After entering into the world of online surveys, you may have come across some websites that refer to their surveys as questionnaires. If you’re wondering if they’re the same thing, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people, including researchers, confuse the two terms and use them interchangeably. However, there is a difference between a survey and a questionnaire. Learn what sets a survey and questionnaire apart.

What are Surveys?

Surveys are a quantitative research method with the sole purpose of collecting data and insight from a pool of respondents. Typically, companies or organizations are conducting surveys to make decisions within their business or organization. Surveys are also useful for academic and scientific research.

Most surveys consist of close-ended questions with a few short answer questions. If the surveyor wants to collect more specific research from their participants, they may use a method called question branching, which redirects respondents to a particular line of questions based on how they respond to questions. Using survey branching ensures the surveyor collects the most relevant data possible.

Before a researcher conducts a survey, they usually have a hypothesis or question they want to gather insight for first. These questions and hypotheses may come from past feedback or a different survey. Surveys help researchers determine if their hypothesis is accurate or not and provide direction based on responses to the questions they need to answer. Researchers use surveys to collect, aggregate, and analyze responses to questions.

What are Questionnaires?

Unlike surveys, questionnaires serve the sole purpose of collecting data. The answers collected from the questionnaire are not analyzed to form hypotheses or to understand the big picture of a problem. Instead, they ask a series of questions to collect information. A survey and questionnaire can ask similar questions, but what makes them different is what’s done with the responses afterward. For instance, your doctor might send you a questionnaire asking you to describe your health. Although she’s analyzing your results to help you improve your health, she doesn’t compare your results to her other patients to form an hypothesis.

Next time someone asks you, “Is there a difference between survey and questionnaire?” you can feel confident answering “Yes!”

Pros and Cons of Surveys

So, which one is better for researchers, a survey or a questionnaire? They both offer their own set of pros and cons. Instead of hosting a focus group in person, researchers can ask the same questions in an online survey. Focus groups often limit participants geographically, which can skew results and also cost more. Online surveys, on the other hand, make it easy to find participants all over. Companies that work with survey companies like Branded Surveys also don’t have to find survey participants themselves. We use our Survey Matching Engine to connect qualified participants to the right surveys. What’s more, surveys not only save money for big companies but also time.

As for the cons of surveys, they aren’t always the most accurate for concluding. If incomplete, rushed, or robot answers get submitted into the data pool, it can lead to skewed conclusions. Fortunately, when brands work with Branded Surveys, they don’t have to worry about this. Part of the service is to review every survey submitted and eliminate incorrect responses from data pools.

Pros and Cons of Questionnaires

Since questionnaires don’t have too many uses, they also don’t have many pros and cons. As for the pros of a questionnaire, it’s a fast and practical way to collect data from a small or large pool of people. Questionnaires also carry some of the same cons as surveys. It’s always possible for respondents to provide false information.

Uses of Surveys and Questionnaires

Now that you understand the pros and cons of a survey vs. questionnaire, learn how surveys and questionnaires are used in the world.

To start, surveys are used to complete market research. Market research includes everything from getting to know customers better to learning which proposed products will succeed or not. There are several types of market research surveys, including brand awareness, consumer insight, and product research.

Brand awareness surveys help businesses understand what consumers think of their brand and how it compares to competitors. Consumer insight surveys help companies understand their target audience better to improve their marketing and future products. Lastly, product research surveys help companies determine if a new product will become successful and how current products can improve.

The use of a survey vs. a questionnaire is much different. Questionnaires are an easy way to collect information on both a small and large scale. For example, questionnaires are useful for screenings, risk assessments, health assessments, self-assessments, and even tracking employee performance. Questionnaires are even used for wedding guests to decide which food to pick. The main difference between a survey and a questionnaire is what happens with the results. If you’re going to analyze the results after you receive the responses, it turns into a survey rather than a questionnaire.

Get Paid to Take Online Surveys

Would you like to get paid for taking online surveys? At Branded Surveys, we work with companies who want to conduct market research by distributing their surveys to our members. After our members take the online surveys and the company collects their responses, we reward our members with points. By taking online surveys and earning points with our other offerings, our members can earn cash or gift cards. Anyone can sign up and get paid for voicing their opinion on our platform. Best of all, you can take surveys from the comfort of your own home.

Want to earn money by taking online surveys? Sign up to become a member of Branded Surveys today!