Monday, October 02, 2006

:: adgruntie :: Researchers perpetuating fraud?

+ No big surprise to me. From
Just 0.25% of the population supplies 32% of responses to online surveys, said Simon Chadwick, former head of NOP Research in the U.K. and now principal of Cambiar, a Phoenix consultancy, citing research by ComScore Networks. More broadly, he said, 50% of all survey responses come from less than 5% of the population.

That leaves lingering suspicions that survey research may be getting less reliable. "We're perpetuating a fraud," Mr. Chadwick said.
Hmm. Sounds like how Nielsen does their ratings.
Kim Dedeker, VP-consumer and market knowledge at P&G, presented one example in which online and mail surveys on an instant-coffee concept came up with diametrical results.

"If I had only had the online result in this particular case, I would have taken a bad decision right to the top management," she said.
In another case, two surveys a week apart by the same online researcher yielded different recommendations. "We're having tremendous issues moving from concept to launch," Ms. Dedeker said. Research that qualifies projects for millions of dollars in advertising and capital investment sometimes is contradicted by other studies just before rollout.

While she was careful not to blame online research or specific vendors, she said the problems boil down to "the integrity and methodology," with respondent-participation problems one possible factor. "I'm not sure we're aligned on the nature of the disease we're treating," she said.

Nor were participants aligned on a solution. Online research -- once touted as a way to improve respondent cooperation -- now may be making it worse. While it's easier to respond to online surveys, it's also easier to crank them out, leading more consumers to tune them out, said Patrick Glaser, director-respondent cooperation for the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research.
The one major issue they aren't even addressing in this article in reation to online polling or surveying is the fact that I know no one who enters in the correct information in any sort of info gathering form online. At sites such as an alcohol company where you must input your age to access the site, I've not once entered my correct birth date or year. Not once. Many other sites where I need to put in information to access data, again, I don't give my information. Sometimes I'm a 70 year old man living in Alaska and other times I'm 45 year old woman living in Nebraska or London.

This is the biggest problem I would think for using data from online surveys. You have no way to guarantee that the data you are using is accurate.

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