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Williams Alliance works with the surveys our clients need most often, smaller, tactical surveys critical to gathering service information or for assessing changes made to processes. These surveys usually are under 500 respondents and are often on-going studies needed for critical decision making - yet they are the ones most often done poorly or not done at all due to lack of funds and lack of expertise.

Our approach is two fold:

  • Our approach is two fold
  • We deliver on-going consulting support to ensure effective, efficient design, implementation, and analysis when needed.

Developing and Implementing Surveys:

Getting the Information You Need

A Quality Transition Seminar

Overview: This workshop presents straight-forward methods and guidelines that will allow anyone to carry out professional, effective surveys. It takes the mystery out of survey research by explaining key steps to be followed and the actions required for completing them. Participants work with their own surveys throughout; on completion they walk away with a clear sense of direction and the knowledge needed to complete their study.

"What I learned is that carrying out a survey is a lot like detective work. 98% of it is covering the basics, pretty straightforward steps. The rest may be artwork, but if you do those basics well you will get good data."

Senior Inspector Immigration and Naturalization Service

Seminar Length: Two days

Who Should Attend: managers and professionals responsible for carrying out surveys

About this Seminar

This seminar covers:

  • whether a survey is the right information gathering tool to use
  • designing and implementing first class surveys. Six stages are addressed:
    1. Determining what information is needed, and recognizing the best means to retrieve it
    2. Identifying the best respondents
    3. Designing the questionnaire
    4. Testing and debugging the questionnaire
    5. Implementing the survey
    6. Analyzing the data in order to make the needed decisions.
  • mail vs. telephone vs. email vs. face-to-face survey tools, the costs and benefits of each, and which is best for the survey under design.


  • Minimizing costs of conducting surveys
  • Maximizing the effectiveness and the value gained from surveys
  • Increasing flexibility and responsiveness by being able to design and carry out surveys as needed
  • Improving the appearance to the survey recipients, decreasing negative reactions


Sampling Basics

A Quality Transition Seminar


Effective sample design and sizing will increase the quality of a survey while simplifying and reducing the amount of work required. By the end of this workshop participants will understand and be able to work out sample designs and sizes for noncomplex studies, those that make up the majority of survey needs. The materials and presentation are geared for persons with little or no statistical background.

This is an ideal companion seminar to The Design and Implementation of Surveys.

Seminar Length: One day

Who Should Attend

Managers and professionals responsible for designing and/or implementing surveys, no statistical background required.

About this Seminar

This seminar covers:

  • an introduction to random sampling, what it is and why it is important
  • survey data inaccuracy and its sources: sample design and size
  • the basics of variation, its role in sample size determination and how to measure it
  • sample size calculation
  • sampling error and risk calculations
  • three random sampling strategies
    1. simple
    2. systematic and
    3. continuous.


  • Reduce the cost of surveys and data gathering efforts by gathering the minimum amount of needed data
  • Improve the accuracy of summary statistics; well done samples will deliver higher quality data than census data gathering
  • Increase responsiveness and flexibility; sampling takes less time and is quicker to carry out.


Support Consulting

Continuing support, either remote or on-site, is available for survey development, sampling strategies and data analysis. Designing and implementing a survey and the sampling strategy to go with it can be tough the first time through. Continuing Support Consulting gives clients access to survey experts to answer questions, to validate work, or to complete work if time is not available or if the client does not feel accomplished enough to attempt it. Continuing Support is an extension of the Survey Design and Sampling seminars; it cements the learning that took place and builds on it by helping to apply the new knowledge to more complex surveys. Remote support delivers expert reviews, advisories as well as hands-on analyses work via email, teleconferencing and fax. It delivers the required support when needed.


  • Optimize long-term learning of survey skills through short-term support and reinforcement
  • Increase overall quality of surveys by getting expert advice on particularly difficult issues
  • Minimize costs by accessing consultant support via email and telephone rather than site visits.


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