Survey research and development

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Survey research

Asking the right question is essential to obtaining a reliable answer. And to ask the right question, you need to know exactly what you want to find out and to measure. This will ensure that you obtain the right information for your research question, that you gain a deeper understanding of the issue, and that you can deliver answers and solutions.

This implies, for example, that you avoid using jargon, that you apply a B1 language level, and that you can offer an explanation of questions and concepts when necessary. The amount of text should also be balanced: it should be enough to ensure the respondents understand the question, but not too much to be off-putting. Questions must also be phrased neutrally and non-suggestively, you should be aware that the sequence of questions can influence response patterns, and using the right response scales is important.

Centerdata has extensive experience in the design and development of an effective questionnaire, survey or experiment.

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Working with Centerdata

A team of seasoned survey researchers and methodologists is happy to help you convert your research question into a concrete questionnaire or experiment. With a variety of backgrounds, including psychology, sociology, data sciences and research methodology and techniques, the team offers both broad and specialist knowledge to support you in every phase of the research process. We can help with the entire process (developing a questionnaire, collecting data, performing the analysis and reporting the results) or with a single component (for instance just the collection of research data). The choice is entirely yours.

What are the options?

We can field your research questionnaire in the LISS panel or in an existing group of respondents, for example your own member group. Collecting data in the LISS panel offers the further advantage of having the option to enrich your data at a later stage with other data collected previously about our panel members.

Before fielding a questionnaire, we wish to discuss it with your first. We can then examine the purpose of your research, what exactly you wish to find out, and how this can best be investigated. We can also advise you about the language level used in the questionnaire and whether all the respondents will understand the questions, and whether the questionnaire will actually measure what it is meant to measure (validity).

We are also happy to help you if you don’t have a questionnaire (yet) but do have a research question. With our expertise in the field of questionnaire design and our in-house multidisciplinary know-how, we are happy to develop a questionnaire or experiment for your study. This is an iterative step-by-step process through which we design an optimum measuring tool together.

The next step is to program the questionnaire or experiment using our self-developed survey software. We have a vast amount of experience with both small and large-scale questionnaires, sometimes including complex routing (flow logic), so that respondents are guided through the questionnaire in a way that makes sense and are only presented with questions that are relevant to them. Techniques such as factorial survey design, split ballot experiments, randomization, permutations and the reuse of previous data are all part of our standard programming work.

As soon as a questionnaire has been programmed, you are invited to test it and to find out how the respondent experiences the completion process. The test results can then be used to further finetune the questionnaire. Once you and we are satisfied with the result, the questionnaire can be fielded. We apply response design technology so that the questionnaire can be completed on a PC, tablet and smartphone.

Further information? Please contact us.

About us
Boukje Cuelenaere MSc
Boukje Cuelenaere MSc
Head of Survey Research
dr. Miquelle Marchand
dr. Miquelle Marchand
Deputy head of Survey Research / Senior survey researcher
Marije Oudejans MSc
Marije Oudejans MSc
Senior survey researcher
Suzan Elshout MSc
Suzan Elshout MSc
Hosting coordinator / Senior survey researcher
Joris Mulder MSc
Joris Mulder MSc
LISS coordinator/ Senior survey researcher

Some examples of our work

  • For the VO-raad (secondary school council), we took on a questionnaire to measure pupil satisfaction and social safety in schools. The existing questionnaire was examined carefully to identify points for improvement. The measuring tool’s reliability and validity were the primary concerns. Based on cognitive interviews in which pupils were asked what they thought of the questions and through statistical testing and validation, we produced an improved version of the questionnaire. The tool is now used annually by the VO-raad and the results are published on Scholenopdekaart.nl (a vast portal offering all sorts of information about virtually every school in the Netherlands, as a resource for parents and others). In an earlier stage, Centerdata similarly improved the questionnaire measuring parents’ satisfaction.
  • Pension fund boards must comply with the Code of the Dutch Pension Funds. To better understand to what extent this Code contributes to public confidence in these pension funds, Centerdata was commissioned to perform research among pension fund participants. To this end, Centerdata developed a questionnaire and performed the data collection, analysis and results report. The main challenge in developing the questionnaire was to translate complex standards for ‘good pension fund governance’ into comprehensible language for pension recipients and employees paying pension premiums.