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Old Nov 13, 2004, 06:12 PM   #1
peter.eliasson
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E-mail survey /questionnaire?

Soon I will start working on a paper where I will examine attitudes of small businesses. Therefor I would like to prepare a survey to send out to the companies to be filled in and returned.

How can I do this? Is there a good reliable software for this, to make a nice working survey?
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 06:54 PM   #2
varmit
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Um, just make a document, using Word, or Textedit.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 06:58 PM   #3
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Depending on the level of sophistication you want, you might try Zoomerang...

http://info.zoomerang.com/

We used it on small scale projects when I was at Deloitte Consulting and were pretty happy with it. It has some features at free and reduced cost educational price levels.

It's a web-delivery survey tool -- you click through and fill out the survey online. Which might not be exactly what you're looking for. But assuming these are SB's that use computers now, it's probably a better tool than paper. IIRC, you get a CSV or Excel file with the results via a website.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 07:22 PM   #4
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my wife uses web surveyor for her work,

http://www.websurveyor.com
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 07:56 PM   #5
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create your own, their is lots of php/mysql/javascript codes out their if you are interested.
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 03:38 AM   #6
peter.eliasson
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More ideas? Help with php/mysql/javascript codes?

Thanks for your replys! I forgot to mention it, but what I am looking for is a way to e-mail the survey so companies can fill it on the computer and send back without papers. This will be easier for them, I will save the costs of stamps, plus I would like to learn to make an e-mail survey just in case I will have to do one after my education.

I checked out the software sites, they both look good. Zoomerang has a discounted offering for education, and also a free basic version. Websurveyor seems a little expensive for my limited budget, but probably is very professional. Anyway, thanks! I'll look into especially Zoomerang more.

But then making my own survey tool sounds interesting and challenging, because I have never used any of php/mysql/javascript codes. Can I find codes on the web? Where can I read an easy beginner's guide on how to make and use these codes?
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 05:34 AM   #7
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1...2...3... google it!... no serious i am being lazy at the moment... i will have a look later, shure i have a few sitting round.

i am happy to host mysql for you as its a education thingy
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 10:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by neilrobinson
i am happy to host mysql for you as its a education thingy
Ahhh, gotta love the mac community.
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Old Nov 16, 2004, 03:24 PM   #9
peter.eliasson
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Sure, everybody is really helpful here, that's amazing and lovely. Actually I got really interested in learning more about this stuff I know nothing about with writing code, this php and mysql stuff. I guess I will have to learn it sooner or later anyway, so I will boy some beginner's book next month. But maybe I still use something like Zoomerang if I haven't had time to learn so much yet when I start my survey ...
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 04:39 AM   #10
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I'm not sure what you mean by e-mail survey, but here's a tool for web-based surveys:

www.surveymonkey.com
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 09:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter.eliasson
Soon I will start working on a paper where I will examine attitudes of small businesses. Therefor I would like to prepare a survey to send out to the companies to be filled in and returned.

How can I do this? Is there a good reliable software for this, to make a nice working survey?
If you want to make the survey yourself, then you're going to need certain things. I just finished a project like this for my gf. She needed an online survey to gather data for her thesis.
I don't know how much you know about html/php/hosting, etc., so I'll pretend you're a beginner.

#1 You need somewhere to host your survey. If you have broadband, then you can host it yourself. If not, then you need a proper web-host. If you host it yourself you can make a new account on your mac which has a better sounding name, e.g. ~business_survey.
#2 You'll need to know or learn HTML, PHP, CSS, and optionally MySQL.
#3 If you're hosting the survey yourself, you'll need to install PHP and MySQL. Not too hard to do. There are installers and instructions at entropy.ch
#4 You'll make the survey itself using HTML, styled with CSS. Then you'll need to use PHP (or some other scripting language, but PHP is the friendliest) to parse the data, verify it, manipulate it, whatever. Then you'll use PHP to insert the data into a MySQL database.
#5 Even if the survey is anonymous, you should send out emails which have unique IDs, so that you can look at your web server logs and see who has actually visited. Then you can send a second wave of emails out to those who haven't yet replied without giving hassle to those who have replied. If you're a quick learner, you can throw together an AppleScript to automatically generate personalised emails with a unique URL for your participants.
#6 If you are hosting the web server, then you can make backups of the database, otherwise you need to set up your host server so that it makes backups for you. You can have PHP send you an email with the replies, if you want.
#7 Depending on what program you're going to analyse your results in (Excel or SPSS or whatever), you write the PHP to compile the results so that the data is easily exported. Or you can compile the results afterwards and use a text-editor to wrangle it into some form that your analysis program needs.

But, the hardest part is actually making your survey itself so that the answers give a real result, but I'm sure you're aware of that.

Resources: Get yourself an O'Reilly Safari Bookshelf subscription ($9.99 per month for 5 books), and read 'Programming PHP' by Rasmus Lerdorf. It's an excellent introduction to programming and doesn't assume you know anything. Use php.net, dev.myql.com, and google, and you can solve most problems. If you decide to go the DIY route, it'll be long and hard, but I can testify that you'll come out the other side a better man. You'll then be able to tackle most web-based projects...

If you want more help, send me a pm.
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Old Nov 18, 2004, 01:43 AM   #12
peter.eliasson
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Thanks

Wow, I'm amazed over the good help i got here. Now I have answers to many questions I have been thinking about, even many questions i didn't say! Now the whole project of learning how to do this stuff seems a little clearer. For example, the Safari bookshelf seem like the perfect resoource for me, I already signed in. Also, Surveymonkey seems like a good choice if I can't make it on my own. Thanks!
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