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5 min

3 steps to run a data survey for a research project

A debrief on how to run a data survey for a research project

Sep 25, 2022
B2B market research
B2C market research

What is a data survey?

A data survey is run to collect information about the ground realities of a market or an economy. It can be run in any industry such as retail, consumer goods, or information technology. A data survey helps research companies gather information quickly and easily. 

The first step to running a successful survey is defining your strategy. This means creating a plan that will guide you through the process of collecting and analysing the results of your data survey. For example, a data survey could be run to assess volatility across different geographies. For instance, Bain&Company recently ran a survey to assess how tech could help companies deal with today’s market uncertainty. The article builds on the Harvard Business Review’s two-engine concept for business growth. Check out both articles for more information!

You could also collect demographic information like age, gender, and income level to define your target audience in each landscape. The next step would be to gather survey respondents. Essentially, survey respondents could be inferred from multiple sources. These sources include static lists or online panel providers. Lastly, you would collect the data to analyse it. Once you have all the information, you are ready to finalise your data survey. 

Steps to run a data survey 

If the survey isn’t run correctly, a lot of things can go wrong. If a survey is not run correctly, it can lead to a number of problems. One of the biggest issues is that the results may not be representative of the general population. This means that the data will be skewed and may not accurately represent what's happening in reality. It also means that any conclusions drawn from this data will also be inaccurate.

Another issue is that if there are too many questions on a survey, respondents might feel like they're being bombarded with information. This could cause them to disengage from the survey. Or if there aren't enough questions, it could lead to an incomplete picture of what's going on in your business. To avoid this, let’s look at some of the steps to successfully run a data survey:

1. Define your data survey strategy

The first step of running a data survey for a research project is defining your data survey strategy. You will need to take the time to define the problem before you start clearly. This is important because it will help you make sure that you are asking the right questions and targeting the right audience. It also helps guide your design process, so that when you run into issues with certain aspects of your survey, you can make adjustments early on in order to avoid setbacks later on.

The importance of setting goals before starting any project cannot be understated. If there are no clear-cut objectives or milestones set prior to beginning work then there's nothing stopping things from going off course midstream! This applies not only across multiple data surveys but also within each survey itself.

2. Build your survey

The first step to creating a data survey is to define its purpose and what you hope to achieve through it. Why are you running this research? What questions do you want to be answered? How will it help shape policy or practice in your organisation, field, or industry? Are there any specific events that triggered this need for research? What resources do you have available for conducting this type of analysis—i.e., who can help with coding and analysis after collecting responses from participants? These questions should all be considered when deciding how best to proceed with building out a survey design. They could also be part of the pre-survey process as well.

3. Analyse the results from your data survey

Once you have a set of results, it's important to analyse the data. You can use this information to make decisions about your business. You'll be able to:

  • Make your research more efficient. By identifying what customers really want, you can create processes that make their experience with your company as pleasant and smooth as possible.
  • Make your research project profitable by identifying those most likely to buy from you again and from whom it would be worthwhile targeting sales efforts (such as through advertising).
  • Increase competitiveness by showing other companies what it is that consumers want most in terms of products and services, which will allow them to either keep up with or pass over competitors.

Where to find help on a data survey?

A data collection panel helps simplify the process for your survey. Panels work to connect respondents with companies using intelligent technologies.  It is important to choose the correct panel for you. Market research can be an expensive process to undertake. If you do not get actionable insights from your survey, you may lose a significant investment. So, there’s a hefty cost associated with conducting a data survey. This is why it’s important to select the right collection panel for your data survey.

Additionally, your project may have needs that are unique to your company. Therefore, it is important to set goals for your survey before starting the survey. You need to think about what is the end goal you want from your data survey. Additionally, cost and time considerations are also important. Usually, companies look for the highest quality information from a data survey. At GrapeData, we pride ourselves on quality. We custom-recruit survey respondents using geolocation and AI. With over 300k contributors on our platform, we source the highest quality respondents for your data survey. If you want to learn more about Do’s and Don'ts for a data survey, you can check our blog post. Let’s summarise some of them below:


1. Make sure you have a clear purpose for your survey, and that it's something you can measure. For example, if you're trying to get feedback on an idea for a new product, focus on what aspects of the idea are most and least appealing.

2. Send out reminders about the survey so you get as many responses as possible (and don't forget to thank people for participating).

3. Make sure your survey is easy to fill out—don't make people write long answers or enter long numbers into boxes where they might make mistakes by accident!

4. Keep your surveys short: if people are bored with reading their way through a long questionnaire, they probably won't finish it at all! So try to keep yours under 20 minutes at most if possible.


1 Don’t ask leading questions. If you ask if people would like something, then your customers will feel pressured into saying yes. Instead, ask open-ended questions that let people speak freely.

2. Do not use jargon or buzzwords that are unfamiliar to most people who might take your survey. Your goal is to make sure everyone understands what's being asked of them.

3. Don’t use language that is too formal, or sounds like it comes from an advertisement. You want your survey participants to feel comfortable answering it honestly.

Read our article to know more Do’s and Don’ts for your survey.

Summing up a data survey

Surveys are an important tool for gathering data and gaining insight into your customers. But if you don't take the time to plan out your survey, you could end up with inaccurate results. Or worse—you might not get any results at all!

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post and we hope you feel ready to get started on your own survey. If there are any questions that remain unanswered, please feel free to contact us at sales@grape-data.com. We're here to help you with your data survey!

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