Also called: Data Analyst, Field Interviewer, Research Associate, Research Fellow
Produced by CareerOneStop
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These days, talk of big data and internet algorithms can give you the sense that we already have all the information we need. In reality, it also takes the skills of survey researchers to gather and interpret data, so that accurate and representative information is available. Survey researchers design surveys, conduct interviews and focus groups, and analyze data. The data they collect varies— from employment and salary information to public opinion on a product or proposal. Survey researchers’ regularly use communication skills— both to gather information and to present results to clients. They must know how to choose the right method to gather accurate data on a particular topic, fine-tune surveys to solve any design problems, and be detail-oriented so they don’t miss anything in their analysis. Survey researchers are employed by research firms, polling organizations, non-profits, corporations, colleges and universities, and government agencies. They usually work alone in an office, though some work on teams, and may travel to meet clients or to reach a targeted group for their research. Usually survey researchers work regular full-time business hours, but deadlines may sometimes call for extra time. Many positions require a graduate degree in a related field, such as marketing, survey research, statistics, or the social sciences. A related bachelor’s degree qualifies a candidate for some entry-level positions. Experience performing research, using statistics, and analyzing data, increases employment prospects.
What they do:Plan, develop, or conduct surveys. May analyze and interpret the meaning of survey data, determine survey objectives, or suggest or test question wording. Includes social scientists who primarily design questionnaires or supervise survey teams.
On the job, you would:
- Review, classify, and record survey data in preparation for computer analysis.
- Monitor and evaluate survey progress and performance, using sample disposition reports and response rate calculations.
- Produce documentation of the questionnaire development process, data collection methods, sampling designs, and decisions related to sample statistical weighting.
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
- sociology and anthropology
- customer service
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- communicate by writing
- read and understand what is written
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- use rules to solve problems
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Analytical Thinking
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Data base user interface and query software