Computer and community engagement survey information

How to create a community engagement survey

Why is a community engagement survey important?

Using a well-designed community engagement survey is essential to deliver feedback from your community or client. It is an important way of tracking sentiment and response to your organisation or specific projects.

There are great survey tools you can use to quickly populate some questions using ranking, star rating, multiple choice and free comment boxes.

Surveys can be great for collating statistics to take forward into decision making e.g. 82% of residents supported the new bridge project.

Building a good community engagement survey online

There are many elements to creating a solid survey that will deliver you the data to assess your stakeholders’ buy-in or concerns etc.

Firstly, you must consider your objective and what you need the data to tell you. If you need one headline statistic (e.g. do you agree or disagree with something) you could consider using a quick poll.

Secondly, think about how you want to be able to report on the data. Using an online survey system often allows downloads into a CSV or basic excel file. You then need to interpret the results. Some systems, including Engagement Hub, create charts and graphs based on your data.

Finally, and most importantly craft your questions. The wording of your questions is critical to the response. For a truly effective survey, make sure your questions aren’t biased or leading towards a particular response.

Use various question types – YES / NO, multiple-choice, ratings or matrices. It’s also important to include open comment fields where possible. The hard data or quantitative data is easier to interpret but you often learn the most from the qualitative feedback. Engagement Hub has a built-in comment and sentiment tagging to convert the comments to quantitative data which is then displayed in graphs.

The last step that many people skip is testing your survey. Assemble a small group of internal or external stakeholders and test the survey for any glitches, comprehension and tracking results.

Interpreting your survey results

Once your survey has closed, it’s time to check in on your results. Analysing qualitative feedback is a skill. Some online engagement platforms, including Engagement Hub, include ‘sentiment analysis’ tools to assist you in this. If the sentiment tool is automatic using AI, be careful to look beyond the results as they don’t always fully capture true responses. The only safe way to track sentiment is to manually tag a comment. However, the sentiment is only one part of the picture.

Engagement Hub utilises unique software tools to help you set up your surveys in a highly customised way, to segment your users, tag feedback into themes, trends and sentiment and projects and to build a more comprehensive base from which to launch your survey.

This, in turn, makes interpreting survey results much easier.

Engagement Hub features a unique Topic Tagging feature enabling our clients to create hierarchal categories e.g. Parking and then topics/themes/trends within that category e.g. need more parking, fast turn-around parking. Any user feedback submitted on Engagement Hub can be quickly reviewed and then ‘tagged’ to any number of relevant ‘tags’ and new categories and tags can always be added. These Categories and Tags are then converted into pie and bar charts for visual understanding.

Much more than just a survey tool

Surveys and quick polls are only two tools in your engagement toolbox. There are many other participative tools to gain insights from your community, some on a much richer level.

Engagement Hub offers 23 different widget tools to inform and engage your community. Our two ‘ideas wall tools’ allows your community to brainstorm ideas together, commenting and agreeing with each other. The interactive map and image/pdf allow users to pin comments directly in places or on plans, add media and chat to other members about their ideas and responses.

An online engagement platform provides you with the capability of so much more than just surveying. It enables true collaboration; transparent decision making and internally creates a complete overview of all your engagement and stakeholder activities in one place.

To learn more about how your organisation could benefit from a complete online engagement tool, learn more about the features on our website, contact us or book a no-obligation demo to see how we can create you a fully-branded and customisable platform within days.

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