Surveys Need Reliability and Validity to be Statistically Relevant


Hello, and welcome back to our blog! In the world of statistical analysis, reliability and validity are words that are thrown around quite often. Without these two components, a survey is all but useless to the person conducting it. Here at DataStar, we want all of our clients to feel confident in the results of their survey and, to help with this, in today’s post we are going to go over exactly what reliability and validity are and why they are important for proper survey management. We hope that this post makes it easier for all of our clients to understand the concept of reliability and validity and how it applies to the overall effectiveness of a survey.


Don’t Conduct a Survey That is Irrelevant


When conducting a survey, about one of the worst things that a person can do is conduct a survey that, essentially, is useless. There are multiple ways that a survey can be considered irrelevant, however, a survey that lacks in either reliability or validity is not statistically useful for the majority of industries. But, what exactly are we referring to when we discuss reliability and validity? Below, we have listed some short definitions.



  • Validity: Validity refers to the credibility of the research. When someone else views a survey that another person has conducted, validity is one of the first things they are searching for. Internal validity refers to the instruments and/or procedures used during the research and what they were intended to measure. External validity refers to how well the results can be generalized beyond the immediate study (whether or not the results can be applied to individuals beyond the sample used in the study).
  • Reliability: Reliability refers to how well the findings of the survey can be repeated. This is an important aspect of a survey because it determines whether or not if the survey was repeated would the same results be reached. If the answer is yes, that’s a good thing for the survey provider. If the answer is no, that’s not such a good thing. For reliability to be established, the same results need to be repeatable in a short amount of time with the same survey subjects.



What is the Relationship Between Reliability and Validity?


In the simplest of terms, if data (in this case a survey) is valid it must also be reliable, however, just because data is reliable does not always mean that it is valid. If you administered a test to people and they received different scores every single time, the test is not likely to predict how well they understand the information. In relation to data, reliability is a necessary, but not always sufficient, condition for validity.
We hope that this blog has done a sufficient job at explaining the differences and relationship between validity and reliability. If you would like to learn more about this subject, or you would like to learn more about the survey management services that we provide, visit our website today. At DataStar, we strive to deliver the best, most accurate results to our clients and we are certain that we can handle any data processing needs that you may have. Contact us today and learn why DataStar is a leading name in data processing and survey management services.