Confidential vs Anonymous survey- How do decide on that?

What is a Confidential Survey?

A Confidential survey is a survey where the data collected in the survey and the results of the survey are kept confidential or maintained as a secret or accessible to a very few people. Confidentiality is different from anonymity. For example, if you run Employee surveys, and you collect the responses with details of the employees, you can run it as a confidential survey, and the results are known to a very few on the top level in the hierarchy of the organization.

Anonymous vs Confidential Surveys:

​​An Anonymous survey is a survey where the respondent’s Personal Identity is not collected by the researcher or the creator of the survey. It gives the respondents the confidence to voice their opinions without being identified. A respondent’s choice may not be identified when the results are evaluated at any point in time.

In the case of confidential surveys, the respondent’s personal identity is collected, but it is kept confidential not accessible to all; there is a clear line of difference between anonymous and confidential surveys.

Some situations decide which one of the surveys you should go for, either Confidential or Anonymous,

confidential vs anonymous survey

How to decide on Anonymous or Confidential survey?

On a serious note, your survey recipients and your relationship with them decide whether you need to go for Confidential surveys or anonymous ones,

Let us take the example of  Employee engagement surveys again. Suppose you want to get an honest opinion about the organization and its policies. In that case, you should eliminate the fear of being identified because being identified in online surveys can restrict your survey respondent from being straight and honest. So you should go for an Anonymous survey.

The second instance is if you are conducting a product analysis within the teams of the same organization. You want to know what other teams think about your newborn product of your department, so in this case, you want an honest survey response but still need confidentiality of survey responses in order to maintain the rapport among the teams. Moreover, it should not affect the attitude of the people or the productivity of the department. So you can go for Confidential surveys so that the results are accessible to very few people who can make changes in the product or develop accordingly.

Conclusion:

Creating online surveys nowadays is simpler than ever before, but choosing the right kind of survey to extract the best results out of it is what really matters. So do a proper pre-work before going on to collect the data. First, decide what type of survey you need to do and how best you can use the survey platform to collect the best data to get honest feedback.