Social Research Centre

Research services

We have in-house expertise in a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, supported by a highly skilled team of researchers, evaluators, statisticians, programmers and technical specialists.

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Questionnaire Design and Testing

When it comes to questionnaire design and testing, we employ a diverse set of methods appropriate to the task. These can include desk research, formative research, stakeholder consultation, expert review, cognitive testing, card sorts, skirmishes, formal pre-testing, pilot testing, dress rehearsals, with the methods used being dependent on what is needed for the job.
Our wealth of experience in conducting social and health surveys equips us with a broad knowledge base in this domain. We possess a deep understanding of established principles and terminology, including adherence to ABS standards.

Because the standard advice in research methods textbooks is not to reinvent the wheel when it comes to writing questions, we also have strong knowledge of where to find questions asked in other surveys, both in Australia and overseas, taking items from ABS surveys, other prominent Australian collections like HILDA and the Australian Election Study, the UK Survey Question Bank, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Q-Bank.

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Survey Research

At the Social Research Centre, we offer a comprehensive suite of survey research services. This includes everything from survey design, sampling and weighting, questionnaire design, to collecting data through diverse channels, including telephone, online, mail-out, and mixed-modes. Additionally, we excel in providing in-depth analytical and interpretative reporting.

Our dedication to upholding the highest standards in survey research is one of our cornerstones. Our approach to designing and conducting survey research is firmly rooted in the Total Survey Error framework, ensuring the delivery of top-tier research outcomes and data quality.

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Cognitive Interviewing

Cognitive interviewing is an essential, yet often overlooked, component of thorough survey design. This method serves to delve into how respondents perceive and interpret survey questions and response options. By employing the ‘think aloud’ technique and probing methods, our team of expert qualitative researchers conduct face-to-face interviews with participants. Through this process, we aim to analyse respondents’ comprehension, information retrieval, judgment, and how they formulate responses to questions. This meticulous approach plays a pivotal role in enhancing the precision of quantitative research by minimising measurement errors.

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Qualitative Research

At the core of social and public policy research lies qualitative research—a powerful method that delves deep into the values, experiences, and emotions shaping individuals’ attitudes and behaviours.
We have dedicated qualitative researchers who are a beacon of methodological expertise, defined by rigor and an unwavering commitment to world-class social research. Our approach is founded upon a ‘quality framework’ for qualitative research, combined from global best practices.

We offer a comprehensive suite of qualitative services, encompassing design, fieldwork, analysis, and reporting, utilising a wide array of qualitative techniques including focus groups, in-depth interviews, observation, case studies, and online methods. Our team specialises in conducting research within marginalised, vulnerable, or disadvantaged groups, exploring a multitude of public and social policy issues.

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Data Analytics

Our comprehensive statistical and analytical services are tailored to your research needs, offering a spectrum of expertise. We design and execute intricate sample plans for surveys, maximising data accuracy using methods such as blending, adaptive designs and stratified and clustered sample designs. Robust estimation methodologies including model based weighting and small area estimation methods boost research precision.

Rigorous data preparation and analysis techniques are applied to various survey data types, extracting valuable insights. In addition to sample design and estimation, we use regression models, machine learning, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and psychometric modelling among other techniques to empower data-driven decisions.

Geospatial analysis provides spatial insights, enriching location-based data understanding. Pattern recognition and natural language processing optimise survey response analysis. We also provide customised statistical training programs, equipping teams with data skills.

Our services empower you to unlock your data’s full potential, enabling research excellence and informed decisions.

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Data Visualisation and Reporting

Our team boasts extensive expertise in the application of descriptive and multivariate data analysis techniques, including item response modelling, data visualisation, modelling, and segmentation. This proficiency is essential in interpreting and presenting research findings effectively.

We offer a diverse range of reporting styles, catering to various needs. From high-level dashboard summaries of survey results and/ or survey progress tracking, factsheets and automated reports to respondents, to comprehensive written reports suitable for peer-reviewed publications, we cover it all.

Our in-house data visualisation experts merge web design skills with powerful tools like Power BI, Tableau, and R to transform your survey data into secure, interactive online dashboards. Our approach to effective visualisations begins with understanding your target audience and choosing graphics that convey the story effectively. Our experts will work with you to meet your specific requirements.

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We believe that having robust data monitoring systems and evaluating program and intervention processes and outcomes is fundamental to informed policy-making. This approach allows for a rigorous, evidence-based assessment of effectiveness and plays a central role in the policymaking process.

Our team engages in a wide spectrum of evaluative work from developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks, logic models and evaluation plans, to developmental and process evaluations, to assessing outcomes, impact and value for money.

Our expertise extends to initiatives such as designing the framework to measure progress for the Child Abuse Royal Commission (CARC), developing monitoring systems for domestic and family violence programs, mapping data related to outcomes, indicators and measures for the national skills agreements, scoping the policy and data environment for new national data assets, and evaluating the effectiveness of numerous Commonwealth and State/Territory government programs in the social policy space including in the VET sector, early childhood education and care, diversity and inclusion, education and employment, domestic and family violence, gender equity and refugee health and wellbeing – to name a few. Through our work, we aim to contribute valuable insights that inform the decision-making process and drive effective policy formulation.

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Data Management

Our suite of survey data management services is meticulously designed to provide essential support to clients and the broader research community. Our core objectives include enhancing survey data impact, managing risks effectively, and ensuring research plans’ clarity.

We strongly advocate responsible sharing of survey data archives, increasing their overall value. Our expertise lies in crafting robust risk management frameworks that balance researchers’ needs with privacy and ethics.

We assist in developing comprehensive research plans, offering precise guidance on survey data management, utilisation, and dissemination. Efficiency is a hallmark, especially in managing data access and releases for secondary analysis.

Our commitment extends to monitoring approved research projects, ensuring compliance with data release conditions, including reporting and secure data destruction when needed.

We take pride in delivering comprehensive reporting solutions, including detailed technical reports on survey methodology and supporting metadata, along with plain language reports for transparency.

Our services emphasise adherence to legal, statutory, ethical, and funding body requirements, aligning survey data storage and retention with industry best practices, safeguarding data integrity and privacy.