# Australian Bureau of Statistics

 Education Services #search{vertical-align:-3.5px; }
 Education Services

 Steps In Running A Survey

Step 1: Planning a survey
Step 2: Collecting data

 Once you have decided on your question, how many people will be in your sample, and randomly selected them, you will need to consider how to collect the data. Will it be through an interview or will you collect written responses? The data you collect will also need to be in a form that is easily organised in order to analyse it. For example, you need consistency in units and fractional answers so request that the data be recorded to the nearest centimetre or half centimetre. Interview In an interview, a participant can ask questions if they haven’t understood something. Written response Written responses can be completed by many participants at the same time and are quicker than interviews. Variables A variable is any measurable characteristic or attribute that can have different values for different subjects – for example, eye colour, distance from school etc. Characteristic is another way of saying variable. For example, height, age or country of birth are all characteristics or variables of people.

Step 3: Organising data

After you have collected the data, it needs to be organised so that it is useful and ready to display.

Frequency tables
A useful way to record raw data is a tally table or frequency table.
A frequency table counts the number of times – or frequency – a value occurs in the data. For example, twenty people are asked "How many TVs do you have in your household?" If 2 households have 1 TV, the frequency of households with 1 TV is 2.

Frequency tables with class intervals
When a variable has a large spread, the values can be grouped together to make the data easier to manage and present.
For example, if you asked students how much time it takes them to get to school each day, their responses may vary considerably. In this case, you can group the responses together in 5 minute intervals. These intervals are called class intervals. All class intervals should have an equal range. Class intervals are usually in groups of 5, 10, 20, 50 etc.

 NUMBER OF TVs TALLY FREQUENCY (f) 0 l l l l 4 1 l l 2 2 l l l l l 6 3 l l l l l l l 8
Figure 1: Frequency table of number of TVs per household

 TIME TAKEN TO GET TO SCHOOL (min) TALLY FREQUENCY (f) 1 - 5 l l l l l l 7 6 - 10 l l l l l l l l 9 11 - 15 l l l l l l l l 9 16 - 20 1 1
Figure 2: Example of a frequency table showing five minute class intervals

Step 4: Displaying information
Step 5: Analysing the data
Step 6: Drawing conclusions