How to Use the Calculator

  1. Choose your mode of survey.
  2. Choose how many questions you think you might have in your survey.
  3. Choose the complexity of questions you would like to include.
    a. Low = mainly “tick the box”/ simple response questions
    b. Medium = mixture of question types including open questions
    c. High = use of complex tables, many open questions
  4. Choose the level of analysis you would like of the results
    a. None = raw results provided to you in an excel format. Also available for SPSS.
    b. Basic = basic charts for each of the quantitative questions with no stratification. No analysis of qualitative data. Results provided in a powerpoint or word report format.
    c. Moderate = Basic charts for each of the quantitative questions with some stratification. Analysis of qualitative data to provide response themes.
    d. High = Includes stratification of responses and statistical analysis of quantitative data; analysis of qualitative data to provide response themes; and report summary including key messages and any relevant recommendations.
    e. Specialised = All of the above included negotiated extended reporting section and specialized statistical analysis. Further consultation required.
  5. Enter the number of respondents you require for the survey. If you need help with this go to How many should I survey?
  6. Calculate your survey cost estimate (ex GST). *
  7. Contact Jeff if you would like to discuss this estimate further.

*Please note that this is an estimate only and a final quote would be confirmed after consultation with Coutts J&R.

How Many Should I Survey?

When you perform a survey you want the result to provide enough precision for your requirements and to be able to make statements or inferences from the results.

If you want to make inferences about a population then the design of the sampling process is important so that the results represent your population the best you can. Typically this is based on a random selection process. (Non-random sampling processes will have implications on how the results are interpreted.)

Sample size and precision of your results are intricately linked. The precision is dependent on the type of question and the results themselves. A useful and easy way to obtain measure of precision is based on confidence intervals of a percentage (for example the percentage of yes for a question).

Confidence intervals provide a measure of error or precision around a result. Typically 95% confidence intervals are used, meaning that we are 95% sure that the population value lies in this range (assuming the results are unbiased).

Here are some sample sizes and the corresponding 95% confidence interval that could be expected for a percentage result.

Number people surveyed 95% confidence interval
5 ±41%
11 ±30%
17 ±25%
26 ±20%
33 ±18%
41 ±16%
54 ±14%
73 ±12%
100 ±10%
160 ±8%
281 ±6%
623 ±4%
1097 ±3%
2448 ±2%
Courtesy of Kerry Bell, Bellmetrics

The result assumes a very large population and is based on getting a 50% ‘Yes’ result, which gives the broadest confidence band for the range of potential results. Note that with smaller, known populations, the same sample size should give you a greater precision.

This means simply that if you randomly sampled 100 people within your population and you found that 50% of the respondents said ‘Yes’ to a Yes/No question , you could be 95% sure that the result for the whole population lies between 40% saying ‘Yes’ and 60% saying ‘Yes’ – ie +/- 10% from the sampled result.

As you sample more people the range reduces – but with a diminishing rate of increased precision. So if you sample 160 people in this example, your range for the population moves to between 42% and 58% – or +/- 8%. To reduce the range by another +/- 2% you need to sample a total of 281.

The decision you need to make is what level of precision you need – or are prepared to pay for – given the purpose of your survey and statements or decisions you wish to make based on the results. We would be happy to discuss this further with you.

Further resources on sample size can be found here.

Survey Cost Calculator