Survey Data Entry – Best Practices to Prevent Errors

by | Last updated Jul 20, 2023 | Published on Jun 15, 2021 | Data Entry Services

Many businesses use surveys as a tool to collect key information from customers and employees, which help them improve business operations, increase sales, and discover more opportunities for product development and business growth. By conducting surveys, you can collect honest feedback and opinions from customers and know what consumers think about your products or brand, and take suggestions as to what can be done further to improve productivity and user satisfaction. Entering the survey data accurately on data entry spreadsheets is equally important as conducting a survey. Survey data entry tasks can be outsourced to any experienced data entry company that provides solutions in customized turnaround time.

Survey techniques may include questionnaires or interviews. There are different types of surveys such as market research, brand awareness, lead generation, customer satisfaction, event evaluation, employee satisfaction and training evaluation. Surveys can be conducted through many methods such as – surveys done online, via emails, paper surveys, focus groups and mobile surveys.

Major Survey Entry Challenges

Coding intricate question types and dealing with unclear responses often lead to survey entry errors.

Many surveys see that customers –

  • choose more than one option instead of selecting only one
  • skip questions or even entire pages
  • write comments beside their answers, or even
  • create new answers and circle them instead

Survey Data Entry – Best Practices.

  • Make sure to review the survey questions carefully; check the options provided.
  • To make responses easier to analyze, create a perfect code book and assign each response a number and enter those numbers instead of words.
  • It is ideal to follow the same coding system for every question, which makes it easier for you to be familiar with the response values.
  • Create a code for unclear or blank responses and apply it consistently.
  • Before starting data entry, consider adding an ID column and filling the ID numbers all the way down the column.
  • Write ID numbers on the surveys, to make it easy to go back and fix mistakes during quality checks.
  • Consider following the numbering scheme on the survey for data entry rather than re-numbering the responses.
  • A copy of the codebook can be pasted into the data entry spreadsheet for more convenience.
  • For multi-part questions, label each part of the question with lowercase letters.
  • In certain questions, where all options can be checked if applicable, responses can be marked as “checked” or “not checked”. In spreadsheets, these responses can be valued as “0” and “1”.
  • For responses with more than one answer, it is better to code the response as “unclear” instead of making guesses.
  • In cases where the respondent created their own answer, either code it as “unclear” or randomly pick one of the selected answers.
  • If the respondent made an option even higher than the value that is actually given, you can choose the value that is the next closest response to their answer.
  • Once entered, re-check whether the data is entered in the correct cells.

Follow these practices to convert your surveys into useable data. Data gathered from surveys need to be accurately entered in spreadsheets and it must be easy to analyze to evaluate the response to ensure accurate decision making. When outsourcing data entry tasks, make sure that the data entry company you choose has strict data security policies and their services are focused on accuracy and quality.

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