Developing Dynamic Surveys for Stellar Research

Surveys Research
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Nothing makes a respondent feel less comfortable about a survey than a sense that they cannot adequately express themselves due to a constraining survey structure. A frustrated respondent will either "bail" or will just respond in a narrow way, for instance, choosing "N/A" or "Somewhat Likely" for the remaining surveys research questions. A researcher can help maintain respondent engagement by developing dynamic survey questions that — from a respondent facing perspective — appear customized to the respondent's particular interests, propensities, or idiosyncrasies.

Techniques for Developing Dynamic Surveys Research Questions

When creating dynamic survey questions, there are two parts to consider: The criteria and the action that results from the criteria. Dynamic survey questions operate through a fundamental logic. The logic is launched by the criteria. The logic used in creating dynamic survey questions looks a lot like the boolean search terms used in search engines. Boolean logic uses three simple operators: OR, AND, NOT. Boolean logic allows researchers to design survey questions that use single or multiple criteria to determine the next action.

12 Techniques for Developing Dynamic Surveys Research Questions

  1. Simple Branching
  2. Piping
  3. Looping
  4. Randomization
  5. Compound Branching
  6. Delayed Branching
  7. Simple Quotas
  8. Nested or Complex Quotas
  9. Extraction
  10. Show/Hide Question
  11. Show/Hide Answer
  12. Self-Determined

Dynamic Surveys Research Combines Research Approaches

Many surveys research service providers offer online survey building software. Surveys can be constructed on sites like Survey Monkey, and other more sophisticated platforms are available. Some ​surveys research platforms are designed specifically for market research. Others include the below:

Moving beyond survey providers, market researchers can include both qualitative and quantitative methods within single research instruments. This is known as a hybrid research method.

As one would imagine, there are a number of ways to combine qualitative and quantitative market research methods. For example, a market researcher can conduct quantitative research and then follow up with qualitative methods. Or, an option exists to reverse that order and conduct qualitative market research followed by quantitative methods, which are in turn followed by more qualitative research. Finally, of course, qualitative and quantitative methods can be conducted simultaneously. 

A simultaneous qualitative-quantitative approach is a good match for decision-making that needs to be quick and focused on subsequent action. Quantitative data can be provided to clients quickly and — with the addition of qualitative data — clients receive explanations that easier to understand. This, in turn, can result in implementable insights that are particularly relevant to client needs. The methodological piggybacking can achieve better results

By capitalizing on the synergy of both qualitative and quantitative approaches, market researchers are able to unpack research questions and answers to permit concept comparison, facilitate data collection and data analysis, and foster the process of determining where and how a business can best focus. The objective is for clients to be able to proceed with a cohesive discovery of insights and choose confident action plans for their enterprises. A summary of the potential benefits of this complementary hybrid approach are listed below:

  • Analysis and the resultant recommendations are validated
  • In-depth consumer understanding is facilitated
  • Consumer understanding is facilitated and more in-depth
  • Consumer motivations and truths are revealed
  • Confidence and trust by clients is inspired and supported

With competition heating up in the market research industry, as market research providers adopt new technologies and clients recognize the benefits of purchasing those services, it is important for market research providers to gain as much of a competitive edge as they possibly can.


Albanese, I. (2013, May). Qual, Meet Quant: The Benefits of Marrying Two Complementary Research Approaches, Quirk's Marketing Research Review.