To conduct an effective survey where you can learn more about your target market and figure out how to reach your ideal customer, you need to know the correlation between population and sample size. Figuring out the overall population of your current geographical area can help you determine the appropriate sample size that will provide you with enough information – without including outliers and those with erroneous responses.
Let’s see the importance of population and sample size in your survey -and why you should use a sample size instead of the whole population to get the much-needed analytical data about your business.
What is the population for your survey?
When we are discussing the “population” for your survey and determining the sample size, we don’t really mean every single person in the entire world. Instead, we meant population as the group of people who you are trying to find out more information about. Do you want to know more information about everyone who attends Penn State University? If so, this is your population – this is the group of people who you want to know about in terms of behaviors, demographics, and interactions with your business.
- The population = the group that you want to explore
What is the sample size?
The sample size is a small portion of your population that you will be using to gather information about the population. The sample size is merely the number of people who completed your survey to provide you with information about your population.
- Sample size = the representative number of the overall group
Why should you use a sample instead of the entire population?
A sample size for your survey provides you with a more toned-down version of the entire population as a whole – this way, you can get a more accurate representation of data, you can save time on analyzing more responses, and you can get data much quicker and faster than you would with the entire population.
- A sample will provide you with the most practical and reliable way to gather accurate data without spending excess time. By offering a smaller portion of the entire population, you can get accurate insights into every person without spending excess time and money.
- Cost-effective -as we just mentioned, using samples is more cost-effective and less expensive than using the entire population. Since the sample size is smaller – obviously – you’re spending less resources.
- Accuracy – the next benefit of using samples instead of the entire population is that it is more accurate, there is less bias, and you can get informative insights into the population as a whole.
- Manageable – the last benefit of using a sample vs. the entire population for your survey is that it is accessible – the entire population is typically too time-consuming and implausible.
How large does a sample size need to be to be representative of a population?
The main rule of thumb for figuring out your sample size for your survey is keeping your size below 10% at the maximum level. As long as your sample size does not exceed 1000 people, 10% on the higher region is typically the best guide that you can use. But how do you make your survey so that it is completely accurate? Use these steps:
- Determine your population
- Figure out the risk that you want to take with your answers
- Choose the margin of error in relation to your population
- Analyze the response rates of your sample size
What are the consequences of an inaccurate sample size?
If you do not take your population, margin of error, confidence level, and response rate into account when figuring out the sample size for your survey, then you might find that you have run into some difficulties. If you choose a response size that is too small, you will have a lower-influence survey and you may find that you did not gather enough information. If your sample size is too large, your results might not be accurate enough to provide you with a comprehensive picture of your population.
As you can see, the correlation between population and sample size is key to figuring out as much as you can about your target market, your population, and how you can create the best survey possible. Choosing the ideal sample size is key to providing you with an accurate picture of your customer base!