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The Model Respondent Comes with the Model Provider

Over the years, researchers have come to realize that there are enough benefits associated with online sample to be a legitimate data source; it is thus quickly becoming an essential aspect of everyday market research. With the exponential growth of the online population and more and more people engaging in online surveys, one concern remains – the reliability of online data.

As providers, it is our responsibility to provide quality research participants and enable clients to accurately identify ‘good’ and ‘bad’ respondents – where a ‘good’ respondent is one that is real and unique, and can provide honest answers and opinions.

Recognizing this inherent need for high-quality market research data, we developed a quality assurance tool for our own social media sample, launching OptimusID™ digital fingerprinting technology in 2008. Gaining adoption among online market researchers, digital fingerprinting is used to effectively screen out respondents who could significantly bias research results. We currently employ OptimusID™ on our own sample as well as offer it to small and large companies within the market research industry for their own internal use at no cost.

Recently, Kinesis Survey Technologies announced that they will fully integrate OptimusID™ as a data quality option into their survey solution platform, furthering the validity of data their company can deliver. Kantar and GfK have also recently announced a partnership to offer a suite of online data quality tools operated through the Promedius Group, a not-for-profit consortium. Both initiatives aim to develop standards and further enhance online data quality for market research by offering comprehensive tools that track IP addresses, assign unique IDs and eliminate duplicate respondents.

It is important to know how your sample provider is addressing respondent quality concerns. Are you willing to accept poor quality data because it’s cheap, or do you value sample sourced from a company with a good reputation for best practices and reliable data? Evaluate your goals and research your providers’ policies and practices. Don’t skimp, but rather invest wisely. Your research and clients will thank you for it.

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