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New Dimensions of Quality in Online Panels Jacqueline Lorch Vice President, Global Knowledge Management Survey Sampling International.

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Presentation on theme: "New Dimensions of Quality in Online Panels Jacqueline Lorch Vice President, Global Knowledge Management Survey Sampling International."— Presentation transcript:


2 New Dimensions of Quality in Online Panels Jacqueline Lorch Vice President, Global Knowledge Management Survey Sampling International

3 The World Is Moving On…

4 Sampling Questionnaire Design Interpretation Fieldwork Why Does It Matter?

5 What Are The Key Quality Elements?  A broadly-recruited, representative, well-managed pool of respondents  Respondents who respond honestly and conscientiously:  What guarantees are there to guard against bad data, i.e. respondent cheating or not concentrating/caring in their responses… ?  A well-designed survey instrument

6 How Do Respondents Fit In?  Google “Market Research”464 million entries “Market Research Respondents” 2 million entries

7 What Is A ‘Professional Respondent’?  Some assumptions:  Quality of responses will be lower  Motivated to maximize incentives, not by intrinsic interest  Do too many surveys – become conditioned  But what definition?  Someone who gets paid?

8 “I am an IT Director with 7 wives…” Honesty Is The Issue

9 Smith and Hofma Brown, Harris Interactive New Typology Of “Bad” Respondents  Hyperactive Respondents  Too many surveys, too many panels  Fraudulent Respondents  Misrepresent themselves  Inattentive Respondents  Don’t put thought into answers  Conditioned Respondents  Have learned from past surveys

10 Hyperactive Respondents  Do busy panelists provide bad data?  Do the most responsive panelists take the surveys the fastest?  Are the fastest surveys the ‘worst’?

11 Hyperactive Respondents  US SurveySpot panel, 3 month internal tracker  Two groups: –SurveySpot only –One or more other panels  No difference in average time taken by each group  Similar answers on motivation for joining:  Motivated by chance to influence decisions –SurveySpot-only: 50% –More than one panel membership: 47%

12 Fraudulent Respondents  How can you tell if someone is who they say they are?  How can you stop multiple panel memberships using different identities?  How can you tell if someone is just making up the answers?

13 Who Are You Today? Ask me something only I would/should know…..

14 Catch The Cheat…  Respondents…  Who have 23 different ailments  Who report using non-existent brands  Whose education doesn’t match their profession

15 Inattentive Respondents  Fatigue leads them to skip questions  Don’t pay attention to instructions  May be inevitable after a certain length of survey

16  Related to interview length  5% baseline of inattention? Length of interview, minutes141921 Items155 Skipped all5%8%11% Inattentive Respondents

17 Respondents Speak Out  Repetitive questions “sorry this survey was just too long.”  “Sometimes it becomes so repetitive you say, ‘to hell with it, I don’t need this.’”  “You think you are about done and the same questions start all over again.”

18  Time use > 7300 hours = 4 hours of sleep a night  Time use > 8760 hours = no sleep, ever.. more hours than in a year  5% baseline of inattention?  A really tough question set? Length of interview, minutes141921 >7300 hours5%6% >8760 hours3%4% Inattentive Respondents

19 Respondents Speak Out  “…absolutely ridiculous… [questions like] ‘if this pizza was a person.’ ”  “Why is this bottled water like your favorite pet?”  “In filling out this survey it asked when I would buy a new house. I said “never”. The next several questions were regarding my new house and it required an answer…So I quit the survey and didn’t finish it.”

20 Conditioned Respondents  Only give the answers they do because of what they have learned from previous surveys  Or change behavior as a result of information from surveys  Have no redeeming features  But do such people exist…..?

21 TNS Experiment  3 groups of respondents  High frequency – interviewed 5 times (  Medium frequency – interviewed 3 times (1.3.5)  Low frequency – interviewed 2 times (1.5)  + Control group at wave 5  Same questionnaire  Survey frequency not yet released by TNS  UK, France, Germany  n = 1202 (control = 1470)

22 Product Usage High Low

23 Product Purchase High Low

24 Brand Awareness High Low

25 Conditioned Respondents  Evidence is hard to find  Maybe surveys aren’t quite so important to respondents as they are to researchers!  Could we be over-reacting and losing good respondents?

26 Respondents Speak Out  “I would like to know why it is that practically every time I give my age I am refused the access to the survey? Is there something wrong with being 75 and in good health, mentally and physically?”  Why do I spend 10 minutes answering questions on one of your surveys before I am given message ‘Sorry, you didn't qualify for this survey’.  “I have not been able to take several [most] surveys because I work in the grocery industry. I don’t think it is fair. I AM A CONSUMER TOO … It is not like I work for a company that makes or sells one brand.”


28 Respondents Speak Out  “…ability of the human eyes to see fonts of microscopic size. What’s with this survey? The font size was like.002.”  “I said yes before; why are you going back and asking me the same question.”  “Right to the point”…“if they say it’s 5 minutes, it’s 5 minutes.”  “By and large ask sensible questions in a straightforward way.”

29 What Needs To Happen?  Partnership…common terms and definitions  Avoid red herrings  We are not in the business of supplying bad panelists  Survey design is critical  We can’t do it alone

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