Survey data analysis: Drill beneath the Dashboard

Corporations rely on dashboards, which have become the defacto tool for monitoring all aspects of the business enterprise. This includes critical consumer insights metrics such as net promoter score and customer satisfaction, which are normally derived from survey programs. While dashboards are convenient and easy to read, they are not a replacement for a market research analyst’s “deep dive” understanding of the survey results.

Dashboards offer limited drill down functionality by presenting a closed end list of pre-wired data classifications, such as the region / district / zone roll up or heavy / medium / light users, of a product or service. Ultimately the dashboard service allows you to view the data in any way that the closed end “box” permits.

As a consequence, dashboards offer a very convenient, easy to use and graphically pleasing “30,000 foot” view of survey program results.

While dashboards allow senior management to observe at a glance that the train hasn’t derailed, they’re not capable of revealing new insights and greater understanding of the data.

As research professionals, we’re tasked with taking a harder look at the results of our survey programs. We’re responsible for providing the insight and discovery that cannot be obtained through dashboard tools. We need to know how to ask meaningful questions of our survey results, and to have the tools on hand to easily and conveniently obtain the answers to our questions.

Who is going to tell management “why” the train derailed after it’s reported by the dashboard?

The process of drilling into the data by asking meaningful questions, which leads to new and more refined questions, ultimately results in new insight and discovery.

It is our job, as research professionals, to continually remind senior management of our value proposition by providing the insight and understanding that is buried within our survey program results, which can only be obtained by “swimming with the data” via the drill down process.

If you would like to learn more about the process of analyzing your survey results, please call on us to help you get started.

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