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Survey Tools & Data Mining

  Survey Tools

Here are the survey tools:

  • Simple Statistics - see the realtime results of the survey as percentage response to answers.  All this does is tally up the results and display the percentages
  • Dynamic Tabulator - see the relationship between varied data fields.  This option takes advantage of the relationships within the database so you can get the statistics on specific groups within your data. The true data mining tool
  • See/test the online survey (this will open up in a new window, please close it to return to the site)
| Back to Top | Online Survey? | Datamining |

  An Online Survey ?!

Since the internet has reached a critical mass, we believed that we could get a great sampling of national opinion through the world wide web. We created an eighteen question survey to get a better feel for our audience and evaluate our approach for this project. But to do this we needed to get a large diverse group to respond to our survey by: 

  • We contacted websites such as www.cnn.com or www.space.com to see if they’ll allow us to place a small banner pointing to the survey. 
  • We posted messages on usenet newsgroups to attract people interested in space to our site. 
  • We put up a link to the survey on our university’s homepage (www.utexas.edu) to get an idea of how students feel about the issue. 

To keep neutral we did not place the survey on earth2mars.org so we could reduce any possible bias from affecting our survey results. The duration of this survey was approximately four weeks. We used a special tool called coldfusion which is produced by a company named Allaire. Coldfusion is basically an interface between forms on the web and a database. It’s used to suck information from the surveys and plug it into our database, as well as extracting information from the database to be used online. Coldfusion is the tool of choice to generate websites for the space program, and is currently used by NASA. Any code that we create for our survey can immediately be ported over to NASA’s system so they can continuously survey popular opinion. But why Coldfusion, why store all the responses into a database? 

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  Data Mining is the Answer!

Data mining is a process by which you can transforms separate pieces of information from a database and produce a three dimensional model that you can query in thousands of ways. This data cube can be used to find answers to questions that our survey didn’t even touch upon. All of a sudden the fourteen questions we’ve used can help us get the answers to thousands more by spinning this data cube. Our survey is comprehensive enough to give you information about all aspects of our respondents, and you can use this information to find and monitor patterns. These patterns will give you a clear cut path to addressing your audience.

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