It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out'' (Proverbs 25:2). Research is, therefore, an important tool in unraveling things that are not known in life. In the same vein, social scientists are focused on understanding how people impact and are affected by their social environment (Visser et al., 2011). It can only be achieved through research. There are different methods of research that can be used in collecting data. This paper focuses on telephone surveys.
What Are the Advantages of a Telephone Survey?
The main methods of collecting data in the period between the 1940s and 70s were mail and face-to-face (Hoffman & Szolnoski, 2013). Despite this, the increasing telephone coverage rates, affordable cost of telephone surveys, the speed at which telephone surveys can be carried out, and the quality of the data generated via phone surveys have primarily impacted the success of telephone surveys. Different factors must be taken into consideration when taking a phone survey of forty families within the 721-exchange areas. These steps will ensure an excellent representation of all subscribers in the exchange area.
Sampling as First Step of Telephone Survey
The first step is to come up with a sampling strategy (Wallace Foundation, 2011). It will mean focusing on the target population, the ways of identifying them and accessing contact information, and the methods of organizing the survey population.
Second Step of Telephone Survey: Questionnaire
The second step will be to develop a questionnaire. It will include information one needs to find out and the best method of posing questions so as to get the required information. After this, a pilot test must be carried out (Wallace Foundation, 2011). However, this process must be conducted by experienced interviewers. Through a pilot test, it will be possible to verify the efficiency of a questionnaire before using it to gather data. The telephone interviews can then be conducted. Here, respondents are called and interviewed. Their views and opinions are recorded.
Entering and Analyzing of the Data: Last Steps of Telephone Survey
The penultimate step will include entering data. Analyzing data in a quantitative manner is important. It will require entering data into the computer to be used by statistical software (Wallace Foundation, 2011). Different alternatives can be utilized for data entry. For instance, if one intends to use SPSS software for data analysis, the data can simply be entered into an SPSS database. There are those who will employ Microsoft Excel to enter and analyze data.
The last step will be to analyze the data. In other words, this will mean making sense of the findings.
Thulasingam and Cheriyath (2008) summarize everything by noting that over the recent past, with increasing telephone coverage, it has become a promising method of collecting data. It can be employed in studies addressing an area with good phone coverage. Phone interviews assist in covering a broader geographical area in less time and with limited logistics. The next concern would be whether the response to telephone interviews will be sufficient to prevent a nonresponse bias.
Hoffman, D & Szolnoski, G. (2008). Online, face-to-face, and telephone surveys
Comparing different sampling methods in wine consumer research. Wine Economics and Policy, 2(2), 5766.
Thulasingam, M & Cheriyath, P. (2008). Telephone survey as a method of data collection in South India. Indian J Community Med. 2008 Oct; 33(4): 268270. doi: 10.4103/0970-0218.43237Visser, P., Krosnick, J., & Lavrakas, P. (2011). Survey research.
Wallace Foundation. (2011). Workbook f: conducting telephone surveys.
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