Interpreting your poll

Interpreting Your Poll

Vector will interpret the results of your poll to give you that clear sense of direction that lets you move forward with confidence.

Interpreting Your Poll

Sampling works

Organizations often spend too much on their survey research. They often exhaust their limited polling budget on samples that are too large. Or have suppliers conduct too many focus groups. In this case, more is not better. Better would be more frequent surveys and smaller samples. Remember, samples of any size have some degree of precision (described by the famous margin of sampling error).

After all, you wouldn’t read a daily paper or visit a website just once every six months. Regular fresh updates are better than big expensive one-time surveys with information that you know will go stale before you can afford to poll again.

Beware… pollsters who say a larger sample is more reliable than a smaller sample. Samples of any size—so long as they are truly random or “scientific”—have some degree or accuracy.

Beware… pollsters who say you can confidently use a “representative focus group” to reach a decision on your strategy. Focus group participants represent no one but themselves. They are not representative (they show up for the money and the refreshments!). That doesn’t mean focus groups are not useful. But you would no more tally percentages of focus group participants who support your ideas than ask them how they intend to vote and think that’s an election trial heat.

Beware… pollsters who say their organization’s findings are more reliable or accurate than other polling services. No one knows if a poll is accurate or not. A survey is a sample, not a census. And even if every customer, member or voter were surveyed, there would likely still be errors due to the problem of accurately tabulating the masses of information solicited.

At Vector Research, it is our responsibility as the "pollster" to handle these problems. Marc Zwelling, the president of The Vector Poll™, will analyze the poll and provide an interpretation of your poll so that you have a clear sense of direction that lets you move forward with confidence.

Plan Your Poll