Surveys and Evidence

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I’m at a restaurant and a bubbly, smiling young lady takes my order. She and I exchange a few jokes and pleasantries as she scribbles on her notepad.

The same waitress brings the bill, and we resume our good-humoured conversation as I pay. She tears off my receipt from the card machine and, before I can take the receipt from her hand, places it face down on the table. She smiles bashfully at me, and pulls out a pen.

If you are an optimist or romantic you might have an inkling of what is about to happen.

That’s right, she circles a bit of text on the back of the receipt and tells me I should fill in their survey at the circled web address.

Serious stuff

Anecdotes aside, surveys are the only way to get hard data to support changes, and they are an incredibly important part of what we do at EEF.

So with the autumn statement just around the corner, here’s a peak at how we forge our policy and generate reports, and how crucially important survey responses are in that process.

Making the case

The first thing we need to ensure strong policy making is a pool of skilled specialists.  

Fortunately, we have teams who are both knowledgeable and actively engaged in their fields.  

The second thing you need is data. And this is where the surveys and questionnaires come in.

The data gathered from surveys helps to support any arguments we make. I can tell you that manufacturing pays better than most other industries and is one of the most innovative sectors in the UK. But why should you believe me? Well, I have the numbers to back up my claims.

Having a well-constructed argument and the figures to back it up puts us in a strong position when we enter conversations with others, whether it be the media or the Government.

More than ammunition for arguments

I can also use survey data to judge the mood of the sector and keep an eye out for any patterns or new trends that might be emerging, building our policy from the ground up.

For instance, we might need to know manufacturers’ views on UK infrastructure or how the Government could best support business investment. With the data from surveys, we can be sure that what we are saying is representing the view within the industry.

Another use for surveys is to gain an understanding of how and where new innovations are being implemented, such as technology linked to the 4th Industrial Revolution. And of course we can keep up with larger trends throughout the industry with regular surveys, such as our quarterly Manufacturing Outlook report (latest edition is out on 5th November).

This data allows us to see what Manufacturers’ want and evidence of how best to support them.

 

What’s in it for me?

Thanks to data from our surveys we can provide immediate and current information that can assist you with running your business.

For instance, you might want to know how your ambitions measure up with those of your fellow manufacturers.

Or what about that Head of Engineering role you’re looking to fill? Wouldn’t it be nice to see a report on pay in the industry, and know if you’re offering a competitive salary?

These reports are only possible thanks to your continued support and responses to our surveys.

Give a little data and get a lot of information in return.

Be selfish

So next time you see a survey invitation sitting in your inbox don’t think “I’m too busy to fill in a survey”. Instead, realise that spending 10 minutes on this could improve the future of your business for years to come.

 

If you are interested in receiving survey requests please send an email to research@eef.org.uk

Author

Survey Coordinator

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