As a research analyst for K12 Insight, I help create surveys and analyze data for the school districts we serve. In my eyes, there are three central mechanisms of a survey:
- Data. After a survey is created, we take all the numbers derived from respondent answers and then use those numbers to tell a story. Our surveys are not just about the data; in fact, the most powerful part of our surveys has nothing to do with numbers at all.
- Engagement. The most important part of surveying is engaging with stakeholders. Surveys allow school districts to not only share relevant facts, but to also invite participants to respond. That dialogue fosters more stakeholder involvement, while also creating transparency into the district’s decision-making process
- Education and Information. While we are building that engagement, we are also using surveys to share information. By launching a Climate Survey, for example, a district can inform stakeholders about the roles and responsibilities of the Central Office or School Board, while in turn learning about respondents’ feelings, attitudes, and perceptions.
Our surveys deliver information to a district’s stakeholders in a way that fosters engagement and interest. As a result, our surveys are about much more than just data — they’re about people.