Are multiple-choice questions the most common format in law-firm research surveys? Absolutely yes would be the answer based on impressionistic leaf-throughs of some surveys. But this being a data analytics blog, we need genuine, hard-core empirical data.

Three recent surveys, picked somewhat randomly and each from a different law firm, provide data and start to suggest an answer. ^{1}

In its 32-page report on debt financing, DLA shows 17 plots. Of them, 15 are multiple-choice with an average of 4.8 selections per question. At least five of the selections are *ordinal*, by the way, meaning that they have a natural order of progression. Here is an example of ordinal selections, from “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree”.

The Hogan Lovells report regarding Brexit has five plots throughout its 16 pages and three of them appear to be based on multiple-choice questions. The average number of selections is 3.3. Finally the K&L Gates survey of general counsel has 15 plots in its 20 pages. A dozen of them summarize multiple-choice questions with an average of more than six selections per question. ^{2}

Combining the findings from this small sample, it turns out that 80% of the plots draw their data from multiple choice questions. The other plot types include some matrices (tables), a map, and some circle visualizations (data in circles). As to the number of selections, between four and five per question seems to be the average.

Notes:

- DLA Piper, “European Acquisition Finance Debt Report 2015” (2015); Hogan Lovells, “Brexometer” (2017); and K&L Gates, and “General Counsel in the Age of Disruption” (2017) ↩
- We cannot determine precisely how many selections are in some of the questions because the report only shows the top three or the top five selections that were picked. ↩