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Using a survey to gather primary data within industry.... watch

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    Hi all

    So I'm looking to gather primary data for my masters dissertation and have considered using an online survey which I can link to an email. This leads to wonder how on earth I obtain email addresses for a sufficient number of my target audience within the industry I've chosen? My research will involve the Scottish financial services industry so I will need first of all identify the businesses which fall under this banner (easy part) but then identify someone with the required knowledge within that organisation who can complete my survey (hard part). Has anyone got any tips or suggestions on how I would go about this?

    Thanks
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    I'm slowly realising how difficult it is to get people from industry to take part in research when you don't have an in to the industry. Keep at it and start early. Contact as many sources you think can help as possible. Good luck!
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    Find out how big a sample size you require - do you needs hundreds of junior people or will a handful or senior execs suffice? Do you have any connection to the sector already? If yes, then leverage them and network to get the connections you need. If not then you're going to have to start cold-calling. If you can't identify anyone by name (eg through LinkedIn or corporate webpages) you could call the switchboard and ask to be put through to 'the person responsible for xxx' and hope you get lucky. Be prepared to get a very very small sample size - online surveys are notoriously difficult to get people to respond to, more so if they don't know the person sending them out. If you get really stuck then speak to your supervisor. Good luck.

    For anyone thinking about choosing a research topic, at any level, thinking about whether you can actually obtain sufficient data, both in quantity and quality, needs to be considered early on. For my MBA project we were told not to use SurveyMonkey or other online survey tools for this reason.
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    Find out how big a sample size you require - do you needs hundreds of junior people or will a handful or senior execs suffice? Do you have any connection to the sector already? If yes, then leverage them and network to get the connections you need. If not then you're going to have to start cold-calling. If you can't identify anyone by name (eg through LinkedIn or corporate webpages) you could call the switchboard and ask to be put through to 'the person responsible for xxx' and hope you get lucky. Be prepared to get a very very small sample size - online surveys are notoriously difficult to get people to respond to, more so if they don't know the person sending them out. If you get really stuck then speak to your supervisor. Good luck.

    For anyone thinking about choosing a research topic, at any level, thinking about whether you can actually obtain sufficient data, both in quantity and quality, needs to be considered early on. For my MBA project we were told not to use SurveyMonkey or other online survey tools for this reason.
    So you were told not to do anything survey based?
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    So you were told not to do anything survey based?
    That's correct. The rationale given was along the lines of stopping us being lazy by just sending out a blanket email and hoping for lots of quality responses. It forced us to come up with a sound data-gathering methodology and target responders who could provide good quality data. There's nothing that a survey could tell me that couldn't have been significantly improved by an interview or phone conversation. We were dealing with manageable sample sizes (20-30 responders within my industry) so this approach worked well.

    Of course, if you're looking for the opinions of a hundred 14-19 year olds, for example, then an online survey would be ideal.
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    That's correct. The rationale given was along the lines of stopping us being lazy by just sending out a blanket email and hoping for lots of quality responses. It forced us to come up with a sound data-gathering methodology and target responders who could provide good quality data. There's nothing that a survey could tell me that couldn't have been significantly improved by an interview or phone conversation. We were dealing with manageable sample sizes (20-30 responders within my industry) so this approach worked well.

    Of course, if you're looking for the opinions of a hundred 14-19 year olds, for example, then an online survey would be ideal.
    Ah that makes sense then.
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    Interesting. Conducting interviews might be tricky for me as I work full time so I was trying to think of ways to gather the data which would work around normal business hours. The professional association for my chosen industry has just over 16000 group members on linkedin so within this there could be a sufficient sample size for surveying. One idea I had was to create a survey, with guidelines as to who the target group is, and try posting it within the group discussion section. Even a response rate of around 50 would be sufficient I think but if I only got 10 then it might be a waste of time!

    The dissertation can also be done using secondary data only but this sounds a bit harder to me as you basically have to take other peoples research and use it support your own proposed theory. I guess it's a bit like a huge lit review.
 
 
 
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