What Do I Do With My Survey Responses?

What Do I Do With My Survey Responses?

  • 5 min read

Congratulations, you just finished collecting responses from your survey! Now what? Gathering responses was only the first step. Not only does SurveyPlanet make creating surveys easy, but also exporting and interpreting the data. Learn what to do with your survey responses after you collect them with our tips below.

Clean Your Data

Before you start diving deep into data analysis, it’s important to clean out your data. Cleaning your data eliminates any outliers that may throw off your final results. It also helps ensure all your data is relevant and from a real person, not a bot.

When combing through your answers, look out for the following warning signs:

Fast Completion Times – You should know the average time it takes someone to complete your survey. If there are any completion times well under that time, flag these as suspicious.

Odd Answer Patterns – If the answers are following some sort of pattern that doesn’t reflect accurate or thoughtful answers, but is instead choosing answers based on a pattern, it’s probably safe to assume this participant didn’t answer truthfully or a bot completed it.

Inconsistent Answers – On longer surveys, it’s common to ask respondents to choose a certain answer to ensure they are actually reading the questions. A question might ask a respondent to “Choose answer C if you are paying attention.” This is an easy way to eliminate responses after the survey has finished for more conclusive data.

Choosing All Checkboxes – Another red flag to watch out for is participants who choose all checkboxes on answers. This shows that they aren’t reading the questions because they’re too busy speeding through the survey.

Nonsense Answers or Skipping Open-Ended Questions – If your survey asks short answer questions and a respondent either doesn’t respond or gives nonsense answers, it’s safe to throw these answers out of the data pool.

Once you clean your survey responses from outliers, using survey responses to determine conclusions will be far more accurate.

Export Survey Data

SurveyPlanet gives you the option to export your survey data in several different formats. This makes using survey responses easier for you depending on your needs. Choose to export your survey responses into a PDF, CSV, Excel, JSON or Word format. If you want to import your data into an analysis software or simply view it as an easy-to-read PDF, SurveyPlanet makes it easy to accomplish with our different export options. Exporting your survey data gives you an offline file that is easily shareable with other colleagues, software or analysis experts. It’s always a good idea to save each file type somewhere safe in case you ever need to reference it again.

Analyze Survey Data

Next it’s time to analyze your survey results. Before you start, think back to your survey learning objectives. Why did you send the survey? What were you hoping to learn from it? Answering these questions will help you inform your survey analysis.

First, start by determining how you will derive data and conclusions from written answers in your survey. One of the first ways to analyze the responses is by tracking keyword frequencies or how respondents use particular terms. For example, if you want to gain insight about a new product you launched, you could search for the term in all the survey results to see comments about that product or how people responded when asked about it. You can also rate each of the responses as negative or positive based on the words used, or create a visualization of the most commonly used words. Complete this process for every learning objective you want answers to.

For multiple-choice survey questions, the analysis is a bit different. There’s no real manual labor involved. Your survey response data will show you how many people answered each question differently. If you asked demographic questions, it will also give you that insight. This will let you know who took your survey and the most common responses to questions. It’s also essential to look for trends in your survey data. Trends can give you an idea of what the majority of your respondents are thinking and feeling.

Another way to analyze your survey data is by segmenting the responses based on certain variables. If you sent the survey to respondents in different segments like existing customers, new customers or inactive customers, it’s important to analyze their data separately to understand them individually.

Create Reports

Once you have analyzed your data, it’s time to compile all your data into a report. The first step in creating a report is writing a summary. A summary is a quick recap of all the information you used to create the survey and select respondents. It should outline your main goal, why it’s your goal, who your respondents were and the basic highlights from your data.

After you write your summary, now is the time to write mini-reports. These mini-reports outline each learning objective you wanted to gain insight about. For each learning objective, create a mini-report that contains all the data and insight you learned about that learning objective. At the end of your mini-report, include your recommended actions based on the findings from the survey.

Next, create a report section for unique and unexpected finds. This is where you will include all the data you didn’t think you would collect. Include any answers your respondents left that you think will be helpful to know for the future. You might find insightful information you weren’t originally investigating in your analysis phase that you want to explore later. Include all this information in this section of your report. It will come in handy down the line.

Lastly, write your conclusion. The report’s conclusion is where you recap the survey’s findings, your suggestions for future actions and any supporting evidence that goes with the analysis. If your report is going to the CEO, it’s important to include enough information for stakeholders to agree with your suggested actions.

Implement Change

Using survey responses to implement change is a great feeling. Now that you know the pain points of your respondents, you can start figuring out what to do to give them a better experience. The feedback you receive in a survey is priceless. Don’t send out a survey and not use the insight to your advantage. Use it to make improvements and learn more about your audience.

Share Your Survey Responses

If you’re not afraid to share your survey responses, post a white paper on your website with all the findings from your survey. The white paper can include future actions you are taking to improve. Publishing your results and how you will make changes based upon them is a great way to build your reputation and hold yourself accountable to those actions.

Ready to start using survey responses to your advantage? Sign up for SurveyPlanet’s free account to gain access to unlimited surveys, responses and questions, hundreds of pre-written survey questions, beautiful pre-made themes and so much more. Pay for a Pro account for even more features to enhance your survey experience.

Photo by Chris Adamus on Unsplash