Managing the Data Collection
In Chapters 1–9 we have been working towards collection of data from businesses. In Chapters 1–3 we set the scene with an overview of the survey production process, the business context, and quality challenges in business surveys; in Chapter 4 we discussed survey planning, and in Chapter 6, compliance cost issues (i.e., response burden). Chapters 5, 7, 8 and 9 focused on designing the survey components: the sample, the questionnaire, and the communication strategy. We have now approached the point at which all survey components are ready for implementation and the survey is launched. In this chapter, we will briefly discuss implementation of the survey components. The main focus of the chapter, however, is on managing the fieldwork: monitoring and controlling the data collection process and the quality of survey results. Now, we will see whether the planned survey design is effective, particularly whether the quality challenges as discussed in Chapter 3 have been dealt with appropriately. We will discuss an active fieldwork management approach, which may entail changing the prepared design during the fieldwork.
When we discussed the planning of a survey (in Chapter 4), we mentioned the need to apply the principles of project management, such as planning a survey in advance and working accordingly, to ensure that we reach the survey outputs within time and budget, and according to preagreed ...