We've compiled a glossary of the common terms you will come across when working on a survey project with Insync Surveys. This handy guide allows our clients to be more familiar with survey speak and make the most of their survey results and action plans.
A leadership development survey where colleagues provide feedback so the participant's emotional engagement and competencies can be improved in line with the organisation's direction.
Translating survey findings (answers) into actions (improvement initiatives) in a structured way, resulting in steps to achieve goals for improving organisational performance.
Action planning portal
A secure and private online facility hosted by Insync Surveys to review the organisation's survey results and improve them by committing to tasks.
Day-to-day employee operations that are in tune with the organisation's direction and strategy.
The interpretation of raw survey data into meaningful insights which are used to inform actions. Statistical analysis uses the application of mathematical models to assess the levels of significance of findings and to determine the degree of significance with other supporting evidence which adds weight to the credibility of survey findings.
A reduction or decrease in numbers of staff within an organisation. It may be interesting for an organisation to understand why attrition rates are high. An exit interview tool captures departing employees' opinions so the organisation can devise initiatives to reduce employee attrition and increase employee engagement to save money and/or boost productivity.
Survey data that can be used for comparison or reference purposes. The first time a survey is conducted will establish a baseline from which the organisation can build.
Results compared to a group of other organisations that have conducted the same survey in a recent timeframe. A benchmark may be composed of similar organisations' results in the same industry, or all organisations in Insync Surveys' benchmark database.
Compares two factors across the same survey items to generate a gap score. A bi-variate scale usually comprises "importance" and "performance" scales. It measures how "important" a survey concept is to respondents, then compares how the organisation is perceived to be "performing" against the same survey item. A gap score can then be measured. A significant gap between importance and performance signifies a potential improvement opportunity.
Allows certain questions to be asked based on the respondent's response to the previous question. Branching within a survey allows different questions to be asked of various groups and can also simplify the layout of the survey for those completing it.
CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone
This research method provides a script for the interviewer to follow during a telephone interview and answers that the respondent provides will then shape which questions come next. The interviews are documented in this system.
An integral part of conducting any survey is protecting the participants' anonymity. Surveys should be designed with informed consent and confidentiality in mind. To this end, survey data is typically analysed based on aggregate responses.
The degree to which one can be confident that the data reflects the true opinion of the sample group and that results are not due to chance. Most research operates on a 95% confidence level.
The set of shared beliefs, values, goals and practices that characterises an organisation.
A survey sent to a selected segment of customers which measures perceptions, satisfaction and engagement with an organisation and their products and services. In addition it can make predictions about customers' future purchasing behaviour and advocacy.
data which bears no names or any part of a response that will make a individual respondent easily identifiable.
The different groups of survey participants e.g. job level, gender, age range, etc. Demographics shape the degree of detail that survey data can generate.
The sub-categories of demographics, e.g. "female" would be a demographic class of the demographic "gender".
This may be face-to-face, over the telephone or with video software. A "depth" is a structured conversation to inform specific research objectives e.g. to flesh out or validate survey findings.
Learn more about gender diversity in the workplace
Things that can be manipulated to have a positive effect on something else. E.g. there are drivers that help improve employee engagement but they do not engage employees directly. Therefore, targeting improvement initiatives on the drivers of engagement may help to boost employee engagement.
The extent to which employees engage in a personally meaningful, mentally active and productive manner at work, consisting of three inter-related components:
An organisation's ability to fulfil the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of its employees.
As opposed to an exit survey, an entry survey looks at incoming employees to measure their perception of induction and on-boarding processes and whether the organisation has met their expectations. Entry surveys are usually conducted at the three month mark and can be repeated at six or nine months.
Standards for professional conduct which include obligations to protect and inform survey respondents of how the research will be used.
The underlying themes or areas which collectively indicate alignment with organisational goals. They may include senior leadership, long term direction, investment in systems, investment in people, etc.
A trained researcher who will run your workshop, action planning, focus group or depth interview.
The day that a survey is launched and sent to potential respondents. Also see "Launch date".
If survey respondents have already been assigned to particular demographics and related sub-classes the demographics are hidden. They will not have to select a demographic on the survey.
An individual who answers the survey in an aggressive, rude or inappropriate manner.
