Plan Your Poll: Steps
in Preparing a Poll
How do I plan my poll?
It's easier than you think. The first thing to do in a poll
is to decide what your research objective is. What is it that
you want to know? What information do you need to decide to
make one choice from all the options in front of you?
The next thing you should ask yourself is: "Who exactly
should I be asking"? The benefit of random sample polling
is that from a relatively small number of people, a few hundred
— for example, you can know what large populations think.
After the polling results are in, Vector Research uses them
to read the public mind to find out what people believe and
then helps you apply these results to
create your strategy and solve your problems.
How do I write good questions for my poll?
Every poll is biased by the questions you ask. Part of our
expertise at Vector Research is that we know how to phrase
the questions so that the answers make sense. We ensure that
the answers are reliable and representative of the people
who are being surveyed or polled. Question writing is the
"Art of Polling"; sampling
is the "Science of Polling." At Vector Research,
we help you do both, quickly, efficiently and in a cost-effective
The Vector Poll Planner:
1. What specifically are you trying to find out?
What is the purpose of the research? How will the
results be applied? For example…
- To see what services our customers, voters, donors or
members want or don’t want
- To see what motivates members, customers, voters and
wins their loyalty
- To help us decide which option to follow or which strategy
would be most effective
2. What should the report on the findings contain?
- Percentages and summaries
3. What kind of data is required?
- Marital status
- Language spoken
- Household income
- Union Status
- Other characteristics
4. What kind of data analysis is required?
For example, cross-tabulating data shows if opinions on
one subject are correlated with attitudes about other issues.
- Cross-tabulating data
- Trend analysis and forecasting
5. What sample size and sample design is required?
For example, quota samples specify a minimum number of interviews
in different groups such as 200 men and 200 women, or at
least 150 interviews in each region, area and so on.
- A minimum number of interviews
- Different areas or regions
- Different genders
- A combination of the above
6. Do any sources exist for the information we
- Existing earlier polls that should be updated or tracked.
7. What method should be used to collect the data?
- In-person phone interviews
- Focus groups
- Online website
8. Who approves the questionnaire?
9. Who receives the final report? (This
influences the recommendations.)
10. When should the fieldwork be conducted? Is
there a good time/bad time to poll (before or after a major
announcement, before or after an association initiative)?
When do we need the results?
If you're planning a poll
and would like some advice on the best methods to use, the
approximate costs involved, or anything else, complete our
Request Advice form.