Online surveys are tools that are used to collect information from a part of or all the units of a certain population. The collected information is the compiled into a more useful form. Due to the varying data collection needs, there are two different types of surveys that may be used to collect information on varying circumstances. The two main types of surveys are:
- Sample surveys
Throughout this article, the various differences as well as the benefits of survey samples and censuses will be elaborated.
While carrying out a sample survey, only a portion of the population under study is approached to contribute the required information, regarding the topic being studied. This data is then weighed and inferences are then made about the entire population. A sample survey may be defined as a set of observations taken from a certain population, the goal being to obtain certain information about the population. So, why would you use this type of surveys?
- It is cost effective: as compared to censuses, sample surveys are more economical in terms of staffing and monetary requirements.
- It is time effective: since sample surveys require a smaller scale of operation, they require minimal time to collect the data and process it.
- Such surveys allow for more detailed questions to be asked.
- Allows for characteristics to be tested: such characteristics cannot be assessed with the censuses. An example is a study to establish the lifespan of a certain type of light bulbs or the tensile strength of springs. To do this, some of the products may need to be destroyed. Since all cannot be destroyed to ascertain this, only a few of them are tested.
- It is less burdensome on the respondents: requires a few people to carry out a comprehensive survey and collect the required data.
- The results of survey samples are availed within a short period
Censuses, on the hand, are a type of surveys that is meant to collect information from all the units in a population. In other words, this type of surveys requires complete enumeration of the entire population. As you can see this survey type is intensive on time, money and staffing requirements.
Design Considerations on sample surveys
When carrying out a sample survey, various design considerations that need to be addressed carefully. Such design considerations include sample design, size, mode of estimation, stratification, and data allocation across the strata as well as selecting the sample across the strata. Generally, survey samples are more economical and give fast and accurate results.