Most statistics are just percentages–not complicated in and of themselves. But when you are comparing two studies that appear to say two different things, take a closer look at the survey questions. The exact wording of that question is going to be your best ammunition because a lot of times if people are comparing two studies, the questions were actually asked differently.
A lot of organizations want to write their own surveys but struggle and stumble in the process. A lot of times, in ministry, we have the not invented here mentality of somebody in another place who writes a survey, how can they really understand what’s happening in my church and in my situation?
When you write a survey, you are wanting to count or measure something. Be able to answer the question: What do you want to measure? To work backwards is incredibly hard. You can write a question. We learned to do that in English class in second grade or something, how to write a question. How to write a question that gives you actionable information for the decision you have to make, that’s what a good questionnaire is. There’s a lot to that.
Whether doing the research yourself or working with a research provider, be intentional from the very beginning that the end goal is more than a notebook on a shelf. Go in with the mindset that it can change your thinking.
Check out the full transcript on the next page to hear a few tricks the research team uses to “stay out of hot water” when doing research on theology.
(See the full transcript for the episode –with links–on next page)