How to Survey Pupils, Parents or Staff - Part 4, Data Analysis

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Finally, the exciting part! And, in terms of importance, on a par with getting the questions right in the first place. If you can't present the results in a clear and easy to understand way then you won't be able to see the wood from the trees. You will be left with just numbers. A lot of numbers!

Most people have access to Excel and it is a very powerful analysis tool in skilled hands.

The simplest level of analysis would be to total the number of say, 'Agrees' to a particular question and represent them as a percentage. The SUMIF function is particularly helpful for this. The results could then be presented as a table, or as skills allow, charts. It can be quite time consuming to set up the template initially.

What about that extra information you captured at the beginning of the survey? The gender, year group, ethnicity etc? It's about now you might begin to wish you hadn't!
For each reporting 'split' you will need to write some clever formulas to aggregate the data for these groups. If you're not proficient at writing formulas to do it for you then you will have to do a lot of sorting, cutting and pasting to move the data into tables which will give you the analysis groupings for say, gender and year group which you require. This is the area where it really pays to have someone to help who is skilled at presenting information with Excel.

Secondly, it can really help break down the information in a survey if the reaults can be grouped into similar 'themes'. For example, we group questions into areas such as Well-being, Behaviour, Learning & Teaching etc.

And this concludes our whistle stop tour of DIY surveys. We might re-visit some of these areas in more detail.

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