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What is the difference between an opinion survey and an opinion poll

Posted on 10/2/2019 by Elizabeth in category: survey software articles

An online opinion survey or poll is used for gathering feedback from a population or audience. It's an easy way to ask questions to a group of individuals without the restrictions of time zones, location or cost factors you'd encounter with telephone, paper or face-to-face poll and survey taking.

History of Opinion Surveys

Back in the day, opinion surveys were conducted door-to-door with electronic clipboards. Survey projects attempted to maintain the mode of administration continuous by selecting door-to-door data collection, where you'd administer the survey questionnaire, at least partly, by a survey interviewer.

Prior to the advent of computers and survey software, you'd administer face-to-face surveys using a paper-and-pencil instrument (PAPI). But, tablets, computers, laptops and smartphones are now used widely in lieu of PAPI. This face-to-face survey implementation presented numerous logistical challenges, however, you don't face in other modes.

Differences Between Opinion Surveys and Opinion PollsThere are some differences between opinion polls and opinion surveys. A few include:

1. Questions

With polls, you provide respondents with one multiple choice question where they can typically only choose one answer. However, you can provide multiple answers. With an opinion survey, you're including numerous questions across a large array of question types like:

- Ratings
- Choice
- Ranking questions
- Long and short text

2. Time

Polls only take seconds for your respondents to complete and you can receive instant feedback with just a couple clicks of the mouse. Surveys usually take a little longer to answer and they require more commitment from your respondents to fill them out completely.

3. Content

Polls gather your respondents' opinions on one item or topic and are typically focused on the respondent's immediate current opinion. You don't usually ask your respondents for any sensitive or personal information in polls, so they're an anonymous type of feedback.

With surveys, you collect opinions on a number of topics (or sub-topics) which can help you determine future actions you'd like to take. In your survey, you can ask your respondents for personal information if you need to. For instance, you might ask them for their:

- Age
- Email address
- Occupation
- Name

Benefits of Online Survey Software
An online survey tool provides multiple benefits, including:

1. Faster

The length of time required for completing an online survey is much shorter than the traditional research methods of the past. Since you're gathering information automatically, there will be no need to sit around and wait for paper surveys to return to you. With survey software, responses come in almost immediately.

2. Simple to Use for Respondents

Most individuals have Internet access and prefer answering surveys online rather than in person or by phone. With online survey software, your respondents can choose a moment to fill your survey that's convenient for them and online surveys are much shorter.

3. Quick to Analyze

Online survey results are ready to analyze at any time. You can view the results in real-time, therefore you can:

- Take action faster
- Export data for further analysis
- Create graphs for reporting
- Share results with anyone

4. More Flexible

You can change the order of your questions in an online survey or skip some altogether, depending on what the previous question's answer was. This way, you can tailor the survey to each respondent as they proceed.

Now you know the differences between opinion surveys and opinion polls and why conducting them online is better than the traditional delivery methods. So, you can now act on the feedback you receive much quicker to make improvements in your company.

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