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Survey Tips

Have You Used Allocation Questions In Surveys?

Choosing the right types of survey questions is critical to the design of your survey. The type of question you ask determines not only the type of data you generate, but the quality of it.

Have you used allocation questions in surveys? If not, or if you’d like some more information on them, we’re going to look at allocation questions and their usefulness in your survey.

What is an Allocation Question?

Allocate means to distribute something for a particular purpose or reason.

When it comes to your survey, you’re looking for respondents to tell you how much they’ll allocate.

For example, you might ask this question, “You have $100 to spend on three areas – marketing, operations and software. How do you allocate the $100?”

Allocation questions allow respondents to tell you things like how much time or money they’ll give to something.

You can pose questions across multiple categories. Consider this question, “How much time in a 24-hour day do you allocate to family fun, work, eating, sleep and chores?”

Again, you’re asking respondents to allocate something.

Good Allocation Surveys

When creating a survey with allocation questions, you’ll want to follow this basic design:

  • Limit your categories to three-five. After this, your data won’t be as reliable because you are asking respondents to think too much.
  • Your categories must be completely independent of one another. In other words, you don’t want to overlap them as this skews your data.

Final Thoughts

Online surveys open a wide world of actionable data. It’s always important to develop a survey that meets your needs as well as those of your respondents.

It’s your goal to ask the right types of questions at the right time to keep respondents engaged. (tweet this)

When you use allocation questions in a survey, you give your respondents freedom to choose and allocate their responses. The only requirement is that their answers add up to the number you specified – for example, $100 or 100 points.

Respondents will appreciate the freedom and flexibility to allocate their answers, while you’ll find your data is easily summarized and interpreted.

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Image: Elizabeth Lies