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Survey services

We provide a full array of services from a single consultation on the design of the survey instrument to a complete package of survey design, implementation and final analysis. For University of Waterloo faculty, staff and graduate students an initial one hour consultation on survey design is provided free of charge. The Survey Research Centre has a mandate to educate the academic community about quality survey research and methodology. We provide details about introductory scripts and response rate formulas. The Survey Research Centre tailors services to meet client needs.

Research design

We offer consultation on the best methodological design for surveys. With the client we will assess objectives and study population and propose an appropriate design, sample size, and sampling frame.

Sample design

The Survey Research Centre applies years of director expertise in complex, highly specialized studies to design sound and rigorous sampling approaches that are tailored to meet individual client needs. The design and implementation of every study involves researching and understanding of best practices and current developments in methodology in order to achieve the best possible response rates. Recommended sampling designs are mindful of the needs of publishing in refereed journals, or to account to granting agencies or public bodies.

Instrument design

The Survey Research Centre will work with the client to develop a questionnaire that best meets the data needs of the project. We review question wording, positioning, response type and data values when requested. We also provide support for introductory scripts.

Field pretesting

The Survey Research Centre recommends piloting any survey that has not previously been administered.  Piloting a survey even among a small number of participants can provide key insights into assessing survey flow, identifying question wording that may be problematic for respondents, confirming survey length and productivity estimates.

Data collection

The Survey Research Centre offers telephone, mail, door to door, and web surveys as venues for data collection. We also offer mixed mode collections, such as a mail survey with a web option or a telephone survey with mailed out pre-contact. We can also provide focus groups for qualitative research.

Data files and analysis

Datasets are prepared to client specifications. The Survey Research Centre can provide basic data analysis including frequencies and cross tabulations, as well as a narrative review of findings. Coding of open ended questions is available. More advanced analysis performed in partnership with the Statistical Consulting and Collaborative Research Unit.

Reporting package

The Survey Research Centre strives for transparency in data collection. All our protocols and methodology will be reviewed with the client. Regular updates to the client are sent during fieldwork, with regular reports to the client sent throughout the conduct of the survey. The technical report package includes a review of methodology and conduct, dispositions, response rates, codebook, and clean dataset.