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5 min

How to choose the best survey provider for accurate data

Surveys can be costly and time consuming, we explain how to choose the best survey provider for best results

Navya Lamba
Jul 13, 2022

Choose the best survey provider for your needs

A survey provider can prove to be a valuable asset to a market research company. Even if you are not a market researcher, in today’s world we know that data is king. One of the best ways to collect data to get actionable insights is through surveys. However, market research and surveys as a whole can be a very costly method. A study finds that due diligence surveys can cost between $15000 to $35000 for B2C research and $20000 to $50000 for B2B research. Therefore, it is imperative that you choose the best survey provider for your research.

Have a look at the article we did on B2B market research if you want to learn more. Additionally, there’s a number of emerging technologies in market research that guarantee quick and cost efficient results. On the other side, there are still a lot of unknowns about these technologies to be able to use them to produce best results. That is why it is important to choose the best survey provider for your data needs.

What is accurate data and why do you need it?

Data is behind everything, be it ROI, resource allocation, consumer needs, industry analysis. But, what is accurate data? Accurate data is basically data that is free from errors so you can depend on it. A business needs accurate data for a number of reasons. How does a business track its' performance? How do managers know where their company stands? All this is done through accurate and unbiased data. 

Data analysis is the only way to give an on the ground view of what's going on in the market. Analysis can only be done if the data is genuine and free from any errors, or loopholes. Therefore, it will be essential for the best survey provider to ensure the accuracy of data collected regularly.

How to ensure accuracy of data?

Is it easy to get raw data that is unbiased? It definitely is not and it is even harder to trust the data to make decisions worth of millions. Thus, we look into the steps to follow which might help you distinguish the data quality better.

1. Streamline data collection

The process of data analysis begins with data collection, so it is crucial you follow the right approach. There is no end to data collection, you can keep on gathering vast amounts of information. But knowing that not all data collected is relevant, is what the best survey providers do. The best survey provider will have a goal in mind and will only collect data for that purpose. 

2. Clean your data on a regular basis

You might be wondering what clean data is. The definition is similar to accurate data. Dirty data is data that is incorrect, incomplete, or otherwise has some errors. To obtain clean data, the best survey provider will perform data cleansing. Data cleansing is a component of overall data management and preparation. This is done, again to ensure accuracy and reliability. 

3. Consistency and data integration

If you collect data from multiple sources, the data may not be consistent. It will be a priority for the best survey provider to ensure data is consistent across the board. For instance, the UK could appear as ‘United Kingdom’ somewhere in the data set and as ‘UK’ elsewhere. Similarly, the best survey provider will have a data management platform that facilitates data integration.

4. Data segmentation

If your data is clean and free of errors, but you still have trouble interpreting it, the next step is data segmentation. For this step, you have to keep in mind what you’re trying to achieve from data analysis and which questions you want answered. Then you can group data into segments, so you can zero in on specific patterns and trends.

How to choose the best survey provider?

So what are the steps to choose the best survey provider from all the ones available in the market?

1. Consider the source and number of respondents on the survey provider’s platform

To get the most accurate data, you need to ensure that the quality of survey respondents is also the best. Make sure that the survey provider has a pool of respondents that are representative of your target profile. Check with them about how they recruit and on-board respondents. The best survey provider will custom recruit contributors and vet them to check their identity.

At GrapeData, experienced individuals from all industries simply download our app. They get paid to complete personalised assignments based on their background. Contributors receive assignments specific to their experiences. These can be anything from data research projects to surveys. We also use geolocation and meta data to vet our respondents.

2. Survey programming and scripting surveys

Survey programming refers to making the survey requirements into a questionnaire such that actionable insights can be inferred from it. Survey scripting is the process of asking the right questions to the respondents. This is so that accurate data can be collected. Therefore, survey programming and scripting are essential for data accuracy. If you need help crafting the perfect survey script and program for your global B2B survey, GrapeData has got you covered! Check out our website for more information. If you want to learn more about survey programming and scripting, check out our blog.

3. Experience and reputation in the industry

It may be obvious that you need an experienced and reputed firm in the field of surveys. But, also consider subject matter and target population related expertise. Ask if the survey provider has prior experience reaching the target pool of respondents you want. Also look at LinkedIn bios of project managers and business development teams. This will give you an idea of what kind of experience and expertise they have. 

4. Go beyond the survey

When the data collection process for surveys is over, the analysis begins. When you find the best survey provider, make sure that they go beyond the survey. If you want detailed analysis and they stop at data collection, consider looking elsewhere. Ideally, they should not just deliver data, but also explain how the data makes sense.

5. Flexibility and problem solving

The best survey provider should collect data in multiple formats, such as e-mail, telephone, and in-person. They should not only understand your project needs, but be able to adapt to them as the project environment changes. To add to that, you should know whether the survey provider is able to recognise design issues that may bring errors. Consider if the survey provider is able to offer you different strategies based on the project. If they are not able to tailor their approach, then it may be an issue. This is because generic strategies don't work for every project. 

6. Transparency and Accountability

Survey providers should be expected to include clear descriptions of the respondent recruiting process, data collection methods, response rate disclosures etc. When picking a survey provider, ensure that they are transparent and accountable in all their processes.

7. Connections and clients provide value to your business

A survey provider’s connections can add valuable skills, and experience to your survey. However, it's important to understand how these connections might interact with your project.  When you look at a survey provider’s reputation, check other companies that they have worked with. Also, check if they have done remarkable projects or have been in the news. While signing with them, see which tasks will be done in house and which ones will be outsourced.

If you still need guidance, we are here. At GrapeData we conduct both B2B and B2C global surveys. GrapeData is a technology-supported survey panel that focuses on B2B panels for commercial due diligence surveys. We place emphasis on hard to reach audiences. We have over half a million contributors on our platform. Follow us on our social media platforms to stay up to date.