Difference Between Questionnaires and Surveys

Questionnaire and Surveys are the two terms that are often mixed up when used. This is due to the people thinking them as the same thing, when they are totally  different concepts.


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When doing any research, one must always know the difference between these two, for being more likely to obtain information successfully.

Questionnaires vs Surveys

The difference between questionnaire and survey is that questionnaires are a bunch of questions that are supposed to be asked to an individual whereas surveys are much in depth data collection, inspecting and constructing information from an individual. Surveys are conducted whereas the questionnaires are delivered or mailed to the participants.

Questionnaires vs Surveys

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A questionnaire is a tool that is used while doing research, which includes a set of questions that are meant to collect data from a participant.

These questionnaires are a mixture of open ended and close ended questions. They require less time consumption and usually the answers are confined.

A survey is a method of research that is used to collect information from a prearranged set of participants to obtain more insights about their particular topic.

There are many types of surveys a researcher can use considering the methodology chosen. Surveys lets the candidates elaborate their answers as there are no pre-arranged set of options to choose from.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonQuestionnaires Surveys 
DefinitionA questionnaire is a tool, which includes a set of questions to be asked to an individual.Survey is method consisting of questionnaires which aims to collect in depth data from a set of participants. 
Types of questions Both close-ended and open-ended questions are asked.Few open-ended and close-ended questions are asked.
Time spentQuick to collect data.Process is time consuming.
Conducted forQuestionnaires are used for collecting data on a topic.Surveys are done to conduct in depth research or study a topic.
Types of answersObjective answers.Answers can be subjective as well as objective.

What are Questionnaires?

A questionnaire is a research tool that includes a set of questions that tend to obtain data from a participant. These questionnaires are generally a mixture of open-ended questions and close-ended questions.

Open-ended or the long form questions let the participant elaborate their thoughts in depth. The Statistical Society of London developed a research questionnaire in the year 1838.

The information obtained from a questionnaire can be quantitative and qualitative.

Oftentimes, questionnaires may be a part of a survey, but a survey compulsorily has questionnaires as a part of it. With a good set of questionnaire questions, a lot of information can be arranged with less time consumption.

In questionnaires, there is always less biasness as the questions are prearranged. Participants get to be anonymous if they want and still answer the questions with the same efficiency. 

Qualitative questionnaires are often used to carry out fact finding investigation which helps to approve or disapprove a given hypothesis.

On the other hand, quantitative questionnaires are used to examine a hypothesis which has been created previously. Questionnaires are collected in four ways which include online questionnaires, where a google form is circulated.

Telephone questionnaires, where the researcher directly calls the participants to have a quick chat and collect their responses.

The researcher in some cases visits the participants to obtain their answer, this type is known as in-house questionnaires.

And the last one is mail questionnaires where an email is sent consisting of some questionnaires which are meant to be answered by the participant.

What are Surveys? 

A survey is a method which is used while doing a research which helps the researcher to gather data from a pre-arranged group of candidates to acquire in depth insight about a particular topic or study.

Surveys can be done in many ways considering the methodology that has been chosen.

Since 2020, research has been given extreme importance and therefore it is necessary to know the advantages of doing a right survey for a research. 

The information is arranged with the use of structured process and procedures which make sure that every individual candidate gets to answer the questions in an unbiased way to avoid any circumstances that could affect the results of the research. 

There are many different ways for surveys to be carried out. Few most common methods for doing surveys are emails, where an email is sent to some targeted group of people to collect data.

Another way is embedding the website which makes the participants number very high.

Posting on social media platforms is also a very effective way to get maximum people and get their responses.

Other than all these methods, survey data can be collected using the QuestionPro App and even Sms are a great and easy way to collect mass data in a short period of time.

Main Differences Between Questionnaires and Surveys

  1. Surveys are the collection, analysis and interpretation of information, while questionnaire is a set of pre-arranged questions. 
  2. Survey is referred to as the process of collecting data and questionnaire is a tool. 
  3. Survey requires a lot of time to be done while questionnaire way of data collection is a quick process. 
  4. Surveys are conducted on targeted audiences while questionnaires are given to pre-arranged candidates. 
  5. Survey answers are both subjective and objective while the questionnaire is mainly objective. 
Difference Between Questionnaires and Surveys
  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=EpKvAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=questionnaire&ots=A7CBFLY3S5&sig=rOUWOg0UUPkyak8y9aoXt_tpRZI
  2. www.rickweil.com/s2211/whatisasurvey.pdf

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