Survey says...

As internet usage continues to increase at a mind-numbing speed, so do the number of surveys, studies, and technological advances used to capture information about who is using the internet, for what purposes, and how satisfied they are when using it.


As internet usage continues to increase at a mind-numbing speed, so do the number of surveys, studies, and technological advances used to capture information about who is using the internet, for what purposes, and how satisfied they are when using it. PE Online is no different. And there's good reason for this (beyond the ease at which the internet allows you to conduct a survey): The more an information provider knows about its audience, the better equipped that provider is to serve its audience with the information they need.

The use of surveys goes a long way in helping an information provider develop and implement strategies for presenting and disseminating information products and services to users. If you are a frequent reader of this column, you will recall that PE Online conducted a survey back in August 1998 to record your content preferences, your satisfaction level with the content offered on the web site, and your suggestions for improvements. (See the November 1998 "Web Update" for a summary of the results.) Results of that survey played a significant role in determining what you see on the newly redesigned PE Online .

Be prepared

It's one thing to know what readers feel would improve a web site, but it is also important for information providers to know how (un)prepared its readers are to receive information. For example, knowing such things as what sort of equipment a majority of the readers use to access the internet, how likely readers are to purchase products via the internet, or the tendency of readers to fill out registration form impacts the many design, architecture, and usability aspects of a web site.

To meet this need, "Internet Readiness" studies are conducted for PE Online . Each year, the research arm of Cahners Business Information randomly selects readers from Plant Engineering to participate in this study in an attempt to better understand how its readers use the internet.

Your opinion matters

On a smaller scale, quick and informal opinion polls are useful tools for capturing reader position on a current industry event or topic. If done correctly, readers gain the added value of viewing up-to-the-minute results, which can provide them with a general idea of where they and their peers stand on certain issues. On the flip side, those creating the polls can gain a better understanding of where their focus may need to be in future content. Be sure to participate in PE Online's new monthly opinion poll, posted with the release of each new issue in the "Your Voice" section.

If you're interested in detailed statistics for the internet and World Wide Web communities, one of the more popular series of user surveys is conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology's Graphic, Visualization, & Usability Center, located at

If you have any questions about the surveys conducted for PE Online , or any suggestions for future opinion polls, we'd like to hear from you.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me