Greetings, dear customers! The brand new Survey Research team here at SurveyMonkey is making its official debut on the blog today and we couldn’t be more excited to share best practices and tips with all of you. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Using SurveyMonkey Audience–a powerful tool for targeting a specific demographic–we recently launched a political survey in seven swing states asking people their opinions on the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare.” Each of these states was identified by the nonpartisan online newsletter, Cook Political Report, as having competitive statewide races in the 2014 election year.
We wanted to dig deeper into one of the open-ended questions we asked on the survey, and let you in on how you can make sense of those responses and ensure the quality of your data. After all, smart data leads to even smarter decisions.
Here’s our open-ended question: “In a few words how would you describe your feelings about the health care law known as Obamacare?” And a peek at some of the responses we received:
One of the great things about open-ended questions? People aren’t limited to a predetermined set of possible answer choices so you end up collecting a rich pool of genuine opinions from folks on your survey topic. However, they also present an analytical challenge–just how do you make sense of all these unique answers?
For starters, thanks to our partnership with NVivo you can easily import your SurveyMonkey data into the NVivo platform to analyze the text. Alternatively, you can do a basic analysis right inside our Analyze tool and categorize the responses to provide not only a detailed picture of what people’s opinions are in their own words, but also to know how many people feel that way. To use the Categorize feature, just tick the box next to each response in order to place it into a category. So! Ready to become an open-ended expert?
Since we added extra sub-categories, we were able to tell a more detailed story than if we had only looked at positive, negative and neutral as categories. For example, 10% of folks mentioned that the law was a good idea, but that due to the technical problems with the roll-out of the Obamacare website, the law needed work.
That’s it for today, everyone. We hope these tips help out the next time you want to make sense of your open-ended responses and don’t be shy, let us know your thoughts!
We’re looking for more of your questions on all things Survey Science. Need advice on how to keep your next survey project methodologically sound? Please let Sarah and the Survey Research team know in the Comments section below.