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How to analyse questionnaire responses

If the group used an online survey, the software will automatically collate the data someone will just need to download
the data, for example as a spreadsheet.
If the group used a paper questionnaire, someone will need to manually transfer the responses from the questionnaires
into a spreadsheet. Put each question number as a column heading, and use one row for each persons answers. Then
assign each possible answer a number or code.
Go through each respondents questionnaire in turn, adding in the codes. Enter this data into a spreadsheet. See below
for an example of what this might look like.

Once the group has entered the data from all the questionnaires into a spreadsheet, it is a good idea for someone else to
check some of the data for accuracy. If there are many errors, consider checking more of the data.
When the group is happy that all the data is present and correct, calculate how many people selected each response. The
young researchers could count this up manually, but it is easier to let the spreadsheet do the work, by adding a filter to
each question within the spreadsheet.
Once the group has calculated how many people selected each response, the young researchers can set up tables and/or
graph to display the data. This could take the form of a table or chart, for example:

If there are enough questionnaires, the group could look at whether there is any variation in the way that different types of
people responded. For example, they might look at just the girls responses, compared to just the boys responses. If you
have a small number of questionnaires, be wary of doing sub sample analysis because the results are likely to be
Once the young researchers have analysed all the data, they should discuss what story the data is telling, and what it
means in terms of the research questions.
How to present your results
When the group has analysed the data it will need the present the results. This could be in a presentation, video or written
report. Before starting shaping your presentation, decide who the group wants to influence with the research. This will
affect how the young researchers should present the findings, the language they will use, and the recommendations that
they will make.
In a written report it is a good idea to include:
a one page summary of what the report says at the front
an introduction, stating the research question and why the group chose it
a methods section that says how the group carried out the research and why it used those methods, along with
how many people participated in the research
the main themes and findings coming out of the analysis - using each theme as a sub-heading can work well
conclusions: the groups answer to the research question based on its interpretation of the data
recommendations: what the group wants to happen on the basis of their conclusion - the impact they want to have
any research instruments as appendices.
Here are some hints for presenting qualitative research:
dont get bogged down in the detail - tell the reader about the main themes as they relate to the research
question, rather than reporting everything that interviewees said
triangulate the data and tell the reader what level of consensus there was - did all the different types of people
you spoke to agree, or did views differ by group?
state that most people said or few people felt rather that giving the number of people who said a particular
use brief quotes where these illustrate a particular point really well
respect confidentially - you could attribute a quote to a teacher rather than Mrs Jones, for example.
Here are some hints for writing up quantitative research:
use charts or tables to help the reader understand the data and then highlight the most interesting findings
dont feel that you have to report every detail
analyse the data rather than just describing it - use it to tell a story that focuses on answering the research
dont use percentages or proportions to report findings if you have fewer than 100 filled in questionnaires, as this
can be misleading. Instead, use numbers rather than percentages when you report your findings. For example, if
you received 25 questionnaires back, say that 20 students felt that ... rather than 80% of students felt that...
If the group has used more than one method in the research, comment on the research findings across the different
methods. For example, do the survey findings back up those from the focus groups? How does the research fit with the
wider literature on the topic?
Sharing your results and taking action
Once the group has completed its research project, its time to share the findings and recommendations with other people.
This is the groups chance to change things and make a difference, so its important to think about how to disseminate the
research. This section of the guidance takes you through:
How to maximise your impact
Here are some top tips for maximising the impact of the research:
tailor your reporting to the needs of the people you want to engage with the research
be clear about what you want people to do on the basis of the research
make the outputs look professional and interesting
if you can, present the findings to your target audience, rather than relying on them to read a written report
have a summary that you can email out to lots of people
use lots of different routes to make people aware of the research findings
let organisations who support young peoples research know about the research. They make be able help you
toreach a wider audience. Such organisations include NFER, the National Youth Agency (NYA) and the National
Childrens Bureau (NCB).
Ideas for research outputs
There are lots of different ways in which the group could present its findings. For example, the young researchers could
use one or more of the following outputs:
a presentation
a Powerpoint report
a podcast
a video
a website
a Tweet
a poster
a report
a summary
This is a great opportunity for the group to use their creativity, presentation and design skills. A good starting point is to
reflect on who your target audience(s) is and what type of output will be most interesting to them.