Allowing for method of analysis

When preparing a questionnaire, a great deal of time and money at the analysis stage can be saved. One of the major ways of doing this is to use precoded questions, as mentioned in Section 8.6.1 and illustrated in Figure 8.2. Not only the question, but also a list of responses appears on the questionnaire. Code numbers for each response appear in the far righthand column of the questionnaire, and the interviewer simply rings the relevant response. These ringed codes can be entered into the computer directly from the questionnaire. This saves the intervening stage of coding original responses when the questionnaires are returned. By precoding responses, and deciding beforehand how many codes will be allotted to open-ended questions, the whole questionnaire can be laid out in such a way that as much direct input as possible is facilitated. Computer-assisted interviewing either by telephone (CATI), on the World Wide Web (CAWI) or in person (CAPI) clearly facilitates this process further. Questions can be entered directly into analysis programs and results can be processed very quickly.

The requirements for tabular analysis should also be considered at this stage: which answers will be analysed by which classification categories? This is a very useful discipline at the stage of questionnaire design, because it illustrates whether the data produced will be in the form required for analysis to produce the information needed by the decision maker. When the actual stage of analysis comes, it is too late to discover that all the data required has not been collected, or that it is in the wrong form for analysis to produce appropriate information to meet the survey objectives.

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