MBA Students and Survey Tools

MBA Students and Survey Tools

Sometime during their MBA program, MBA students learn the importance of data collection and the role data plays in decision-making. However, they are unlikely to learn much about the logistics of data collection, such as questionnaire design and the use of web-based survey tools. While learning the logistics of data collection may not be part of the curriculum of most MBA programs, it is important because logistical issues can make a significant difference to decision makers and the quality of the decisions they make. One way of learning some of the basics is for MBA students to begin using several of the available tools while they are earning their MBA degree.

Two tools with which I am familiar and use on a regular basis are SurveyMonkey and Google Forms. I use each for survey data collection and for standardizing data collection when manually collecting data from multiple sources, such as websites. Google Forms is free and SurveyMonkey has a reduced-capabilities version that is also free. Even though their names imply otherwise, both tools are useful for data collection when using either a questionnaire or a form.

Opportunities to Use – MBA students have multiple opportunities to use these tools during their MBA program. For example:

  • The MBA class social committee is planning an event and wants to know how many class members will attend.
  • An MBA team project includes gathering data from class members.
  • The MBA student organization hosts an event with a speaker, and feedback about the speaker  is wanted.

Benefits of Using – Using these types of tools, provide numerous benefits. Some benefits include:

  • Ready-to-use templates – Google Forms provides access to publically shared forms and surveys developed by users, and SurveyMonkey provides users access to templates developed and tested by experts.
  • Results sharing – Both applications provide result-sharing capabilities, so information sharing is no longer dependent on one person.
  • Showing results instantly – Both applications instantaneously tabulate submitted responses and other input, thus making information available in real-time.
  • Access to a question bank – Google Forms provides access to users’ publically shared questionnaires and SurveyMonkey provides access to certified questions written by survey methodologists, which minimizes bias and improves accuracy of responses.
  • Reuse of surveys and forms – Both applications save previously used surveys and forms so that users do not have to start over each time they want to use a similar survey.
  • Access to tutorials – SurveyMonkey has tutorials that teach users about creating surveys, collecting responses, and analyzing results. In addition, both applications provide tutorials about how to use the application.

Two Sample Surveys – I created two sample surveys with two questions in each in order to illustrate the real-time data collection and results of data sharing capabilities of both tools. Each survey was developed by modifying questions and responses provided by standard templates that are available in both applications. Click on the following links to respond to each survey and then click on the corresponding data-sharing link to view the data collected.

While I intended both surveys to be samples for this article, I am also collecting information from the MyeEMBA readers, and I would appreciate your response.

Easy-to-use, Web-based survey tools, such as SurveyMonkey and Google Forms, provide MBA students with multiple benefits. Moreover, integrating these types of tools into MBA-program activities can save time and provide a way of learning some of the basics of survey design and the logistics of data collection while students are earning their MBA degrees.

Do you have other applications to recommend? Please share your thoughts with other MyeEMBA readers by adding a comment below.

Rodney Rodney G. Alsup, D.B.A., CPA, CITP
Founder of MyeEMBA.com

[Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.Net member Stuart Miles/In accordance with terms of use.]

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