As Data Overflows Online, Researchers Grapple With Ethics

Scientists can now analyze the personal data on millions of people without their knowledge, and some want to bring ethical guidelines to such studies.  This is why in our industry, CASRO recently released their code of standards and AAPOR is launching their Transparency Initiative.  It is best not to conduct research in isolation without any guidance.  Ideally researchers should include an opt-in process and clearly inform respondents the reason for the study, what it will be used for and any other uses or tests after the fact.

Read the source article at The New York Times

Is this the end of apps? Developers should find out why before closing shop.

Interest in apps is waning due to several factors.  There has been a huge influx of older users purchasing smart phones and they are not tech savvy enough to discover all the wonderful useful benefits apps can provide them and/or they are comfortable with the same average ten apps they use on a regular basis.  Another reason is that the majority of the apps on the market are deemed sufficient and any new alternative are not all that attractive to substitute.  Is this the demise of a billion dollar industry?  Nay, the developers and app owners need to find out why the users are not using them.  One way is by getting feedback using an in-app survey; to gain an evaluation of the app, to know the users better and increase their engagement and ideally get insight of the provider’s product or service. 

Read the source article at The Independent

To be precise with your surveys, you must not neglect mobile

As the balance of exclusive mobile phone vs landline users has shifted, telephone surveys have included cell phones proportionally.  There are still constraints, as landlines are identified by geography and defined as a ‘household’ in comparison to cell phones that are owned by individuals and can roam around the country.   Even though landlines are cheaper and get answered more frequently than mobile, pollsters cannot neglect cell phones as they are an essential tool to extend a survey’s reach – especially in emerging markets and niche or difficult target groups.

Read the source article at ValueWalk

It’s all in how you ask

Every word has its meaning.  Subtle variations in how you ask a question have a big impact.  This is why survey questions need to be clear and specific for a respondent to be able to easily understand and answer. With opened questions it has to be obvious that one is able to respond with their own words and what type of response is appropriate.  Then with closed-ended questions all sensible answers should be included.  Be careful not to offend someone or be one-sided.  It is interesting to note with the frequently used question style of “agree-disagree”, less educated and less informed respondents most often are prone to agree with such statements.  Be careful with your wording as it will likely effect the opinions you seek.

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Survey Design

A survey is a tool to gather information – ideally depending on your goals, to find facts about your clients, product or your market.  This is why it is so important to use the opportunity wisely and be able to have actionable items from the resulting analytics.  Some basic survey design elements to keep in mind:

-          keep the number of questions to a minimum as time is precious

-          list the most important topics first

-          what is the objective of the study

-          is it easy enough for the respondent to provide information

-          determine the type of question that is best suited to answer;  open text, multiple choice, rank order, etc

It is good to get the basics down pat to obtain the results you seek, unless it may well be a good idea to hire an experienced survey practitioner.

Read the source article at Business 2 Community

Want to make better decisions – follow the data.

You better have a smart gut because only one out of ten executives will do what the data says if it contradicts their gut feeling.  Sure 90 % in The Economist survey make decisions based on analysis, testing and collaborative discussion, but if it contradicts their intuition, only 10% would go with the data.  Both analysis and intuition are highly valued, though data is a highly prized commodity when it comes to making decisions.  Honing the skills to be able to analyse data better will enable you to choose the right option.

Read the source article at The Economist Insights

Be Open Be Credible

On September 8, 2014 AAPOR will launch its Transparency Initiative.  A program to place the value of openness at the center of the polling industry and to make it as easy as possible for survey firms to be transparent about their research methods.  Resistance against pollsters has been growing because they are perceived as sales campaign callers or will not disclose who their sponsor is.  What an incredible program to regain the trust of the people and improve the credibility of the industry.

Read the source article at The New York Times

Upwardly mobile

There has been improvement in mobile market research, but even with 87% of people owning a mobile device; only 27% have completed a quantitative survey and 19% a qualitative feedback in 2013.  It goes without saying the benefits of mobile surveys:  reach, targeting, timing and location data to name a few.  Though the on-going industry deliberation is whether mobile surveys are best delivered by app or web.  If apps appear to be taking over the mobile sphere, should a market research company create their own or would an in-app survey imbedded in a brand’s app yield a higher response rate?  What is the approach you are taking?


Read the source article at Research

Happiness Won’t Stop Employees From Job Hunting

Eighty-three percent of workers intend to look for a new job this year — even though more employees report being satisfied with their current work, according to a survey by   Technology makes employee surveys an easy thing.  Have a simple interface with a manageable learning curve and make it anonymous to protect employee’s discretion.  An employee satisfaction survey can help you stay on track with your employees and your business.   What is your employee feedback survey strategy?

Read the source article at