Was It Good For You? How to Know if Your Online Survey Project Was a Success

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Posted Mar 28, 2012
Kathryn Korostoff

Chances are, you aren’t doing online surveys for your own personal use. You likely plan to share the results with colleagues or clients. Maybe your manager, channel partners, or outside investors.So how do you know that all that it was good for them? Or, to be more precise, what makes a market research study a success?

Assessing Project Success

If at project conclusion the following criteria are met, chances are it was a success. The results are solid, and the audience will likely be happy. If some of these items didn’t make it, some degree of failure must be acknowledged—and if possible—remedied:1. Project completed on time.2. Project completed on budget.3. Project results clearly aligned with defined project objectives. For example, the research was funded to get a better understanding of customers purchase behaviors, and the results clearly added insight into this topic.4. Sample size and quota distributions met.5. Reporting met quality expectations. Graphs were clearly labeled, data was checked for accuracy, and text was free of egregious grammar errors.6. Research results were deemed credible and actionable by clients (whether to inform strategies, make decisions, or otherwise improve the business). And remember, “Clients” may be internal or external.7. Research was delivered with meaningful recommendations and interpretations. You didn’t just do a “data dump.” Better still, your client s got at least one important “aha!” moment from your research.

But There Was A Meteor Strike In Our Office!

In reality, things happen that are outside of your control. But when they did, you hopefully re-set client expectations accordingly, and found acceptable options.Clients understand that extreme, unexpected things sometimes happen.


If the project is done and deemed a success, by all means celebrate! There is nothing like a little fun to conclude a successful project! For a small project, even a congratulations statement at a company meeting is fine. For a larger project, consider investing a little money to have T-shirts or mugs made. A small token at the final presentation leaves a positive impression, and reminder, that will make it easier when seeking budget for your next project.

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