Surveys have long been used in the library and information science fields as a tried and trusted qualitative research method to help gather evidence on topics such as information search and retrieval, accessibility, and patronage. Yet, as explained by Lynn Connaway, Senior Research Scientist at OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), qualitative research collects information in a way that provides answers to questions that's often relevant "beyond the immediate boundaries of the study" itself as well.
As good as our intentions may be, it's pretty common to enter projects with already held assumptions that may distort the research objectives, whether we’re aware of it or not. Some typical assumptions could be personal beliefs about the problems of your organization, the presumed beliefs and behavior of the average employee, as well as the types of content and assets at your organization—which may not be entirely accurate.
By using qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect data for analysis, you can:
When carrying out a DAM survey, you will need to send it to various individuals and departments in the company to understand ongoing pain points, use-cases, and the general 'digital asset' scope that is being considered at your workplace. From this data, you can compile a report to identify major trends and prioritize tasks accordingly.
So what is the most effective way to get a survey to the right people? And further, how do you get them to fill it out?
From experience, it is important to frequently remind people (but not too much!) to complete the survey; yet there are ways to do this without being just plain irritating. You don’t want to nag people to the point that they stop listening, but you do want to give them ample reminders before the survey due date. It’s easy to put off things like this in your daily work and think, “Oh, I will do it later,” only to realize that you forgot or end up not having enough time to fit it into your day. We've all been there!
It’s not often that people don’t want to provide this info—but remember that it takes time that they may not have when they initially see your reminder. Keep this in mind, and send out reminders in different mediums/formats, or at different times and days of the week. You'll then be much more likely to catch someone when they actually have a moment to spare!
Some more useful tips and tricks to optimize your survey participation would be:
Summarize your DAM data and use it for your DAM project
You may find that you uncover data that disrupts your current assumptions—and that is not a bad thing! Individual answers from the survey can often be quite revealing, but the aggregated findings across your company will help you plan a DAM project that is data-driven, while also accommodating the needs of your organization at a more general level.
A great way to visualize the results from your survey is through things like word clouds, but you can also take this unstructured data and put it through sentiment and text analysis for further distilling and aggregation.
Some typical question examples to be used in a DAM survey would be:
Get started with your digital asset management project today by using a survey to establish business requirements in an effective way. Avoid assumptions and let the data speak for itself, communicate often and clearly about when you need results and what they will be used for, and finally, summarize your data and let it be the catalyst for the structure and strategy of your digital asset management project!