What Is An Omnibus Survey?
An omnibus survey is a shared-cost survey that can be a good way for you to save money on surveys. It works by combining survey questions from multiple clients and then collecting responses to all questions from the same group of respondents. After that, each client is given the data (the survey responses) to their specific questions. Omnibus surveys are usually fun and engaging for respondents because instead of a 15-minute survey about just one topic, the survey will cover four or five different topics, which adds interest and variety.
How does it save you money? The biggest cost in conducting a survey is getting it set up and then finding a statistically representative sample of respondents to answer the questions. Once you’ve got them on the phone or online answering survey questions, it is costs little to ask them “just one more question.” You want to avoid asking questions for more than fifteen minutes, but suppose that you have fifteen questions you want to ask, and Acme Sports has fifteen questions, and Best Wireless has another fifteen questions. Rather than each of you conducting your own short survey and duplicating all the work (and cost) of set-up, sampling, and communicating with respondents, you can pool your resources to do one survey. Each of you pays proportionally to how much of the survey is devoted to your questions.
Here is an example how an omnibus survey works (shown second) versus traditional custom surveys (shown first) — the costs shown are for illustrative purposes only:
Since Versta Research and other research firms have clients asking for short and inexpensive surveys all the time, we do the work of finding the other companies to partner with you on an omnibus. Versta will advise you on all phases of the work: How many questions to ask, what to ask, how to ask, and we’ll provide you with several cost and survey-length options so that you can find the right approach for your budget and strategic needs.
Have more questions? Give us a call at 312-348-6089. We would be happy to answer your questions and to advise on an approach that works for you.
–Joe Hopper, Ph.D.