letter,  Letters,  new canaan,  Opinion,  Robert Doran

Letter: Town survey must be done right

Editor, Advertiser:
Surveying residents of New Canaan about priorities is the most transparent way to address spending and culture, but it has to be handled professionally and scientifically to be valuable.
There is no way to draw meaningful conclusions without customer (resident) narratives being included as part of the research and narratives have to be gathered in person. It doesn’t help to know how someone feels without understanding why. A survey of yes/no or ranking questions doesn’t allow for follow-up questions –– and the answers where the real data are hidden. Any idea to handle this with the ubiquitous Survey Monkey app will create questions not insightful answers.
Liz Donovan and Steve Karl have it right. Data-driven analysis is critical to ascertain how residents prioritize spending, i.e. does everything have to be number one or even perfect. Jim Kucharczyk’s counter that the town do it professionally, is the correct path if elected officials are to rely on the information gathered for actionable insights.
Make educated decisions based on scientific data.
Robert Doran
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