Need advice from DBAs regarding survey incentive.

MrChip2
MrChip2 used Ask the Experts™
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Hello,

I am looking for non-technical advice from a few database administrators.  I realize that this is not a technical question.  I am asking it here because I need input from DBAs.

 I am working on a project that involves conducting a web survey among DBAs who work with UNIX-based systems.  The survey will be 12-15 minutes long and can be taken at any convenient time.  The survey will be conducted by a reputable market research firm with a 12 year history.  All answers will remain anonymous.

I am NOT looking for anyone to take the survey.  Rather I am looking for advice on which incentive I should offer.  Here are the choices under consideration:

Option #1. Cash-only.  Everyone who qualifies and completes the survey is paid $25.  You can chose to get the money via PayPal or as an Amazon.com gift certificate.

Option #2. Raffle-only.  Everyone who qualifies and completes the survey will be entered in a raffle to win one of several Apple iPad 2 worth about $500.  For every 40 completed surveys, we will raffle one iPad.  So your odds of winning are roughly 1 in 40.  

Option #3. Combination.  Everyone who qualifies and completes the survey is paid $15.  In addition, everyone will be entered in a raffle to win one of several Apple iPad 2 worth about $500.  For every 100 completed surveys, we will raffle one iPad.  So your odds of winning the bonus iPad (on top of the $15 everyone receives) are roughly 1 in 100.  

Which option, A, B or C, do you think will be most effective at getting DBAs to take our survey?  If you think we should offer something different, please feel free to suggest it.  I would like to hear from as many DBAs as possible.  Thanks for your help. :)
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SQL Server DBA & Architect, EE Solution Guide
Awarded 2009
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
My Personal Opinion:

Option#1: I will prefer since I will earn money for the time I spent out filling the survey.
Option#2: I won't prefer since there is no guarantee to earn Ipad for my time spent.
Option#3: Less preferable compared to Option#1 since there is some guarantee to get paid along with some raffle.

And do include me in your survey so that I can contribute my inputs.
MrChip2President

Author

Commented:
Hi rrjegan

Thanks for your opinion.  Out of curiosity - are you a DBA?  If so, for what system?

You mentioned you would like to be included.  Do you know of any way that I can survey Experts-Exchange members?  I very much value this service and do not want to get in trouble by doing something that violates the terms.
MrChip2President

Author

Commented:
Also, do you think $25 is enough for 15 minutes?  I don't want to offer too much because of the costs and the fear that people will try to take the survey just for the money.
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Raja Jegan RSQL Server DBA & Architect, EE Solution Guide
Awarded 2009
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
>> are you a DBA?  If so, for what system?

Yes, I am a DBA taking care of both SQL Server and DB2 for Unix/Windows.

>> Do you know of any way that I can survey Experts-Exchange members?

Yes, you can raise a question in General Community zone, so that any of the moderators can guide you accordingly.

>>  I very much value this service and do not want to get in trouble by doing something that violates the terms.

Moderators can guide you on this one exactly..

>> do you think $25 is enough for 15 minutes?  

Ultimately, Its up to you since you are planning budget for your survey. Those who are interested can participate in this survey.

>> I don't want to offer too much because of the costs and the fear that people will try to take the survey just for the money.

In that case, just send the survey links only to valid recipients ie, only DBAs and not others so that others will not take your survey just for money.
Raja Jegan RSQL Server DBA & Architect, EE Solution Guide
Awarded 2009
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Also you can click on Request Attention button available below your question so that some Moderators can help you on the above questions..
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
I'll post a link to this question over in a private thread monitored by Administrators, Moderators and Zone Advisors to get inputs on how best to proceed with this as it pertains to the Experts here.

My two cents (Oracle DBA 18+ years.  Also UNIX admin for quite a few of those).

The problem you might have is people filling the survey just for the reward without really caring about the results.  I might just want to fill this out as many times as possible?

Personally I'm not sure what would make me take the time.  I'm leaning towards #3.  A little of a sure thing then a possibility of a real nice prize.

