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6 Steps of strategic survey analysis

By January 8, 2020Customer surveys
survey analysis

One of the biggest challenges facing business today is how to efficiently and productively glean meaningful insights from the overwhelming quantity of data generated in the normal course of the day. From customer purchasing habits (loyalty program data) to contact centre performance stats (gamification data) and formal survey data, there are multiple sources for internal and external to guide decision-making.

Organisational surveys are commonly used to identify and prioritise areas for business improvement. The traditional variety are an effective tool for collecting data, but tend to be respondent-focused without linking responses back to explicit business objectives. That’s where strategic surveys excel.

Strategic surveys intrinsically link content with organisational goals and objectives. The results provide a systemic view of what’s working in the business and which areas need improvement.

Strategic survey analysis in 6 steps

  1. Analyse strengths and weaknesses.
    The process begins with a look at the intra-survey strengths and weaknesses, i.e. how the items in the survey compare to each other, and the extra-survey strengths and weaknesses, i.e., how the results compare to other results from similar surveys. This is done at both the individual question level, as well as the category level.
  2. Look for patterns in the data.
    Typically, common themes will emerge. For example, when teamwork scores are low, it’s common to find problems in inter-departmental communication. These patterns give clues to the underlying circumstances of the weakness.
  3. Conduct statistical analysis.
    Often organisations need to quickly identify those areas that are most important to improve. Key Driver Analysis provides a way of selecting which areas to focus on, by calculating each area’s leverage on the ‘bottom line’ measure – overall satisfaction. The high-priority targets identified by quadrant analysis are those areas which meet two criteria: firstly they need improvement and secondly their improvement will strongly leverage overall satisfaction. The statistical relationship between each attribute is measured, as is overall satisfaction. Items with high leverage (correlation to overall satisfaction) will have more impact on satisfaction than items with low leverage. By plotting the leverage (correlation) scores and the performance scores (the percentages or average scores for each attribute), it becomes apparent which items need priority attention.
  4. Conduct comment analysis.
    Simply reading open text comments in the survey can give one a flavour for the types of issues on respondents’ minds. However, proper interpretation can be difficult if there are many individual comments. Keyword searches are used to partly overcome this.
  5. Make demographic comparisons.
    In some cases, most or all demographic subgroups (e.g., regions, departments, etc.) will feel the same about a matter. In others, there will be large differences in how these subgroups feel. There can be instances where a large subgroup is almost completely responsible for a low score for an entire organisation. Without an analysis of sub-groups, corrective action may not be as effective, since targeted action will be necessary in certain cases.
  6. Produce summary findings.
    In this stage, the consulting team will summarise findings. The end result is recommendations of key items and areas to target for improvement on an overall organisation level and at the sub-group level. Further discussions before and after this phase may be necessary.

Systemic view from multiple perspectives

Employees, distributors, dealers, franchisees and customers have unique vantage points for providing intelligence on every aspect of your business. From the effectiveness of processes and current structures, to the quality of teamwork across functional units and barriers to innovation, they can tell you the why behind the what of your survey data. So why not ask them? A strategic survey is designed to do just that, and deliver targeted results for quick management response.

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