Surveys and Sampling

sampling device

The essentials

Surveys are more than just a series of questions – they are a study design that collects hard data (demographics, measurements) and soft data (opinions, behaviours) both quantitatively and qualitatively from each item in a sample; producing a standard data set which can be analysed and interrogated.

Each survey needs to be tailored to the question asked but there are some key principles:

  • Appropriate sample population and sample size for study,
  • Clear and simple language,
  • Appropriate mix of closed and open questions,
  • Integrating methods to reduce bias,
  • Maximising response rates.

A well developed survey therefore collects only the necessary information required to answer a hypothesis in a targeted approach without over-burdening the survey taker.


Optimising the sample size, sampling strategy and clarifying how bias is minimised will reduce the size of the overall study and therefore overall time and cost.

Ensuring surveys are appropriately designed will ensure analysis and insights obtained are robust to criticism and therefore valid and reliable for decision making.

Our advice can therefore unlock the value in your data in a cost-effective, timely and robust manner.


Sector specific examples

  • Pharmaceutical: investigators and participants determine treatment efficacy, response, quality of life and other clinically meaningful endpoints.
  • Market research: understanding behaviours and preferences of consumers to better inform advertising and marketing campaigns.
  • Agriculture: a standardised method of recording growth condition and crop yield data allowing analysis from a standardised data set.
  • Teaching: assessment of student and teacher drivers of "better teaching".