What is the value of an accurate survey that is not relevant to the true goal?
The answer is Very little, unfortunately. Figuring out what questions to ask in your questionnaire is a process that will contribute directly to the usefulness of any answers obtained from your clients or staff. Think clearly about what decisions will be based on the data you collect. What is at stake in the decisions you will be making? Will your budget lines be increased or decreased? Will your company embark on an expensive new ad campaign to a certain demogaphic?
No matter who builds the survey instrument for your data collection, it is important to find these opportunities early on in the design phase so you build a survey that accurately reflects your true research questions. Once all of the results are collected, a final marker of research quality is whether the findings lead to real-world actions, an important step towards meeting your survey needs.
Using accurate data is one of the few ways we have to control the safety of key decisions for ourselves and our company; as opposed to assuming that whatever's worked in the past will probably work again. It is important to craft a questionnaire that will produce accurate results you can base both major and minor decisions on, especially when there is less room for error in everyone’s marketing and research efforts.