How to Select the Best Mode for a Survey: Project Goals

How to Select the Best Mode for a Survey: Project Goals

What Are the Main Project Goals?

Now that we have considered audiencesample sizequestionnaire, and timeline impacts on mode, it should be clear that no mode is “better” than another one. It’s simply about matching the goals and priorities of the project to the mode that will best suit those needs. 

To summarize what we have explored in our six-part series on mode here’s a quick guide of the takeaways.

Some of our clients come to us looking for as much data as they can get within a given time frame — often a limited one — regardless of price, mode, or other factors. In other instances, we have clients who have tight budgets but are more relaxed on timing. There are so many inputs to the pricing, feasibility, and timeline on a project that it requires prioritizing goals to get to the best outcome of many possible scenarios. So, we always want to ask, what’s most important to you?  

Aligning Mode to Project Goals 

  • Feasibility: CATI opens up a larger potential pool of respondents, increasing potential for higher sample sizes within niche audiences 
  • Timeline: Online is both shorter in duration and easier to turn “on” and “off” and is, therefore, preferable for shorter-duration projects 
  • Quality: CATI provides more assurances on who is taking the survey. Compared to online, CATI also yields higher quality data both in reducing survey fatigue and increasing qualitative feedback  
  • Survey structure: If the survey structure cannot be edited and includes long lists, wordy responses, images, or other visualizations an online mode or screen-sharing CATI would be preferable 

Just as no mode is “better” than another, it’s also true that no mode is perfect. At Coleman, we do everything we can to partner with our clients to fully understand the project specifications and priorities and provide options that best meet those needs.