Survey research is the art of collecting information to evaluate behavioural pattern of the sample of individuals. It is a method of obtaining information about a population from a sample. It is often used to judge the opinions of people to different happenings in the surrounding. Survey research is thus the process of a systematic and in-depth study of any particular area of investigation involving collection, compilation, presentation and interpretation of relevant data. It is an endeavour to discover valuable facts which would be useful for solving problems or improving existing solutions to problems. The purpose of a survey is to collect quantitative information by using a structured and standardized questionnaire. More specifically, a survey research consists of a predetermined set of questions that is given to a sample of people for collecting the data in a systematic way. The data so collected can be used to describe the attitudes of sample respondents included in the sample. Surveys are used by various agencies and business concerns to assess people’s reactions to different issues and trends like:
- The government conducts surveys on cost of living to decide the increment in D.A of the employees.
- Manufacturing companies conduct surveys to determine the way consumers perceive while using the products.
- Sales manager depends on the results of the survey to know the current trends.
There are two approaches to conduct a survey. One very common approach is the cross-sectional survey. In cross-sectional surveys a set of information is collected at one point of time. Data may be collected from a sample or from the entire population depending on the nature of the problem to be studied and the size of the population. Another survey research is the longitudinal survey. Longitudinal surveys gather data over a period of time. The researcher may then analyze the changes in the population and attempt to describe the characteristics and reasons of such changes.