The online questionnaire offers a number of advantages for respondents and statistical offices. Data submitted online is more accurate than information obtained from paper questionnaires. The results can also be published more quickly, as it does not take as long to process the data. And last but not least, online surveys are much more sustainable than postal surveys with printed questionnaires. That’s why our aim is to make the online questionnaire the standard form of submission. This applies to the household survey and the census of buildings and housing. For this to work, our preparations and processes must be geared towards the online survey from the very beginning.
The most important area of improvement concerns the accuracy of our results, which can be achieved by increasing the percentage of online submissions. More plausible results can be obtained from an electronic questionnaire. As soon as respondents enter their information, it is checked to make sure it is plausible and complete, and potential spelling mistakes are displayed. The aim is also to make the process as comfortable as possible for citizens. The targeted filter function ensures that respondents are only shown the questions they actually have to answer during the census of buildings and apartments. This makes the questionnaire easier to complete – and in just a few minutes.
By printing fewer questionnaires, we can ultimately help to preserve natural resources. This is both more cost-effective and better for the environment. If we piled up the questionnaires completed for the census of buildings and housing during the 2011 census, the stack of paper would be even higher than Mount Everest (8,848 m). By printing fewer questionnaires, we can also reduce our transport routes, improve our carbon emissions and cut our printing and postage costs. In addition, we can greatly reduce the costly manual post-processing of paper questionnaires.