Nowadays, there are countless results of surveys and polls about different subjects being presented in different platforms both online and offline. However, with the proliferation of fake news nowadays, it is now not easy to trust on all studies and survey results. Hence, you should know how to read polls like a professional so you would know whether a particular result is reliable or not. To help you out, here are some tips for reading the polls like a professional.
Know the process of the survey
One of the crucial things that you need to do for you to read the results of a poll like a professional is to know how the survey was conducted. Always keep in mind that for the survey to be reliable, sample size should be determined which will represent the population of a particular group the survey ais designed for. There are several kinds of data collection for the survey. It could be through links, QR code or the traditional paper questionnaire. Regardless of the method, make sure to weight the results based on the demographics like age, gender, surveys, and others.
Polls are not 100% Accurate
Another thing that you need to be aware of is that polls are not 100% accurate or correct. This is why when analyzing the data, there will always be around 5 to 10 percent allowance for marginal error. In some cases, there will also be sampling error which affects the reliability and accuracy of the results. Hence, before making any study or survey, the instruments should be tested first diagnostically. There are some tools on how to measure the reliability of the instrument so make sure to know also that aspect.
Who is behind the survey?
Another way to read polls like a professional is to know the people who are behind the survey. There should always be non-bias setting in every poll or survey. Make sure that the organization or people who conducted the survey have not something to do with the main objective of the survey. For example, a survey conducted by the people who support a particular candidate is likely to be les credible. There should always be fairness and conflict of interest should be avoided as much as possible.
Another thing that you should pay attention to is the comparison of two unrelated subjects. You have to be very keen in reading the results of the poll. It is not advisable to just rely on the figures presented in the results of the survey. If the survey aims to compare tow subjects or people, make sure that they re not mutually exclusive. Always keep in mind that apples cant be compared to oranges. There should always be a guideline when making a poll or when comparing two subjects. Thee should b a middle ground that would support that the two subjects in the survey or poll are related and worth comparing. You can check Reality Check Insights for more ideas.