Nyord vs. Survey

Surveys are useful, but they have drawbacks. Nyord is an alternative.

October 1, 2023
5 min read

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Everyone knows surveys. You have probably participated in many surveys or even created some. They are useful tools, easy to set up and send out. There's no better way to gather feedback and engage people which can scale so far - you think.

The world of surveys

Let's dive into the world of surveys and see what they're all about. A survey is a method used to gather information from a group of people. It involves asking a set of relevant questions, which can be a mix of closed-ended (multiple-choice) and open-ended (free-text) formats. Sometimes, respondents are asked to rate items on a scale to provide more detailed insights.

The primary goal of a survey is to gain an understanding of a larger population by collecting responses from a smaller sample. These responses are then analyzed and presented in a consolidated format, such as charts or summaries. You know, like saying "Hey, X% of people said A" or "Y% are on board with B." Oh, and don't forget the juicy tidbits, like "Z% think that 'C' is the secret sauce for success."

Typically, surveys are created and prepared centrally by experts in the field. They are then distributed to a targeted group of individuals who complete the survey. Once all the responses are collected, the expert analyzes the data, consolidates the findings, and presents the results. This process involves a one-to-many exchange, with the expert acting as the mediator throughout.

In summary, surveys provide a structured approach to gather information and insights from a specific group of individuals. They offer a valuable means of understanding trends, opinions, and preferences within a population.

Benefits of surveys

Surveys offer several advantages that make them a popular choice for gathering information.

  • Easy Assembly: Putting together a survey is a straightforward process. With the availability of numerous survey tools, sending and collecting responses has become incredibly simple.
  • Time and Location Independence: Surveys work effectively in various settings because they are not bound by time or location constraints. Participants can respond to surveys at their convenience, whether they are in the office, at home, or on the go.
  • Time-Efficient: Surveys do not require significant time investment from respondents. The questions are designed to be concise and straightforward, making it easy for participants to provide their input without extensive contemplation.
  • Quick Results: Surveys generate rapid results, allowing you to analyze the data on the go. Once the responses start coming in, you can begin analyzing the data to gain insights and make informed decisions promptly.
  • Anonymous and Safe Space: Surveys are often conducted anonymously, providing a secure environment for respondents to provide credible and honest feedback. Anonymity encourages respondents to express their opinions freely, without fear of judgment or repercussions.
  • Unbiased Input: In a survey, participants typically do not see each other's inputs. This ensures that responses are entered in an unbiased manner, as respondents are not influenced by the opinions or ideas of others.

In summary, surveys offer ease of assembly, time and location independence, time efficiency, quick results, anonymity, and unbiased input - if handled well. What looks like clear benefits is thwarted by some significant downsides that come with surveys.

Drawbacks of surveys

Survey creation is demanding.

Crafting a killer survey involves some finesse and is not as straightforward as it seems. A survey should be informative and original, but as short as possible. Its language must be crystal clear, and should not influence people with leading questions nor leave them scratching their head.

Surveys create expectations.

When you ask people to dedicate their precious time, they naturally expect something in return. They want to know why you're picking their brains, what's gonna happen with their input, and how the results will be shared. If not handled well people will not only refrain from responding to the next survey but will feel unappreciated.

Surveys produce lackluster results.

Why is that? Well, the most popular response isn't always the most brilliant one. But if you put responses on a bar chart, you may think so. Maybe there's a hidden gem among the less popular choices, but nobody thought to include an appropriate question about it. The advantage of people not talking about their responses is also a disadvantage. Collaborative discussions, that lead to valuable insights far beyond what was imagined in the survey questionnaire, do not happen. Moreover, unstructured data, such as open-text responses, often undergo oversimplification or generalization during analysis, potentially losing valuable outliers that offer unique perspectives.

Surveys are subject to biases.

These biases can occur unintentionally or intentionally. You might accidentally forget to include certain questions or options, which would have been important to the survey participant, leading to incomplete results. In contrast, if surveys are used to manufacture consent, bias is intentional. Survey authors or decision makers may want to manipulate questions or choices to steer respondents toward predetermined responses. This sends the contradictory message that leadership is afraid of a real conversation, which subsequently erodes trust and compromises the survey’s credibility.
Surveys can even create division and polarization. If your questions accidentally put people into opposing sides of the issue, and the issue is emotionally charged then this may cause severe tension among team members.

Surveys are ineffective for organizational change.

Even with a well-designed survey, the time it takes to achieve progress from survey results can be extensive. Consider the following example scenario:

  • A company wants to survey its 100 employees for productivity improvement ideas.
  • The survey is created by an expert and sent out, but the response rate is low, requiring reminders and additional time for increased participation.
  • The expert evaluates the results and formulates conclusions, which may or may not be shared with the employees at that time.
  • Management makes decisions and takes actions based on the survey, often without transparently communicating their thought processes to the team.
  • Employees may struggle to make sense of the outcomes, resulting in minimal impact and limited engagement with the implemented actions.
  • A new survey is conducted to assess the effects of the previous actions. And so it goes on and on ...

How Nyord is different

First and foremost, Nyord shares some similarities with surveys. It offers the convenience of being accessible anytime and anywhere, independent of time and location. Setting up Nyord is a breeze and doesn't require much time or effort from the participants. It creates a safe space for open and honest responses, fostering a transparent and real-time data processing system.

But here's where Nyord takes a different approach. It's all about the power of conversation and collaboration. Instead of keeping input isolated, Nyord encourages participants to share their thoughts, allowing everyone to build upon and improve each other's ideas through comments and ratings. The entire process is transparent, leaving no ambiguity about how certain ideas rise to the top while others may not.

So why do we believe Nyord is better? We understand that some of the best ideas emerge through collective discussions, rather than from the minds of lone geniuses. Nyord ensures that the most promising ideas rise to the surface, rather than simply counting the most popular ones. Plus, you don't need a survey design degree to get started—just an open-ended question will do the trick.

Transparency and participation are core principles for us. With Nyord, individuals are involved in the entire process, from beginning to end. They can witness the progression of their own thoughts, eliminating the need for additional communication or nudging exercises. Nyord operates on a dynamic improvement loop, continuously listening and learning. Real-time interactions keep participants engaged, allowing them to see the emerging results and the team's direction.

In contrast to surveys that often remain intentions without concrete follow-through, Nyord is focused on delivering results. It goes beyond seeking agreement among team members and provides a collaborative space for problem-solving, idea generation, decision-making, and taking action. This guided and facilitated approach leads to tangible improvements that every intelligent collaborator can relate to. And best of all, it's a much faster process compared to the never-ending survey roller coaster.

Excited to see Nyord in action?

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