Survey Analysis Automation


Automating Survey Administration:

It's hard to ignore: from checkouts at supermarkets to driving and food preparation, we are seeing an ever rising number of tasks that once required a human being performed by machines and algorithms. The HR and Consulting space is no exception.

The creation, administration, analysis, and communication of surveys and their results was once a part of high value Management Consulting work. Even something simple, like a monthly pulse survey to track the progress of a project, can take anywhere from 40 to 400 hours from a leading professional service organization. At a bill rate of $150 an hour, this puts the total cost of survey administration between $6,000 and $60,000 for an output that's difficult to interpret and clumsy to use. This is obsolete. Surveys of all kinds like training needs assessment, project pulse, and exit interviews can be streamlined into a consistent enterprise process to drive outcomes.

Creating and incorporating effective surveys can drive business growth by addressing key issues like communication effectiveness, high turnover, or training needs. Working with business stakeholders and survey administrators to align on a set of questions and metrics that will lead to meaningful understanding can be difficult - this is the most hands on component of any survey creation. Companies often administer a survey with only a general idea of how the results will be used, leading to duplicative or erroneous questions.

Incorporating Power BI:

By incorporating modern tools like Power BI into this process, we can develop a results dashboard while developing the survey which gives our clients clear line of site into what kind of insights they will get for their money. We can create a desktop and set of visualizations before any results come in by mocking up answers to the agreed upon questions and using that data as a placeholder to design the output dashboard and demonstrate how results will be displayed. This approach not only moves the quality of the survey output forward a generation, but also provides a feedback mechanism in the survey design process. This design process also significantly reduces the effort required to distribute the survey, analyze the results, and communicate those results to the right audience.

"Begin with the end in Mind"

- Franklin Covey, Author: 7 Habits of Highly Successful People

Distributing surveys to the audience to be polled once required the creation and manual sending of a communication to the organization. These communications are still best practice to drive participation, but the actual distribution of the survey is a process that can be automated. Most survey administration tools can be configured to send out a survey once, or at regular intervals, to a pre-defined group of users with a custom message. These tools allow you to plan, create, and configure the whole communication cycle of a survey without manual intervention.

Survey results are collected and stored by the survey administration tool. Traditionally this is when a professional service firm would manually extract the data and begin manual transformation. We are able to completely eliminate the manual ETL process by leveraging our dynamic survey results feed which reduces need for human intervention down to the placement of the extracted file into a folder, or to nothing where the connection can be automated. The data is added to the database feeding the pre-configured dashboard, which updates automatically to display the new results in the planned format.

Communicating the results of a survey:

Email size limits, formatting, and providing updates can make this simple process take hours. With our process, dashboards for specific audiences can be accessed and results viewed live in browser. Reviewers of the survey can see for themselves when the dashboards are updated with new information. Different dashboards can be configured for different audiences, allowing segmentation of knowledge.

The implications of the low effort and scaleability of this tool are immense. One properly configured survey can be administered repeatedly across multiple business units with minimal added effort to develop baselines and track progress across an organization. This is a paradigm shift for survey administration. Click the image below to interact with a mocked-up, six month project pulse survey report from our portfolio.

The line graph displays trends in pulse survey answers aggregated by related topics All data contained in this demo dashboard has been mocked up for this demonstration and does not represent a real survey or clients.

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