How to Analyze Quantitative Survey Data: Reporting to the Maximum

Quantitative Survey Data

Analyzing long surveys with endless amounts of data is intimidating, even for the best market researchers. 

Largely due to the time and attention required for a solid review, extracting the most relevant information from quantitative survey data is a time-consuming process–but for good reason.

“Quantitative” refers to broad-scale research – think the bigger picture. There are many common forms of quantitative research we could talk about, but for now, we’ll stick to online surveys.

Recently, Drive Research completed an extensive quantitative analysis for one of our clients.

This blog post will discuss the background of the study, our approach, and what we learned worked best for delivering a successful market research report! 

Keep on reading to understand the quantitative survey topics we covered. 

Client Background

The client has conducted an industry-specific survey among targeted consumers for over 40 years.

The report is published and offered to:

  • Companies
  • Organizations
  • Leaders 
  • Other stakeholders

The quantitative research survey included approximately 68 questions. 

All of the questions measured a variety of industry topics including:

  • Consumer attitudes 
  • Spending 
  • Participation
  • Usage of products

The questions typically remain the same from prior years for trend analysis purposes, however, a few questions about relevant topics within the industry are added each year. 

Determining the type of questions you want to include in a survey can be challenging. Read our post, What are the Best Types of Questions for Quantitative Market Research for our recommendations. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: The quantitative questions used in this project covered a wide range of topics, from spending to consumer feedback. 

Our Role 

Our responsibilities were to revise the quantitative research survey for this year’s updates, conduct data collection, and construct a market research report that included findings from each question. 

We consulted with the client to make the new updates to the survey via a shared Word doc.  

This is how most of our survey drafts are produced and finalized, as it’s easy to track and reply to changes quickly.   

A global provider of first-party data administered the survey because of the large scope of the study. The provider had an enormous panel of the targeted audience to sample from and could provide quality data in a short time frame.

The report was where most of the project revolved. We had to format, graph, and analyze findings from each of the 68 questions. 

In the next section, we’ll discuss what we had at our disposal and how we went about accomplishing this in a 4-week time frame.  

💡 The Key Takeaway: Collecting quantitative survey data was at the heart of this project, which is why a thorough analysis was so important in the process. It also played directly into the report we crafted.

Our Approach to Analyzing the Quantitative Survey Data

First, we asked the client how the report should appear visually. 

The client did not require an exact style for graphing data or writing findings but only required the title page and introductory pages to resemble past reports.

One of our tips for a better market research report is to make it nice to look at. The visual appeal of a PowerPoint slide can have an impact on understanding the information written or displayed. 

It’s important to consider things such as color scheme, font choice, graphs, text size, and chart layouts. 

So, how did we go about making these decisions? 

  • First, we considered the length of the report and who the audience was. We were reporting over 250 pages to a knowledgeable, industry-specific audience.
  • Next, we considered the time until the reporting deadline. We consider this because adding complex charts or visualizations often takes more time to create than a basic chart or graph.
  • Lastly, we looked at some of the study’s past reports to generate some ideas. We weren’t looking to copy any style, but rather determine what graphs presented the data and findings most effectively.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Always consider who your audience is and what your report is covering. Some audiences can get confused with complex visualizations or wording. It’s best to make sure everyone hearing and/or reading your presentation can follow along and digest information easily.  

Recommended Reading: Breaking Down a Market Research Report Into 10 Pieces

Quantitative Survey Results

We decided to craft a simple report that included basic data visualizations and concise analyses. We came to this decision based on the amount of quantitative survey data and the short time frame.

Basic data visualizations such as bar, line, and pie graphs are quick to construct and easy to comprehend. 

Each graph was used appropriately to display current and past data. Additionally, data tables were added to highlight results among different demographics.

We created each graph and table in a spreadsheet and then uploaded them into the report. 

Given the length and format of the report, we decided to have 2 graphs on each page. This allowed for each graph to be displayed clearly, while also keeping the number of pages reasonable.

Determining what type of visualization to use for each question depends on a variety of factors. 

For example, line graphs are best for showing changes over time whereas bar graphs are great for comparing current data.

Creating different graphs for the same data can help you determine which one best presents the most relevant information each result is telling. 

Graphs that are too big may distract from written descriptions, while visualizations too small are not only difficult to see but can “crunch” your data (making differences or key data points indistinguishable). 

💡 The Key Takeaway: When sizing your charts or graphs, be sure they can be read clearly.  finding a balance between readability and conciseness is critical to a great report.    

Client Satisfaction and What We Learned

Our client was satisfied with the final report. 

The report included all the quantitative survey data along with their requested needs and presented each result from the survey in a clear, consistent, and concise way. 

The project tested our reporting abilities and challenged us to take on something bigger than what we typically do. In fact, the time and effort needed to complete the report required the attention of several members of our research team.  

We discussed what could’ve been done better and ways to improve efficiencies, however, scoping extensive projects like this can be difficult for us and the client. 

Therefore, the planning process needs to be thorough and carefully evaluated. 

Figuring out the depth of tasks required and budgeting the appropriate amount of time for each task will help each party better understand the project timeline and expectations.       

💡 The Key Takeaway: This project was a win-win for both parties. Our client was pleased with the data, and we were able to challenge our research abilities. 

Contact Our Online Survey Company

We have reported on data captured from surveys of all sizes, and understand the importance of highlighting the key findings and providing valuable insights. Our impressive list of market research services runs the gamut, from quantitative to qualitative methods. 

Drive Research is a full-service market research company located in New York. We proudly partner with brands across the country to execute a wide range of projects. 

Interested in partnering with our team on your next big or small market research report or study? Contact us below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Justin Eisenhauer

As a Research Assistant, Justin works directly with all team members on client projects. His intrigue in market research formed during his time at Marist College, where he studied business and entrepreneurship.

Learn more about Justin, here.

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