The term survey is not recognized by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), although it is often used in some South American countries. The concept would seem to come from relieve, a word with several meanings: to replace or change something or someone; remove a load; excuse.
Its use, however, is not linked to these actions. A survey is a revision, a investigation or a study Of something. What is done when relieving, in this sense, is to register true information that is detected from an observation.
For example: “A survey by the Ministry of Public Works detected that, in the province, 24% of the homes lack drinking water”, “I am conducting a survey on Latin American footballers who have played in African teams”, “A team of economists is doing a price survey in various markets in the city”.
In the area of administration and finance, specifically with regard to systems analysis, it is common to use the term survey that concerns us. In this case, it is defined and characterized by the following aspects:
-Its objective is none other than to determine the real and existing situation that exists in a specific system. Hence, it becomes an exhaustive and detailed investigation of each and every one of the vertices of that, of the organization in question.
-This process can last between a month and a month and a half.
-The methods that will be used by those who carry out the survey to be able to collect and compile all the documents and pertinent information are many. However, among the most common are the questionnaire, personal interview, estimates, personal observation, reporting, work meetings, sampling …
In order to carry out the aforementioned operation, it is essential that the person or persons in charge of it establish what is called a survey plan. This is a document that is necessary to be composed of the following two basic sections: the background and the execution. In the first section, for example, both the identification of the problem and the context should be included. On the other hand, in the second, the techniques to be used, the priorities or what will be the establishment of the different tasks to be carried out have to be determined.
Take the case of a non-governmental organization (NGO) who wishes to improve the quality of life of an indigenous community. To know your most urgent needs, make a survey in the area, interviewing the inhabitants and recording in images various problems that are noticed when traveling through the region (contamination of a river, lack of infrastructure, etc.). Upon completion of the survey, the NGO it will determine what are the priority actions to help the community in question.
Inspectors, on the other hand, can make a survey in shops to see how many business They are not complying with the tax regulations in force. The survey makes it possible to punish those who are at fault and prepare a report that is then presented at a press conference.