Paper-Based Versus Online Surveys Which Is Most Effective?

Published: 09th August 2010
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Printing expenses are on the rise. Postage charges are likewise climbing. Given this, the evaluation between paper-based surveys and internet surveys takes on a new degree of emergency for a lot of businesses

For some, the choice to move their questionnaire projects to the internet is an uncomplicated choice to make. The cost savings only are a sufficient motivator; for others, the choice is more complicated and involves realizing whether or not their audience can make the transition.

This post is going to compare paper-based and online surveys and provide a snapshot that shows how each medium does in a vast array of areas; the following could help you ascertain whether moving your questionnaires to an online platform makes good sense provided your finances, needs, and surveying goals.

Presentation Matters

Questionnaire presentation is mostly focused on readability. To this end, black ink on paper offers greater quality than a computer screen, and therefore is simpler to read; this is unlikely to improve, even as screen resolutions strengthen. If your population has a particularly tough time reading text on a screen, this might be a genuine worry.

An additional element to keep in mind is question style; on documents, the surveyor is limited to the space on every page. This is hardly ever a problem unless you're incorporating open-ended questions

In such cases, the space given to the respondent needs to be sufficient for him or her to answer fully.

Swiftness From Delivery To Information Collection

Those who normally execute their questionnaire projects offline are often stunned by the speed with which information could be gathered and organized on the internet. Consider that paper-based questionnaires are typically sent by mail out to a population. By the time recipients receive the questionnaire, take the time to reply, and mail it back, days may go by. Since it takes so long to obtain replies, the company is prevented from taking action quickly.

An internet questionnaire tool may be developed and made accessible in minutes. What's more, email invitations might be sent out, acquired, and responded to nearly immediately

Because internet circulation occurs so quickly, your population may start replying the moment they get your invitation. Data is collected automatically and sorted by the software, making it available for speedy evaluation.

More Versatility In Query Writing

Web-based surveys provide the surveyor with more versatility when designing queries; while multiple choice solutions, ordinal lists, and Likert scales might be effortlessly displayed on paper, drop-down menus can't.

Moreover, questionnaire computer software offers several logic features that permit you to customize the experience for every respondent; for example, branch logic lets you design a path dependent on every participant's previous selections. You could use skip logic to let individuals skip portions of your questionnaires depending on their responses to prior selections. Pipe logic allows you to "pipe" a respondent's responses into following queries. By using these features, you may create a personalized surveying experience that is impossible to accomplish with a paper-based study.

Think About Your Demographic

Your specific audience might not be prepared to move online to finish your surveys. For instance, suppose your market is made up of senior citizens who invest very little time on their computers; they might check their email sporadically, but are going to check their mailbox every day without fail.

Furthermore, what if your market is less than informed with computers? Even if they get and read your email invitation, can they be able to complete your questionnaire without issues? For these survey participants, a paper-based questionnaire might be more suitable.

Most businesses may take advantage by making the transition from paper to web-based questionnaires; the latter is less costly, and accelerates data gathering and reporting. You may even create alerts that notify your team if a participant expresses a distinct lack of fulfillment. That way, you may reply instantly to address their frustration.

While paper questionnaires still have a place, their relevance will continue to decrease as superior, lower-cost options become available online.

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