How to Write Survey Summaries

Surveys are a useful business tool that help organizations to learn more about how people feel about a particular area of the business. For example, surveys can be sent to employees to understand how many feel engaged in the business and how many feel unsatisfied. Surveys to prospects and customers can provide vital user feedback on product features. Use a survey summary report to understand and act on the results of your survey.

Establish the Goal of Summarizing Survey Results

A survey summary is a report that outlines the results of the survey you conducted. They are read by leaders in the business and used to decide how to move forward. Even if you’re not sharing the results with any additional stakeholders, summarizing your findings can help you to figure out the next steps.

The goal of your report should be to clearly outline the findings that help the business take action based on the results. The goal of your survey, however, will affect the next steps. For example, if your survey was sent to seminar attendees to learn what they thought of it, the goal of your survey summary may be to create a plan to improve seminar attendance and attendee satisfaction.

Provide this context at the start of your survey summary so the reader understands the background information and the goal of the questionnaire. Also note the data collection technique you used in your survey so the reader knows how the information was gathered.

Tally the Numbers

Next, it’s time to crunch the numbers. List key questions and their results and don’t try to analyze the results yet. First, you need to see what kind of responses you received. Using percentages is an effective way to view overall sentiment.

For example, if you surveyed your employees about safety conditions in the warehouse, and the majority of them responded saying they felt the warehouse was not a safe place to work, you can tally the results in percentage form and present that in your report instead of the number of employees.

Repeat this for all key questions in your survey. For example, in a sample survey analysis report, be sure to group related questions together in a section so that the reader can easily follow along. For example, group all questions about warehouse safety in one section and group all questions about payroll timelines in another section. It is useful to display your results visually using charts and graphs because this helps visual learners to understand the data and also enables readers to quickly scan the content.

Draw Business Conclusions

Once you have summarized the results, it’s time to ascertain conclusions from the data. What do all the numbers mean in the context of your business?

If you asked prospects how they felt about your latest marketing campaign, and 75 percent of respondents said they thought it was offensive, that tells you that your messaging did not resonate with your target audience. As a result, you can conclude that your marketing campaign was not successful because it did not persuade prospects to purchase your product.

Review the overall goal of your survey and see if you achieved that objective. If you were trying to see how many customers were going to attend your next coaching session, but only 5 percent of customers responded to your survey, you could potentially conclude that you did not achieve your goal because you didn’t receive enough responses. This may mean there was a problem in the user experience that you need to fix in order to meet your goal.

Decide on Next Steps

A summary of questionnaire results is designed to help you make business decisions based on the answers. Review the conclusion and figure out how you will move forward. Will you change a product feature to better meet your customers’ needs? Will you revise an internal process to make it easier for your employees to do their jobs?

After you’ve implemented the change, be sure to conduct another survey to see if the results have improved. Compare results to your last survey to determine whether you’ve achieved your initial goal.

References

About the Author

Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.