Something that is offered in return for participation in a survey; examples may be financial, a charity donation or entry to a prize draw.
The time after which the survey has been sent to potential respondents. There is a limited time (i.e. 2-3 weeks) for individuals to respond to a survey. After that time the survey is closed and responses are no longer accepted.
KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
KPIs are sometimes linked to survey results as a measure of performance for managers. *This should be done with caution as there are instances where survey findings are seemingly skewed amongst certain cohorts representing a social desirability bias.
Another way of expressing the date that a survey is sent to potential respondents. Also see "Go-live".
A psychometric scaling method, measuring positive or negative responses to a survey. A Likert scale may contain options where the respondent selects their level of agreement or disagreement.
The term used to describe the average. The mean is defined as the total of the scores divided by the number of scores.
The defined process that the research follows which may determine things such as demographic selection, sample size, data collection.
Insync Surveys' project management methodology based on four key principles that guide decision making and conflict resolution processes to ensure projects meet the required deadlines, scope and budget.
A question that has multiple responses available. Respondents can often select all that apply rather than just one answer.
A question that invites individuals to write their own responses rather than indicating level of agreement on a numeric scale.
The proportion of respondents who indicate positive agreement e.g. by responding with a 6 or 7 on a 1-7 point scale.
When a survey is conducted on a small scale, generally with the intention to test reactions or gather feedback, enabling the researchers to revise their strategy prior to wide-scale roll-out.
An electronic access point which enables permitted individuals to view, download and distribute research findings. This may incorporate an action planning portal.
Communication to potential survey participants to prepare them for the upcoming survey. These may include posters, bulletins, manager briefings, survey invitations, survey introduction letters, email sign-offs, collateral etc.
Provides all survey stakeholders with a visual representation of the tasks, responsibilities and timeframe of the entire project.
Open-ended questions are asked which aims to understand human behaviour and the reasons for decision making. It generally focuses on fewer people than quantitative research, but provides deeper understanding via depth interviews, focus groups or written feedback.
A systematic process applied to all projects which involves thorough review of analysis to prevent errors.
Structured questions are asked and responses are limited to numerical/scaled responses. It is administered to a large number of respondents to gather trends for statistical, mathematical or computational methods of analysis.
The points in the data that divide it into quarters. These points also cut off the lowest and highest 25% of the distribution. Any result above the 1st quartile point is in the top 25% of results. Anything below the 3rd quartile point is in the bottom 25% of results.
Where an organisation's results fall relative to the benchmark database if the data was plotted on a standard distribution curve and divided into ordered quartiles.
The statistical results from the survey untouched in their purest form. Raw data from qualitative research may constitute tape recordings of conversations or unedited written/typed responses to questions.
A technique for modeling and analysing several variables simultaneously, whereby the focus is to determine the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables.
Responses from a statistically representative population from of all areas of an organisation.
An individual who has been invited to and participates in a survey.
An organisation's ability to retain employees to maintain capability and productivity levels for optimum performance. Understanding why employees leave an organisation by conducting exit interviews is an effective way to manage retention levels.
The group of respondents who participated in a survey.
A survey in which respondents participate of their own free will.
In a bi-variate survey with a rating scale of 1-7, it refers to a gap score of 2.00 and above. See "bi-variate scale".
Measures staff satisfaction to find out what can be done to improve organisational performance. Research shows high levels of staff satisfaction or employee engagement can lead to better customer experiences and improved productivity.
Staff turnover - see "Attrition".
This is a statement/question on a survey where respondents are typically asked to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement on a rating scale.
When a group of respondents have been surveyed too many times within a relatively short timeframe, resulting in a decreased response rate which affects robustness of survey data.
The individuals who you are aiming to survey.
The process of grouping open-ended feedback/qualitative responses together into common themes.
A typed copy of the response of a research participant, either edited (in which case it will be marked as an edited version) or unedited.
A survey item that employs scoring on only one scale such as level of agreement, as opposed to a bi-variate scale which may ask for a response by two scales such as "importance" and "performance".
Comment/feedback that is relayed exactly as it was provided by the survey respondent.
Respondents have undertaken the survey of their own free will rather than it being mandatory.
The first paragraph within a survey that invites the participant to complete the survey, explains its purpose and outlines confidentiality .