Versta Article on Survey Trolls Featured in Quirk’s Magazine
December 21, 2018
Quirk’s Marketing Research Review announced today that its upcoming issue will feature an article about survey sampling and data quality written by Dr. Joseph Hopper, president of Versta Research. The article will appear in Quirk’s January 2019 print and online editions. The piece first appeared as a feature article, entitled How to Find and Eliminate Cheaters, Liars, and Trolls in Your Surveys, in the Versta Research Newsletter earlier this year.
“This article emerged out of our own frustration with poor online sample quality, and a realization that all of us in the research community need to share our collective wisdom to combat it,” said Hopper, author of the article and president of the company. “We’re not talking about lazy respondents who give poor quality data on bad questionnaires. We’re talking about increasing numbers of robots and human fraudsters who are gaming the system, and who may well ruin it. We need strategies to find them and stop them.”
The article lays out ten strategies for building questionnaires, sourcing respondents, and reviewing data that the company now employs on every research project to ferret out bad data. Those strategies are:
- Building an elaborate screening path
- Avoiding river sample
- Making rule-based cuts
- Building tiers of red flags
- Including an open-ended question
- Reviewing IP addresses
- Building in quality checks
- Looking for inconsistencies
- Reviewing time stamps
- Searching for patterns
The strategies are focused on what end-user companies and corporate research units can do to keep bad data out of their studies. But a bigger issue, Hopper said, is that sampling vendors who recruit and manage survey respondents need new ideas to fix the problem at its source.
A full description of each strategy (and how to do it) is available as a PDF article from Quirk’s, online at Quirk’s, or as an article on the Versta Research website.
About Versta Research
Versta is a firm specializing in customized market research and public opinion polling. It helps clients understand their customers, prospects, and competition with expertise and academic brainpower. And it helps clients communicate that research to managers, clients, reporters, and the audiences they need to reach.