How SurveyMonkey gets its data

We ask survey questions on an unmatched scale to get high-quality data.

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Every day, 3 million people have conversations using SurveyMonkey.

They’re not just customers, employees, market researchers, or event attendees—people across the world use SurveyMonkey to give feedback on anything you can imagine. We ask just a tiny fraction of those people for their opinion on important issues, and get unprecedented access to a sample of the U.S. population.

That access lets us poll the American public for their views on important current events, while our team of expert survey scientists make sure the sampling of individual units matches the U.S. population at large.

How does SurveyMonkey get its data? We’ll take you through it, step by step.

1 3 million people take surveys on SurveyMonkey’s platform each day.

2 A random selection of those people are invited to participate in a survey.

3 After they’ve taken the survey, we filter out people who didn’t complete it (nonresponses).

4 Our survey scientists carefully adjust the data so that it’s representative of the sample population.

5 What does that mean? When groups in our sample don’t exactly match the larger population, we use advanced statistical inferences to balance them.

6 Now we start looking at the results. We aggregate and compile responses to provide an easy-to-understand snapshot of what people are thinking.

7 The large scale of our sample allows us to pinpoint views that others cannot, giving us an inside look on public opinion and experiences.

Why you can count on SurveyMonkey’s data

Our team of survey methodologists and pollsters stand behind our data because of three core principles:

Scale and Diversity: During the 3 million survey conversations we have each day, we talk to people from a broad range of demographic groups—doctors under 30, construction workers in Maine or Asian American retirees. We have respondents from every:

  • Area of the U.S. (even to state level)
  • Age, gender, ethnicity
  • Background (income, job role, political affiliation)

Known Sampling: Unlike some, we don’t take personal information from our respondents—we ask for it. We collect demographic information on all our respondents, which provides important context for our results. It also allows for more sophisticated weighting of our data, making it even more accurate.

Transparency: It’s our policy to be transparent about our weighting and sampling methods. The details of our survey methodology are open to anyone. Want to see them? Just ask.

Want to ask people about the issues that matter to you?

SurveyMonkey Audience is a separate tool with a different method for recruiting respondents. In Audience, respondents take surveys in exchange for donations to charity and customers can pay to hear their opinions. The polling method described on this page isn’t available for purchase.

Take surveys. Support non-profits.

Who’s behind the research?

SurveyMonkey employs a team of survey methodologists—scientists who study surveys, polling, public opinion, and data collection. They know exactly how to structure surveys, ask questions, and analyze data in order to get precise results.