Spotlight A: Four different types of survey

In Spotlight A, I talk about four different types of survey:

Four types of surveys illustrated: Descriptive, which gives you a number - or here percentages - that tell you something Comparative, illustrated by a line graph which reveals how the numbers are changing over time Modeling, illustrated by a series of linked lines representing factors that affect the outcome Exploratory, illustrated by a sailing ship, gathering whatever information it can.
Four types of surveys, Illustration by Tasia Graham
  • definition
  • comparative (also called tracker)
  • modelling
  • exploratory

This model was inspired by Robert Groves’ book Survey Errors and Survey Costs (Wiley, 2004)

Total Survey Error as a starting point

The Survey Octopus is my way of helping readers get to grips with one of the most important concepts in running and designing Surveys That Work: Total Survey Error.  Among the early reading I did that led me to understand the importance of Total Error was an article by Paul J. Lavrakas: ‘Applying a Total Error Perspective for Improving Resarch Quality in the Social, Behavioral, and Marketing Sciences‘,  (Public Opinion Quarterly, October 2013, 77(3): 831-850).