The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute’s survey research team assesses opinions and gathers factual data to inform organizational changes, economic development programs, and public policy initiatives. Decision makers utilize survey research conducted by the Gardner Institute to understand the spending of convention attendees, the employee engagement, and satisfaction with online services provided by the government, for example.

The Gardner Institute helps public entities design survey questionnaires, determine optimal methods for gathering responses, oversee fieldwork, and analyze results.  By using robust methodologies to provide the best data and analysis possible, the institute facilitates the decision-making process.

Phone Surveys

Telephone surveys remain an effective method of measuring public opinion. Surveys by phone generally have a higher response rate than web-based or mail surveys and can have a quick turnaround time. Both landline and mobile numbers are used to provide representative samples of the population. Phone surveys also allow for interviews to probe and clarify responses with the individual. An example of a recent phone survey is the citizen survey.

In Person Interviews

There a number of reasons that in-person interviewing methods should be considered over other data collection methods.  Interviews conducted  In person surveys are often used to gather data from hard to reach groups that may otherwise be excluded.  Intercepting respondents is an effective way to get user evaluations of services, programs, or events.  Face to face methods are used to collect information on sensitive topics. The questionnaire can be a longer and a trained interviewer can clarify responses or probe for more information. An example of a recent face to face interviewing project is the Sundance Film Festival Economic Impact Report.

Online surveys

Online surveys are an efficient mode of conducting surveys when the population intended to be studied is already known. In this case, lists of contacts may need to be provided, making this a great option for an employee- or student-based survey. The online survey provides some distinct advantages in that it can help eliminate interview bias, is easily distributed through email, and can be accessed on a computer or mobile device. The Policy Institute uses a professional software service for conducting online surveys, Qualtrics, which provides a clean, easy to use format and provides for robust data collection.