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Analytical Survey: What is it, its Importance

Analytical Survey: What is it, its Importance

The analytical survey is widely used in social research to determine the possible reasons why phenomena occur.

In this article, we will present to you what it consists of, its advantages and disadvantages, and how to develop it correctly.

What is an Analytical Survey?

Firstly, Analytic surveys are questionnaires use to investigate how a response variable relates to a particular explanatory variable. Analytical surveys attempt to describe and explain the reasons for specific situations.

This approach usually examines two or more variables to test the research hypotheses. Sometimes a specific theory is teste about which variables may the most important.

The consequences allow researchers to examine the interrelationships between the variables and draw explanatory inferences.

In analytical surveys, the sampling units of the target population are selecte through probability or census sampling without considering their situation concerning the response or explanatory variables.

Non – probability sampling is also widely used, but the results cannot be extrapolated to the target population.

Importance of Analytical Survey

The analytical survey allows knowing why something is true. Investigating why something happens is not easy, and critical thinking skills and careful evaluation of the facts are need.

Researchers can use survey analytics to find the missing link in a study, offer new insights into the data, and help prove or disprove hypotheses.

This type of data helps establish an idea’s relevance or confirm a hypothesis, as well as identify a statement and determine if it is true or false.

The analytical survey benefits students, researchers and marketers, among others.

In a company, it helps to find out which advertising campaigns work best. However, medicine allows you to determine if a particular treatment works well. Thus, the analytical survey can save lives, save money and help people achieve their goals.

Advantages of Analytical Surveys

Using the analytical survey research methodology has multiple benefits, among which are:

The creation of the analytical survey is simple, and its implementation does not represent a high cost.

It may be possible to use monotonous records, and no follow-up is require. Since all the select sampling units have to be classified or measured, there is no risk of excluding some teams because they do not fit artificial criteria. This is a potential problem with observational studies.

The risk and odds ratio (i.e., the probability of a condition occurring in one group versus the risk of appearing in another) can be correct at the data analysis stage to account for confounders, provide that these factors are known and measured.

Disadvantages of Analytical Surveys

Analytical surveys also have certain limitations, such as:

Since the analytical survey is applied in cross-sectional studies, there is a high incidence or prevalence bias risk.

In the case of binary variables, the condition of interest must be clearly defin so that it only covers a specific situation. This must be done by specifying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. If this is not done, there  be misclassification bias. In the case of measurement variables, the measurements must be made with sufficient precision.

The researcher cannot fix the sample size of each group but will determine their relative frequency in the population. The researcher can only set the total sample size.

How to Apply an Analytical Survey?

Today we will present to you the essential steps to apply an analytical survey to a population:

1.   Preparation

It is essential to define whether the sampling will be at the individual or group levels. Many researchers use the terms analytical survey or cross-sectional survey regardless of whether the sampling unit is an individual or a group of individuals.

The purpose must be specific and clear to all participants from the beginning. To ensure the success of the process, the parameters must be clearly defin. Barriers such as time, commitment and resources are carefully consider so that staff has enough time to complete the analytic survey.

2. Survey Design

The survey design is usually cross-sectional, although the data collection process can take a long time.

Exposure to the explanatory variable must be clearly define. The current observations are valid if the explanatory variable describes a permanent factor. But if it represents a transient factor, this information should be obtain from records or questionnaires.

3. Application Calendar

The next step is to create a calendar for applying the analytical survey in the form of a table, in which each column represents an element to be enter, starting with the name and other identifiers.

A program usually includes a minimum of 60 and often up to 75 elements, depending on the population surveyed. The rows are us to record data for each individual.

4. Application of the Survey

The analytical survey can be appli with the help of a staff assign to direct the project, including representatives of all the units involv, according to a pre-establish plan and schedule.

Currently, online survey platforms allow the tool to be easily appli to specific groups through various means, from email, social networks, text messages, etc.

5. Analysis

The compilation of the results is carri out in two phases: The primary phase consists solely of the analysis of the data register in the survey questionnaire for each individual as part of the population, while the second phase comprises a contextual review of the findings through an interdisciplinary debate and an in-depth examination of all the questions and aspects that may arise from it.

Analytical Survey vs Descriptive Survey

Descriptive and analytical methods play a fundamental role in statistics and data analysis. The difference is in what they look at; some describe it as a question of what versus why.

The descriptive survey asks “what?” that is, it describes something. Meanwhile, the analytics survey asks “why?”, so we try to find out how something has come about


As you can see, the analytical survey is a handy tool to identify the possible causes of particular phenomena used in market research and any field of knowledge.

At QuestionPro, we have launched multiple studies with analytical surveys through our tools for creating questionnaires, distribution, analysis and even the use of samples of respondents.

If you would like to take benefit of them too, feel free to create a free account or schedule a free online demo to find the solution that suits you best.

Also read: what is seo

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