What is Data Analysis? After data collection next comes the step of data analysis. For this, the responses to questions are coded and tabulated. Coding is the term used to describe the translation of questions, responses and respondent information to specific categories for analysis purpose. Tabulation is simply the recording of the numbers of types of responses in the appropriate categories, after which statistical analysis follows; percentages, averages, relational indices and appropriate tests of significance. The data analysis is studied, collated, assimilated and interpreted. Finally, the results are reported. Data can be analyzed by computer. SPSS is commonly used in this regard.
After the data analysis results become clear whether a hypothesis is supported or not. After formulation of the results, concluding note or suggestions are also written that how this survey can be improved.
USES OF SURVEY METHOD | DATA ANALYSIS
Survey analysis is employed to assess people’s thoughts, opinions, and feelings. Surveys are specific and restricted in scope or additional international in their goals. The best thanks to confirming whether or not results of a survey square measure biased is to look at the survey procedure and analysis. Social scientists, psychologists, and sociologists use surveys in their research for a variety of reasons. Surveys are also used to meet the more pragmatic needs of the media, political candidates, public health officials, professional organizations and advertising and marketing directors.
Survey method has become so sophisticated that even using a very small sample is sufficient to infer, with great accuracy, how a large group would respond. The important thing is that sample should be. Survey research is applicable in all social sciences such as anthropology, social and political sciences including psychology. If a sample is selected carefully then its findings can be generalized. In survey research, data can be collected from illiterate persons also. Survey research has the advantage of wide scope. A great deal of information can be obtained from a large population. While surveys tend to be more expensive than laboratory and field experiments, but due to the amount and quality of information they yield, they are still economical. Efficiency is the obvious quality of the survey. Questionnaires can be administered to a larger number of subjects and high-speed computers can analyze the data resulting in rapid data collection and treatment. The survey method is prominently employed in public opinion polls, but the sampling is a key issue in this regard.
LIMITATIONS IN SURVEY METHOD
The nature of the sample determines the overall value of any survey research. If the sample is not representative, the investigator cannot draw conclusions about the large population. It becomes more difficult when members of the sample do not return the questionnaires, inventories and other attempts to gather data. A further limitation of survey research is that the investigator observes only the marks on a questionnaire rather than the behaviour itself. It is also questionable that the responses given by the subjects actually reflect what people believe and do. Still, another problem is that respondents are not willing to admit ignorance. In one instance fictitious events were included in a questionnaire on public affairs and many people have opinions about those events. Actually, people would avoid saying, “I don’t know”. (Bishop, Oldendick, Bennett 1980). People may give inaccurate information because of money lapses and because they don’t want to let the researcher know what they really believe about a particular issue. Survey information does not penetrate very deeply below the surface, The scope of the information sought is usually emphasized at the expense Of depth. Survey research is demanding of time and money also. In a large survey, it may take months for a single hypothesis to be tested.
Survey research also requires a good deal of research knowledge and sophistication. The competent survey investigator must know sampling, questionnaire construction, interviewing, analysis of data and other technical aspects of the survey. Such knowledge is hard to come by. Few investigators get this kind and amount of experience. Sampling and the development of good schedule are major tasks. The interview requires skill, time and money. Anyhow surveys on a smaller scale can avoid these problems to some extent. Moreover, any research that uses sampling is naturally subject to sampling error, while it is true that survey information has been found to be relatively accurate.
Although survey method has some limitations, yet it is perhaps the most widely used and best known of the major methods of psychological research.