Tuesday, April 3, 2012

27 March 2012

A large part of our work involves gathering the professional opinions of many people, and although there are many ways to do this, our most frequent design is the focus group panel followed by a large scale survey. The survey is typically held online, as the days of pencil-and-paper surveys are about gone.

Dillman might even have rewritten his survey methodology book to accommodate this fundamental change in administration. Let's hope so. Wait. I think Dillman's dead, and he got a rewrite anyway. Still, I suspect he could use another.

To make these surveys happen, we work with the wife of one of my grad school buds. Said wife consults on a good many things, and we engage her for survey design and implementation. Surveys, like many other things, are not so much written and built as much as they are rewritten and rebuilt. Think about it: If you ask someone for an opinion, you're likely to get one, and now you need to include the upshot of that opinion in the revision.

Our survey manager works tirelessly and without complaint. She puts edits and changes into place within moments of receipt. This means we are able to respond to requests nearly in real time, and that makes us look good. Of course, you're likely aware of just how hard it is to make me look good, and for that miraculous feat, I'm sending her a card.  

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