Survey - Term Overview

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The survey is an instrument to collect qualitative and / or quantitative information from a statistical population. For this, a questionnaire is elaborated, whose data obtained will be processed with statistical methods.

Surveys are then a tool to know the characteristics of a group of people. It can be economic variables, such as income level (quantitative), or other variables, such as political preferences (qualitative).

To conduct a survey, the researcher must develop a question form. These will depend on the objectives of the study.

Another point to note is that a survey is normally applied to a representative sample. So, if we have a target population of 10,000 people with an average age of 30 years, the sample, which can be 200 individuals, should meet this characteristic.

It should also be noted that when the survey applies to the entire population, and not just a sample, it's known as a census.

Steps to develop a survey

To prepare a survey, we can roughly follow the following steps:

- Define the objectives: The purpose of the study must be established. For example, if you want to measure economic growth or the wage gap in a country.
- Formulate the questionnaire: The questions should be elaborated based on the objectives. So, if the study is on social inequality, for example, it's necessary to consult on the level of income and access to basic services such as water and sanitation.
- Field work: A display is made to collect data, usually on a representative sample of the target population. Thus, a group of people responds to the previously defined questionnaire.
- Processing: The survey results are processed. In this way, statistical data such as, for example, the mean or median of the variable studied can be obtained.

Importance of surveys

Surveys, in the economic sphere, are important because they allow to know the characteristics of the target population and, therefore, their needs. This is even segmented by various variables such as geographic location, socioeconomic group, educational level, gender, among others.

Through a survey, for example, the State will be able to find out in which region of the country the most public services such as water and electricity are required.

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