The Difference Between Polls And Survey Questionnaires

Online survey questionnaires and online polls are both methods used to gather feedback from an audience or population. They are ways to ask questions to a group of people online without the restrictions of location, time zones or cost factors that you encounter with paper, telephone or face to face survey and poll taking.

There are some fundamental differences between the two forms of feedback gathering which we have outlined below. Before you decide if you are doing to carry out a poll or survey questionnaire, read the distinguishing features of each method below and choose which best suits your needs.

Questions

Polls consist of one multiple choice question where the respondent can generally only select one answer. Although there is the option to allow multiple answers.

A survey questionnaire can include a number of questions across wide range of question types, such as multiple choice, ratings, short and long text, and ranking questions.

Content

Polls gather opinions on a single topic or item and are usually focused on the immediate current opinion of the respondent. The respondents are not usually asked for any personal or sensitive information in poll taking and is, therefore, an anonymous form of feedback.

A survey questionnaire can gather opinions on multiple topics (or sub-topics) and can help to determine future actions of the surveyor. You can ask respondents in surveys for personal information if needed. For example, you may ask for an email address, age, name or occupation.

Time

Polls take a matter of seconds to complete and in a couple of mouse clicks so you can get instant feedback from your respondents.

Surveys can take longer to answer and required more commitment from the respondent to complete in full.

Results

Results for polls can be seen in reports immediately and no analysis is necessarily required. This also means that polls can provide limited data to draw conclusions from.

Surveys require more time to gather responses and analysis is needed to pull together all the answers of the questions within it to formulate a comprehensive conclusion. Whilst it is more time consuming to analyze the data from a survey questionnaire, you will get a much richer data results to give you a clearer picture of audience opinion.

When surveys are the best method:
You need comprehensive feedback
You will be acting upon the results of your feedback
You have a number of questions to ask
You need to gather personal details / identification details
You want to ask open questions

When polls are the best method:
You need immediate feedback
You have one question to ask
You are asking the question for fun
You don’t need detailed responses
You have no time for analysis

You can create professional polls and surveys with Obsurvey.  Click here to get started!

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