Turning education and skills policy into practice

Survey services

AlphaPlus offers a complete survey design, implementation, analysis and hosting service. Our team of survey experts will assist you with any stage of the survey process for both online and paper questionnaires. This service is tailored to your specific needs and is suitable for a range of research purposes including satisfaction surveys, consultations with stakeholders, monitoring or evaluating programmes of change, gathering information on current practices and procedures or polls of opinions and perceptions.

We can undertake the following stages of your survey research:

-    Question design and testing
-    Design, secure hosting and distribution of online surveys
-    Design, printing, distribution and data entry of paper surveys
-    Analysis of survey responses
-    Reporting on the findings of your survey

Further information on each of these stages is provided below:

Question design and testing

AlphaPlus offers a unique bank of expertise to assist with your survey design. Our experienced researchers can formulate survey questions to meet the specific aims and objectives of your research project. In addition we have a team of practitioners across a range of educational, social and health fields who will provide additional guidance and advice on what will work in your specific area of interest. We usually build in testing and piloting stages to our survey design to ensure that your survey is appropriate to the context and is measuring the right things in the right way.

Design, secure hosting and distribution of online surveys

We can create a bespoke online version of your survey using a secure webhost. The look and feel of your survey will be tailored to your needs and can be branded to reflect your organisation and its house style. Our online surveys can include a wide range of question types and employ functions such as advanced routing (so that questions are shown or hidden depending on answers to previous questions). Your survey can be accessed via one general link accessible to anyone, via unique links for each potential respondent or via a password (again, unique to each potential respondent) – we can advise on which method is best suited to your project. If required we can also distribute your survey by email or we can set up and maintain a dedicated website through which respondents will access your survey and any associated information.

Your survey will be hosted on a secure webhost and your data will be backed up securely at regular intervals during the survey completion period. We can provide regular response rate updates during the survey completion period and assist with maximising the response rate. Our online surveys are fully compatible with mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Design, printing, distribution and data entry of paper surveys

If you need a paper questionnaire as well as or instead of an online version we can also undertake the design of this. We can either provide you with a print ready copy of your paper survey or we can also print the required number of copies to your specification and in most instances can undertake the distribution of the paper survey to a mailing list provided by you. We also have a freepost returns service for the return of completed paper questionnaires. Our experienced data inputters can undertake the data entry of your paper questionnaires and our verification and quality control processes ensure that this is done to the highest standard.

Analysis of survey responses

AlphaPlus has a team of expert analysts who can explore and analyse your survey data.

For the tick box responses we use a range of data visualisation techniques to present your survey findings in a clear and understandable way. We can also apply statistical techniques where appropriate to further explore the findings and their significance. We can also undertake comparative analyses of survey data, for example, year-on-year trends for annual surveys, benchmarking exercises and comparisons between different respondent groups.

For free text responses to open-ended survey questions we can analyse and summarise the responses to provide you with a summary of the issues raised in respondents’ comments and the frequency with which the different topics were mentioned. If required, an analysis of the background characteristics of respondents can identify any patterns or trends in terms of who is more likely to raise particular issues in their comments.

Reporting on the findings of your survey

We understand that an important aspect of any survey project is ensuring that results are disseminated in a timely manner and in a clear and easy to digest format. We therefore offer a range of reporting options including full reports on the findings with charts and tables and accompanying narrative, executive summaries to include the key findings and ‘at a glance’ findings, presentations of the results by an AlphaPlus researcher (in person or via video conferencing) and briefing papers.