The Impact of Moving Offline Surveys Online

We’ve been talking a lot recently about alternative approaches to data collection, including the rapidly growing use of tools like social media and mobile devices. We just posted yesterday about the prediction made by Vaughn Mordecai that these alternative approaches will finely see mainstream traction in 2011. But while we’re pretty sure this is going to happen, how much have we thought about the impact that will have on the way surveys are designed, structured and executed, and on how we analyze the results?

In a recent Point of View article, Survey Sampling International (SSI) provides a list of many of the different ways in which the results of a study may be impacted by conducting it using online versus offline methods. The list includes everything from sample coverage (households who may not have the same access to technology as others), to mode effects (impact on honesty without an interviewer present, the role of visual cues, the use of graphics, and so on). The article also includes some analysis and recommendations for those moving their studies online.

Have you recently moved any studies online that were previously conducted using offline techniques? What kind of impact have you see on your results?

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About Joshua Hoffman

Joshua Hoffman is Technology Specialist at Microsoft and a frequent contributor to Research Access.

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