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4 Tips for Conducting Online Research in Latin America

Best practices for conducting data collection in Latin America to avoid critical mistakes, improve data quality, and save money.

We have left 2018 and I don’t know about you, but I think it was a very busy year. Specifically speaking about Latin America, presidential elections were held in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Venezuela. Peru’s president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, resigned and Martín Vizcarra is the new chief of state.

Besides the changes in the political scene, many other aspects have also changed for Market Research. In our industry, 2018 was a key year for the insights community. A year where we have become aware (more than ever) of the importance of personal information privacy.

The year which has just passed also helped us to be aware of the opportunities offered by technology, artificial intelligence, and automation.

All these changes continue to make conducting research in Latin America (and in any other continent) more and more sophisticated. Therefore, we want to help you with four tips that you need to consider for your next research project. These things will be in the spotlight, regarding data collection, in 2019.

1. Privacy

With GDPR coming into action in 2018, privacy has become not only an ethics concern for researchers, but also a big issue for the general public. Many countries outside of Europe, like Brazil for instance, have approved legislation for the collection and storage of personally identifiable information.  

As researchers, privacy is a priority and also our duty. We are obliged to work according to the industry code of conduct. But also keep in mind that we need to fulfill all legal obligations that apply depending on where we are collecting data.

Remember to always have a privacy policy, a statement that declares your policy on collecting and releasing information about participants. And do not forget to provide easy access to it, so participants can read and be aware of it. The privacy policy needs to be led by a privacy officer, who is also responsible for implementing and ensuring the l; policy.

If you haven’t check your panel supplier privacy policy, 2019 is the year to do so! And if your company doesn’t have one, suggest it as their new year’s resolution.

2. Data Quality

Good and trustworthy data leads to great insights. Ensuring quality is not a one-man job, so be sure the process you are following to collect data is transparent and well communicated to the panelists.

It is also good to work with a panel company which is certified by an international quality norm, such as the ISO 26362, which guarantees that panels have been audited and are willing to share the above information in a transparent way.

Another tip to ensure data quality is to confirm that the sample size and components rightfully reflect the population of interest. If the sample under study isn’t representative, the results of your study could lose credibility because the data isn’t applicable to the population of interest.

So it is key to have a solid panel. And not only a robust amount of panelists in specific Latin American countries, but also vast and quality profiling information of the people in the panel. Additionally is very important to have or work with a diverse panel, that guarantees the access to complicated targets (like teenagers and people above 55 years old). This would help you achieve more accurate quotas efficiently and reach representativeness.

3. Data Combination

The concepts of big data and behavioral data are not new to this year. But, if you haven’t tried the new methods for gathering data, this is the year to start doing it! Surveys are the royal instrument for gathering opinion data, as the most common research method.

But the different types of data you can collect can serve as pure enrichment for you as a researcher and also for your client. Behavioral data, for instance, provides extensive information about what consumers do online. So you could use surveys to understand what consumers can recall, and use behavioral data to understand what consumers actually do.

At Netquest, we have seen real-life situations of how behavioral data helped better understand target consumers – and many of these experiences were conducted in the diverse continent of Latin America.

We are not saying this because we have seen it through a crystal ball. Behavioral data (whether if it’s online behavior or geolocation) is the present, and not just the future of Market Research.

4. Think Local, Act local, and Work With Local Experts

Unknown places and situations can be scary for everyone. The same can happen with research. Even though the Internet has made a lot of things easier in our lives, researching in an unknown country is a challenge.

For instance, in the United States and Europe it might be perfectly alright to ask for a panelist’s household income, their bank, or how many children they have; but in Latin America it may be perceived as inappropriate due to the risk of suffering a kidnapping.

Researchers need to think and act locally. That means embracing the fact that not only are countries are different, but also their cultures, languages, Internet penetrations, mobile adoption rates, and many other things.

Most of us think Portuguese is spoken the same way in every Portuguese-speaking-country. Turns out that the way Brazilians speak Portuguese is not the same as they do it in Portugal. So using a survey written for Portugal in Brazil would not be as effective as if you design one specifically for Brazil.

Diversity is a suitable adjective for Latin America. Countries seem to be small continents on their own. Even the population’s socioeconomic status has a different classification and a specific way of determine it. The criteria is different among nations and the number of questions you should ask each person varies too.

Differences among countries matter, and online data collection must account for them.

If you were hooked with this post and would like to kick off 2019 on the right track, we are launching a new ebook. In this ebook you will be provided with useful tips to avoid critical mistakes, improve data quality, and save money when conducting online research in Latin America.

Do not miss the chance to get your copy! Always keep in mind that powerful insights are the result of quality and reliable data.

 

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