Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Survey Says...

One of my favorite shows is Family Feud, with Steve Harvey as host. My son and I watch it together, and just laugh -- you know, the gut-wrenching kind of laughs? Usually, we're laughing at Steve's reactions to answers given by contestants:


I've often wondered how the show designed its surveys and implemented them. Apparently, The Wall Street Journal also had the same wondering, and published Family Feud Finds Survey Niche back in 2008. The actual size of each survey question is only 100 people, and random phone calls are made to solicit answers. That is a very small sample size, but for its purpose, the system works well.

Tomorrow, the students I work with at Forest Hills Northern High School will be pushing out their student voice survey to approximately 1,100 students. The questions were completely written by students, and beta tested by them for clarity and focus. By surveying the entire school, the students hope that the responses provide them with workable data.

As we have neared the day of the survey, we've been learning more about how to use data in storytelling. In other words, having all that data come into a Google spreadsheet is great, but what we do with it is even more important. How might we use the data to amplify student voice, and promote real student-driven change?

Chances are some of the answers will surprise us; heck, we may even have Steve's look. But just as Steve uses humor to interact with the data on Family Feud, we will need to find methods or avenues to engage with our data, and make our audience sit up and take notice.

One resource we have used to help us get ready to be data storytellers is this amazing TEDxTalk by Ben Wellington:


Wellington's ability to take what appear just to be numbers and turn them into an incredible visual story (with an impact) is inspiring. And easy to follow. 

I'll follow up in another post as to what we found in the data, and how our story is unfolding. Until then...

Join the conversation...
How do you use survey or other data to tell your story?


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