The use of on-line methods
NWA has considerable experience of carrying out research and consultation on-line. Increasingly, at a time of severe budget constraints, on-line consultation has become the preferred methodology for involving and engaging the public. The Government has recently endorsed the use of on-line methods, and also Social Media, as part of their commitment to the ‘Big Society’ and gaining ‘locality’ based views from residents to help both Public and Private Sector providers plan and prioritise the services they deliver.
Advantages of on-line research and consultation:
- Cheaper to manage (no requirement for printing/ postage, data entry, etc.)
- Greater appeal to younger demographics – often seen as ‘hard to reach’ by other methodologies
- Many people more comfortable expressing views on-line – surveys are easy to use and attractive
- Faster turnaround to topline results – can also build in automatic charting and reporting for repeat surveys
- Minimum data entry errors
- Environmentally friendly
- Repeat surveys (add to existing structure).
NWA offers a range of on-line services including emailed self-completion questionnaires which are sent to a recruited panel and can be readily completed and submitted at the click of a button; similarly, questionnaires attached to Clients’ or the NWA websites which are open to the general public to complete and submit. In environments where staff have a high level of access to the Internet or an intranet, such as Local Authorities and the Health Services, frequently staff surveys are also electronically based.