Diagnostics are NOT Surveys

People often use the words “diagnostic” and “survey” interchangeably. They really shouldn’t. Beyond superficial similarities, the differences are profound – who is doing the measuring, what is being measured and why – and so are the results.

Often confused with a “survey”, a “diagnostic” is something very different.

Whilst the interface may look similar – a set of parameters for respondents to evaluate on a scale with a range of options, leading to some consolidated output – the purpose is very different, and so is the quality of information and analysis that follows.

What Makes Diagnostics Different

The main thing to stress is that a diagnostic is always conceived of as part of a bigger process; it is never just about information gathering or a single point of time.

Beyond this, the differences reflect the differences between “complicated” and “complex” and can be summed-up in terms of why a diagnostic is performed, what measures are used, and how it works.

Another way of summarising it: