Ranking Items Using Our Market Research Software
Using customer survey software for ranking a series of items to learn which are more important or more desired is a common task in marketing, public opinion and customer surveys. The Survey System offers three ways to collect ranking data.
One is to use a numeric question asking people to enter the ranking numbers next to each item in a fill-in-the-blank style. You can use the No Duplicate Answers logic instruction to prevent someone from entering the same number for more than one item.
If you are doing a Web page survey, another alternative is to use a numeric question’s rank by dragging feature. You can present images and/or text labels to drag. The Web options for numeric questions allow you to present the items vertically or horizontally and otherwise customize the appearance of the items to be dragged. If you only want some items ranked, such as “Select your top three items from this list of 10 items,” you can have respondents drag items from one box into a second, smaller box. One caveat is that ranking by dragging might not work on some mobile devices. They may interpret attempts to drag an item as attempts to scroll the window.
The third way to present items to rank is in answer grid or matrix form. In this case people would see items to be ranked as rows in a grid and the rank choices as columns. As with numeric questions, you can use the No Duplicate Answers logic instruction to make sure that each rank is picked only once.
Regardless of which of these methods you use, it is important to use a Randomize Answers logic instruction to present the items to be ranked in a random order. This instruction is needed to avoid the small, but real tendency for people to consider items presented at the top of a list more important than those presented further down. Failure to use this instruction will lead to biased results. You cannot use customer survey software that does not offer randomizing to do serious research.