. It follows that a respondent may spend more time completing each response in the most convenient manner. Given that having a researcher there can frequently result in socially desired replies, this advantage is another approach to encourage greater honesty in the results.

10. It covers every element of any subject

The freedom to ask as many queries as you wish is another important benefit that surveys offer. It is advantageous to make individual questionnaires succinct because a respondent can find a drawn-out process annoying. Creating an experience with fewer than ten questions generally produces the best outcomes. Doing several surveys with an easy delivery method is not harmful because this is a cheap way to collect data. With the help of this feature, you can choose to discuss as many facets of a given issue as you like in order to develop a thorough profile.

Disadvantages of Survey

1. High chances of false responses

When you conduct anonymous surveys, the chance of getting an untruthful response is reduced, but it does not go away totally. Some people wish to assist researchers in reaching the precise conclusion they believe the procedure is aiming for. Based on how respondents interact with questionnaires, there is also some social desirability bias present in the data. By assuring people that their confidentiality is a major priority and ensuring that the procedure you utilize prevents personal data leaks, you can mitigate part of this disadvantage. Still, you can't always solve the issue.

2. High chances of unanswered queries

There is a chance that some queries will go unanswered or be skipped over if you elect to conduct a survey to collect data. Respondents may decide not to answer some questions if they are not compelled to. Utilizing an online tool that makes responding to questions a necessary part of each stage is an easy method to overcome this drawback. Then, be sure to keep your survey brief and to the purpose to prevent individuals from giving up entirely.

3. Individual interpretations of the survey items may vary

When researchers choose to employ a survey in place of other research methodologies, a lot of information may be lost in translation. The results can be rather subjective if no one is available to fully explain a questionnaire. Everyone must be given the chance to comprehend the procedure, at least in part, if you want to promote truthful responses. Even though the content may have been straightforward to the persons who wrote it, it is common for respondents to have trouble understanding some questions. The survey's results will slant in the wrong direction whenever there is a communication breakdown. Making the questions as straightforward as feasible is the only way to get around this issue.

4. It's difficult for surveys to convey emotion

An emotional reaction to the questions in a survey is not well captured, then counter. This data can only be gathered by conducting in-person interviews with each responder. Body language, including facial emotions, can provide nuance to a dialogue that is impossible when someone is answering an online survey. While attempting to understand feelings in data, some researchers run into difficulties. It is possible to attempt to simulate the concept of emotion using a sliding-scale reaction that includes different degrees of agreement or disagreement. Still, it isn't exactly the same as being present in the same space as someone. Multiple-choice questions will never be a more effective method of information collecting than assertion and strength.

5. It can be difficult to categorize some responses

Due to the nature of surveys, a large amount of information is produced. You can generate open-ended queries that can be difficult to interpret, graph agreement and otherwise disagreement in particular areas, or tabulate multiple-choice questions. Individualized responses can generate a lot of insightful data, but they might also give you non-quantifiable information. It will take a lot of time to assess the results if you include multiple questions of this kind in a questionnaire. There shouldn't be any open-ended questions on more than 10% of the survey. If the queries are difficult or annoying, you might discover that the data you must carefully review is largely meaningless.

6. Chances of biased responses

Any sort of research can encounter the issue of respondent bias. Your ideology, service, or product may be of interest to survey respondents. Other people may decide to engage in your study because of the subject matter of your enquiry. These problems can produce an inequality problem among participants who either view the process as unduly favourable or negative, which can result in inaccurate data collection. Utilizing efficient pre-screening technologies that employ indirect questions that reveal this bias will help you avoid this drawback of survey research.

7. There isn't the same level of personalization in surveys.

Any marketing campaign will come off as impersonal if you don't spend the effort to personalize it. It can be difficult to develop any enthusiasm for this activity because there is no benefit promised to the responder. After all, the data you wish to gather on a survey is generic by nature. The thought of completing a generic form can turn some people off, causing them to give up on the procedure. This problem is particularly challenging if your questionnaire is taken online voluntarily without the need for an email signup or a recent purchase.

8. Inaccuracy in Responses

Every researcher expects those survey participants will thoughtfully reply to the questions that are stated. The issue with this is that there isn't any way to determine whether the individual completing the questionnaire truly understands the information given to them. Even the assumption that someone read the question carefully before responding is not a guarantee. Sometimes choices are made before the query, and all of the responses have been read in full. Some survey participants scroll through queries or make snap decisions without even reading the text. The data gathered will always contain some degree of error because there is no way to predict when this problem will arise.

9. Accessibility concerns may impact some surveys

Researchers that use surveys are always at risk from a lack of accessibility. For those with hearing or visual impairments, this choice may not be suited. For this process to be completed, literacy is frequently required. To eliminate this potential drawback, these factors should be taken into account throughout the planning phases of the study. Make an attempt to select a platform that already includes the accessibility features you require.

10. Some responders may actually experience survey fatigue

As a result of this drawback, there are two problems that arise. Before someone even sees your questionnaire, there is an issue. Respondent is inherently less likely to take part in a research endeavour because they feel overburdened by the increasing quantity of requests for information. As a result, the overall response rate is decreased. The issue of weariness that develops during a survey is another. When someone thinks the questionnaire is excessively long or has questions that appear out of place, this problem arises. A poor completion rate is indeed the result; thus, you can identify when this issue is present. To prevent problems with this disadvantage, make the process as simple as possible.


Sometimes surveys have a bad reputation. Due to the unpopularity of this form of data collection during the 1990s, researchers have observed a fall in response rates. Everyone attempts to utilize it online because it is a cheap way to get data for making decisions, which partly contributes to this view.

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