In a restaurant, in a hotel, on the Internet – almost anywhere – we are constantly invited to take surveys.  Sometimes we take them, but we think “What is this for?”

In our ABR (Applied Business Research) course, we have learned that an essential part of business research involves collecting data that can be quantified and analyzed using statistical techniques in order to arrive at a description of our target population. This means that if we, for example, wish to know the average level of satisfaction customers feel about our services or products, we need to design a tool to collect that information and transform it into numbers. This tool is a survey, and it is the final piece of our ABR project.

During the past two weeks, each team in the class has designed a survey for its clients. Each survey is, of course, unique and depends on our client’s main objective. In my team’s case, our client (Best Buy) wants to know its customers’ perceptions of a new concept. So our team has combined several techniques that allow us to build a random set of questions for each respondent that weight the importance of different attributes related to this new concept. After several revisions, we finally finished it and will e-mail it to a sample of Best Buy customers in the hope that they will take a few minutes of their time to help us gather the data we need.

So next time you receive a survey, just take a few seconds to think about all the work that is behind that set of questions. Also remember the contribution you will be making to the organization – helping them understand your needs much better. So please complete the survey!