Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Questionnaires

Questionnaires are used differently in various fields. From factual to opinion-based, check boxes for open-end responses, whatever form they are in, questionnaires are often regarded to be a quick and easy-to-do medium for researchers and lecturers alike. However, this isn’t always the case. Getting useful information can be quite the challenge. Creating a questionnaire with a clear purpose is essential in generating valuable responses.

What is a Questionnaire?

We often perceive questionnaires and surveys to be the same thing, but they’re actually not. A questionnaire refers to the instrument used to collect data while a survey is simply the process executed to gather the said data. Apart from a survey questionnaire, other common questionnaire examples utilized in various industries include marketing research questionnaires, personality questionnaires, and HR questionnaires.

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But like every other research method, a questionnaire has its own fair share of strengths and weaknesses for you to consider.

1. Advantages

  • It is a cost-efficient marketing device. Questionnaires are known to be one of the most affordable ways to gather data from your audience. Apart from printed questionnaires, researchers are given the option to use online and mobile applications to conduct surveys. This way, you wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of hiring surveyors nor having to worry about printing costs. You may also like the importance of questionnaire.
  • It’s practical. Questionnaires make it easier to reach the target audience due to the way it is administered. You can send your questionnaire as an attachment to newsletters sent via electronic mail, or you may even have it linked to your website. Online questionnaires are also quite flexible, as there are various tools and features that allow you to format your questionnaire in any way you like.
  • It generates quick results. Regardless of how your questionnaire is administered, there’s no denying its speedy response rate. You don’t have to wait around for the answers to be delivered, as they may easily be acquired after it is completed. Quizzes, polls, and surveys that utilize questionnaires are bound to collect real-time data and feedback effortlessly. This creates a smooth and hassle-free experience for both you and your respondents. You may also like interview questionnaire examples.
  • It allows anonymity. There are some instances when respondents would rather stay anonymous, especially when dealing with sensitive questions and even in providing personal details. This assures the data which the respondents listed down are confidential, allowing them to answer the questions more truthfully and sincerely. However, keep in mind that this would also depend on the type of data that must be acquired. If the questionnaire is targeted towards a general group, then maintaining anonymity may be permitted. You may also like health questionnaire examples.
  • There’s no time limit. Questionnaires which are managed digitally offer some of the best benefits. Aside from what has already been mentioned, online questionnaires have no time limit for them to be accomplished. A respondent wouldn’t feel pressured to complete the survey within a particular time frame, helping you generate answers or feedback that have been thoroughly understood. This may also be attained through face-to-face encounters, just as long as the person administering the survey provides proper assurance to the respondent. You may also like assessment questionnaire examples.
  • It covers every angle of a topic. With a questionnaire, you can ask as many questions as you like. Unfortunately, listing down too many questions becomes difficult to achieve when essay writing is involved, as responses are likely to be a bit too broad and indirect for you to draw conclusions. Additionally, the possibility of asking “too much” questions can become quite frustrating for the respondent to go through.

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2. Disadvantages

  • No assurance of honest answers. While questionnaires offer many benefits to marketing personnel, the probability of obtaining dishonest answers can be quite high. There are various reasons behind this, such as social bias, disinterest, and privacy protection. Although this cannot be avoided, you can remind respondents how valuable their input is and how their privacy is a top priority. You may also like marketing questionnaire examples.
  • It can cause misunderstandings or misinterpretations. Questionnaires which are answered with the presence of a marketer or instructor allow questions and concerns to be addressed accordingly. On the contrary, online and email questionnaires are open to complications. Results are likely to be subjective because of how each person understands and interprets a question differently. Miscommunication can lead to unreliable responses, making it difficult to fully assess the results. You may also like evaluation questionnaire examples.
  • It may be difficult to fully analyze. It is much easier to study data acquired from questions with multiple choices through the use of tables and graphs. But when it comes to open-ended questions, individualized answers can be a lot more difficult to quantify digitally. It’s nearly impossible to analyze this data with a large number of respondents involved. Otherwise, you may end up with inaccurate results. You may also like business questionnaire examples.
  • Bias could be an issue. You could have respondents which present your topic in an overly positive light or in an extremely negative one. This is because everyone has their own opinion which can either be in favor of your product, service or idea, or against it. This imbalance may also cause inaccuracies in your data, so it’s important to filter out your respondents by conducting some respondent pre-screening. You may also like personality questionnaire examples.
  • A possibility of questions being skipped. There are many reasons why respondents would rather skip a question than to answer it. If it’s not required, then most individuals wouldn’t think twice about skipping that question. Another possible reason is that the question could be too sensitive or personal for one’s own comfort, making it difficult for them to write a clear answer. You may also like service questionnaire examples.
  • It lacks validity. Are your questions enough to cover every aspect of a topic? This goes for the type of questions being asked along with the way they are constructed. Questions about multiple choices may yield consistent and logical answers, but what if the limited number of options forces a respondent to choose whatever was given? Responses may vary and the data collected may be far from accurate. You may also like training questionnaire examples.

Now that you’re aware of the pros and cons of questionnaires, it’s important to weigh your options considerably. Despite its drawbacks, questionnaires remain to be one of the most widely-used research tools when doing any type of research. You may also like income questionnaire examples.

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