From education to information technology to staffing, organizations use in-depth benchmarking analysis to compare company processes, marketplace components, and successes or failures with those of their peers nationwide or globally. Benchmarking data obtained through online survey software enables company leaders to see how they measure up in a wide variety of aspects with that of their competition.
What is a Benchmark Survey?
The term "benchmarking" actually has a long history behind it. Historically, the word was used by cobblers to explain how they would measure a person's foot to fit a manufacturer's shoe. The cobbler would, in essence, use a "bench" to trace the foot's outline to create the template to make the shoes.
Today, however, business leaders commonly use the term to refer to a survey tool to compare one's own's business performance and metrics to that of competitors and industry leaders. It represents a means for which a company can measure its success and shortcomings vis-a-vis its industry leaders.
The ideal goal of comprehensive and unbiased benchmarking survey software is to improve an organization's performance by becoming a student of other companies in the same industry. Common benchmarks used by companies include revenue, salaries, expenditures, employee turnover and more. In today's modern information age, a benchmark survey can also be conducted to compare competitor involvement in social media. In fact, benchmarking applications can be used on practically every function or process a business has to operate its company.
While benchmarking surveys are often administered on an annual or less-frequent basis, the fact is, most marketing analysts recommend conducting them as often as you can. Benchmarking survey software enables businesses to administer benchmark research frequently, such as quarterly, due to the convenience, flexibility and simplicity of using an online survey tool. Many successful companies view benchmarking research as a perpetual process to continuously look for improvements in their operations.
Using Online Survey Software
A quick, convenient, and effective way to create a benchmark survey is through online survey software. From a basic no-frills survey to sophisticated multi-layer survey to analysis tools, today's web-based survey application can do it all. Because every business is unique with its own special needs, survey software used for a benchmark survey allows for full customization.
The internet has made it extremely straightforward for companies to create and conduct their own benchmark surveys through survey software. In addition to a simple process, response rates are improved, data collection is quicker and analysis is ready instantaneously, as compared to the traditional phone-based or paper surveys of days gone by.
Analyzing the Results
The final step -- before implementing changes that is -- is analyzing the data. It sounds more difficult than it is. With the analytic tools, such as the ability to filter and produce charts and graphs, available through survey software, it's easier than ever to understand what the benchmark survey results mean.
Benchmarking surveys can be an excellent tool to manage a company. They are often used a comparison tool to measure success against industry leaders. However, perhaps more significantly, benchmarking can open up the doors of the realm of possibilities for your company.