Things to Consider When Estimating Your Survey Sample Size

Updated on November 24, 2020
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Ensuring you pick the right samples is something that you have to do when you want to conduct research successfully. This is because a sample is one of the most important things that you cannot handle improperly, otherwise it will not accurately represent the population. The right sample estimate will provide more reliable and accountable data and results that meet you research goals and expectations. Still, there are many people who find it is not a simple process – they may not know how to start to estimate the sample size of a survey properly. Fortunately, if you find yourself trying to solve the sample calculation problem, it this article provides the insights you need to help you determine your considerations while estimating your survey sample size more precisely. 

Here are recommendations below mainly if you want to estimate the right sample size for your survey. So, let’s check them out.

The Population You Want to Understand

One of the various things that you have to really consider when you estimate the sample size for your survey is the population that you want to study or examine. In this case, necessary for you to recognize the people or target population that will take your survey as the first step, which can be based on their ages, occupations, genders, activities, and so on. You have to do it in order to make your samples more exactly. For example, you better be focused on the male customers when you want to do a survey about the selling of the sport themed products for men in a particular month. Then, you will be able the products that they are interested the most and also their different behaviors while shopping your products. In addition to this, knowing your population will guide you to define the right samples in the easier way for sure. So, it is clear that you do not need to waste any of your time and energy while doing this step.

The Design and Method

The right design and method will really help you to select the right sample size. Luckily, there are actually so numerous sample designs and methods available out there, which one of them that is so recommended for you is the stratified random sampling. This kind of sample method will involve a specific division of the population into smaller groups (strata) which are categorized based on the shared characteristics and attributes of the people. It means that you are allowed to get the samples that can represent the population in the most excellent way. It is no wonder if it will only require the smaller sample size yet reaching a good level of precision still.

The Accuracy of the Survey

Furthermore, do not ever forget to consider about the accuracy of the survey as well. In this phase, you have to really make sure that the samples that you take can really reflect the views of population that will be eligible  in the survey. In the other words, you have to let your samples answer all of the questions honestly based on their thoughts and experiences without any bad enforcement. By doing so, you can really get the authentic data to analyze after the survey. 

However, you have to considerthe margin of error which can be one of the significant things that you should include because you can figure it out effortlessly using a survey sample size calculator. 

Nevertheless, it is nice to know how it works when you find 80% of your samples like your products and then you have 7% margin of error, you will see that there are actually 73% to 87% of your samples like your stuff. In addition, 1% to 10% is the limit of the safe margin of error that you can add to your survey results. So, it will never be good if you set more than 10% of margin of error as it can make your survey results turn out to be less reliable. 

Next, at the same time, at the same time you have to pay attention to your confidence level too when you organize your survey results. You have to increase your confidence level as optimally as possible as you believe that your samples will give you the same results during the survey. It will be great if your survey can set around 90% to 99% of confidence level. Yet, if the survey shows less than 90% confidence level, it means that your survey results arenot as reliable or accurate as you may want.

The Response Rate of the People

Moreover, you should notignore the response rate of the sample populationbecause not everyone will be filling out your survey surely. So, it is the reason why you have to estimate your response rate as well as possible, so that you will be able to the total amount of the samples that you need to make your survey complete successfully. Nonetheless, the response rates can varyso widely as it depends on some factors such as the length and complexity of your survey, the relationship that you build with your audience, incentives, the survey topic, and other factors. So, you can say that you have done a successful survey if the response rate ranges from 20% to 30%. Additionally, it will be a little bit different when you do an online survey as there is no prior relationship with the target audience. 

The Budget

The last but not least, the other essential goal that you have to contemplate when you want to determine your survey sample size is your budget. It is all because your financial condition can really affect not only the survey sample size that you can obtain, but also the method that you can choose. Basically, the greatersample size you need and the more complicated method you choose will require you to dive into your pocket deeper as you have to pay greater sample costs.

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