How the public sector can use surveys to better inform decision making

Market Research

Survey data can provide meaningful insights to public sector agencies. It’s one of the most powerful tools to serve your community. Public sector agencies have multiple objectives. Gathering actionable feedback is essential to help you reach your goals.

There are many ways the public sector can use surveys to inform decision-making. Conducting local or government surveys goes beyond gathering data. It fosters engagement and trust between your agency and the community. Surveys can help you understand the communities you serve and make the most impactful changes.

The importance of surveys in the public sector

Public sector surveys are critical for agencies to achieve their fundamental goals — providing essential services to the public. Surveys provide more than numerical data. They help you understand people’s needs and improve their experiences. Getting direct feedback from the people you serve is the most effective way to ensure your programs and policies align with community needs.

The survey data can help you understand the landscape in which you operate. You can use this information to analyze your effectiveness before elections. As a public sector agency, the needs of the people are paramount. You must understand what changes your community supports and where to focus your efforts.

How surveys can help

Whether conducting a local survey or a broader government survey, the results can be invaluable. Public sector surveys can provide you with analytics for informed decision-making. In the public sector, you can use survey data to assist with the following:

Strategic planning

Quality survey results can help you see the bigger picture. With an idea of what is important to the community, you can align your new initiatives with the evidence. Factory managers might use survey data to improve worker satisfaction, and you can do the same in the public sector.

Surveys can show you what matters most in your local community. They should be accessible to the community for the most accurate responses. The information you collect can help you analyze your service levels and create strategic objectives for the future. You can focus on improving the community experience.


Public sector agencies must make decisions about allocating funds. Local government surveys can collect data to inform their decisions about fund allocation. You have an actionable view of which initiatives need resources and identify projects that require fewer resources. Freeing up limited funds can assist in implementing new projects.

Assessing how well your survey results align with community goals lets you back your budget with real-time evidence. You can identify how experiences vary between groups and locations. The information from various demographics can help you improve equality and inclusion through resource allocation.

Measuring performance

The information you gather from surveys can help you determine objectives to aim for. Over time, your data gives you a measurable indication of whether you’re meeting your goals. You can identify opportunities for improvement in your programs and service initiatives.

It’s easy to establish a baseline with survey information. From there, you can devise key performance indicators (KPIs) and target your service levels effectively.

Community engagement

Allowing your community to share their opinions is essential. They rely on you to act in their best interest and need to know you’re hearing them. Surveys are a way to show your community that your agency takes their needs seriously.

A quality survey targets the right groups of people. It gives you an accurate cross-section of your community to see what matters most to the group. A survey is often the first step to opening communication channels between you and your community. You are showing your community that their thoughts and opinions matter, encouraging them to engage with you in the future.

Improving public trust

Engaging your community shows them you care about their input. Fostering a positive relationship with your community requires transparency, and publishing survey results show the community you heard them. They had an impact. You can take it further by telling them how you plan to use the survey data.

Showing them how their input affected your budget and planning proves you continue to act in their best interest. A simple survey can improve community bonds and elevate confidence within your agency.

Best practices for utilizing surveys

When you conduct a survey, you want the best possible results. The data is most useful when it’s accurate and represents the community. A well-conceived and executed survey will provide the most actionable results.

Remember the following survey best practices to get precise results for your agency:

Cast a wide net

Public sector surveys must represent the populations they serve. When you conduct a survey, ensure it reaches as many people as possible. When people respond across multiple channels, you have more actionable data for decision-making.

There are several ways you can access the most representative group of people. First, make responding easy for the community. Promote your survey on several accessible channels, including email and text messaging. If your survey is detailed, consider financial incentives.

Know what you’re measuring

To take action, you need to know what information you need. Many variables could skew your results. Before constructing your survey, you must know what you want to measure. Once you know what you’re assessing, you can create the survey questions to achieve the survey’s purpose.

Each of your survey questions must link to your objective. Think about what actions you would take with the feedback. The wording you choose could influence the public’s responses, so whether you need an expert to help you construct the questions.

Remember your own people

Before you ask a question, consider the audience. You need answers that help you take action. Phrase your questions so that your people will relate to and understand them. Think about how the questions you ask and the actions you take can engage your community.

Aside from the data, surveys show your people you care about their input. Beyond gathering information, you must show them you’re committed to acting on the data points. Ask them often what matters most to them so that you can turn your findings into proactive strategies.

Share survey data with everyone

Conducting a survey takes you halfway to engaging your community. For people to stay engaged, you must go beyond the survey itself and demonstrate that you’re committed to acting on the feedback they gave you. Your action will keep them engaged. Sharing the information from your survey will provide the community with a way of measuring your initiatives.

You must also share your data with everyone within your agency. Your survey content is most valuable when accessed by everyone on your team. This way, they can collaborate, prevent siloed information and deliver the best results to your community.

Get more out of survey data with Cint

Surveys can be incredibly impactful in the public sector. With Cint, you can collect and share your survey data with ease. Our software will connect you with a vast pool of respondents, where you can gather the relevant community data for informed decision-making.

Our survey sampling tools can deliver fast and accurate insights, helping you make changes in your community. Our tailor-made survey solutions can help you with social research and more. Whether you need highly targeted data or to cover a broad demographic, we can help you get the information you need to take action. Get started with Cint today to discover how we can help you. Unlock your decision-making with Cint.