Traditionally, when running a market survey (such as membership analysis or benchmarking the salaries in an industry), associations and nonprofits had to choose between hiring a market research firm or a university. There were two reasons for this – it takes manpower to administer a survey, and the statistical expertise to decipher research results were hard to find. For these reasons, it usually made sense for an organization to outsource its studies.
However, a number of recent innovations in the field have enabled non-profits to run their own surveys, without hiring expensive providers. First, online surveys eliminate much of the expense in administering a survey. Second, tools exist that eliminate the need to hire a statistician at all – and you can train your own staff to analyze data.
Managing your own survey shortens the time needed to get the research started. Explaining to a third party how the company is organized or how the research will execute is no longer necessary. Now data input can be provided directly from the company without intermediaries.
Not hiring a statistician does not mean not having that key statistical knowledge. This knowledge is now provided by different software algorithms which automate much of what statisticians currently do they can even provide easy-to-follow tools that help a non-statistician run analysis.
This essentially means a new, faster way of producing survey-based insight, which has become more cost effective with practically the same expertise and depth that an outsourced professional would bring. For more information on designing your own online surveys, please click here.