You might even get away with a simple T-Shirt and reduce the odds of the IPad a little.  You'll need to see the break-even point.
Hi MrChip,

I'm pretty much on board with rrjegan's thoughts.  The Raffle idea, while it does allow for a "grand prize", detracts from the legitimacy of the survey.  You are asking professionals for advise, not offering teenagers an incentive to sign up.

I do have several thoughts/concerns about your project.

-- Budget.  At $25/survey you could eat up thousands of dollars pretty quickly.
-- Talent pool.  How are you going to find enough participants?
-- Culls.  How are you going to eliminate the riffraff before they take the survey?
-- Diversity.  How do you plan to get varied opinions?

Sounds interesting, with a few challenges.


Kent
MrChip2President

Author

Commented:
WOW, I am blown away by the response!  I am torn between keeping the question open vs. awarding points to all who have contributed.  I will try to address everyone's comments below:

rrjegan17: Thank you for suggesting the General Community Zone.  I have never looked into that before and will do so now.  You hit the nail on the head - I need to find a way to only send survey links to valid recipients.

slightwv: Thank you for posting my question in the private thread.  It did not take very long for Netminder to respond :)  I realize that some people will "cheat" just to get the reward.  That is one of the reasons I was thinking Option C may be better than Option A.  The incentive will be tied to an email address and each address may only be used once.  I know this is not full-proof, but I do not want to publicize too much information on how we check for "cheaters".  Some will get through.  Personally, I also prefer Option 3.  The tricky part is that every country has different tax rules regarding prizes.  If someone from China wins, for instance, it could be very expensive to deal with shipping and import duties, etc.  Some countries do not allow sweepstakes.

Kdo: You raise very good points that we are working on.  Regarding point #1, we do plan to spend several thousand dollars on incentives.  The survey will be designed to close after a set number of completes so there is a cap to the incentives.

Netminder: You raised some very interesting ideas.  Is there any way for me to communicate with you directly and privately?  I have a couple of ideas regarding your points #1 and #2 that I would not want to disclose publicly.  Can you look up my email address and send me an email?  I promise not to take too much of your valuable time.

Thanks again everyone!!!  
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
I say leave it open for a while.  There are some other valued Experts in different time zones and are likely sleeping.  Give them a chance.
MrChip2President

Author

Commented:
Netminder, out of curiosity what timezone are you located in?  It would be great to get your feedback today or tomorrow.  

Also, is it OK to leave the post open after so many great comments?  Will experts be upset if they each get only 100 points or less?
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
I'm not Netminder but...

>>Also, is it OK to leave the post open after so many great comments?  

It's fine.  Leave it open as long as you think you might get more responses.

>>Will experts be upset if they each get only 100 points or less?

I can't speak for all but:  Some might, most will not.  Many of us around just like helping.  The points are just a 'bonus'.
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
I did say 'some might'!  I didn't say who those 'some' were....  ;)
Personally, I don't see that the three choices are significantly different in overall effect. I would, however, not offer an iPad. I would choose a Motorola Xoom or one of the others of that class. The iPad is a superb piece of equipment, but the chain connecting it to iTunes and one or two other details can be extra irritating.

(Not offered as an "answer", just IMO.)

Tom
Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database Administrator
Commented:

IMHO, I'd more likely go for the cash ... option 1. ( I'm often suspicious of raffles. )

 ... and, yes, I've been a DBA. My current title is "senior developer / analyst", but I was a DB2 DBA for several years.

HTH,
DaveSlash
MrChip2President

Author

Commented:
Thank you everyone for all of your great advice!  I am intentionally leaving the thread open because you are giving me such great ideas.  I check the question twice a day.  Thanks again!!!
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
No problem.  You have the blessing of Netminder  "It's your question; when it's answered, it's answered."

Not that you really need it.  We humor him a lot these days...

Leave it open as long as you feel there may be more posts.
MrChip2President

Author

Commented:
Thank you everyone for such great feedback.  I thought it was time to close this thread.  I may post a follow-up questions today based on some new information.

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