Versta Research Post

Using Avatars & Robots for Survey Research

Two researchers at the U.S. Census Bureau recently outlined an emerging innovation in survey research that could reverse the trend towards passive, boring, self-administered surveys that characterizes much online research.  The idea is to use internet avatars in real-time interviewing with survey respondents. Beyond just the heightened interest of having an animated survey, the avatars…

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A Better Way to Scale MaxDiff Utilities

MaxDiff is a survey method used to measure the importance of product features.  Subsets of features are presented, and respondents are asked to select which feature is most important and which feature is least important.  Its advantage over other techniques is that by forcing a choice from among multiple features, it more strongly differentiates the…

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Three Mistakes to Avoid on Data Charts

Turning data into stories involves not just words, but pictures as well.  In the world of quantitative market research, that usually means charts, graphs, and tables.  Moreover, just like poorly written sentences that often complicate rather than clarify data, charts and graphs in market research too often suffer from “chartjunk,” as Edward Tufte calls it. …

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Top 5 Picks: Best Articles on Market Research

Versta Research just hit a magic number: 100.  That’s the number of articles we have written to help our clients and their colleagues keep abreast of important trends in market research.  If your market research supplier is not providing ongoing thought leadership in design, methods, and analytics, then what are the chances they are bringing…

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Entrepreneurial Advice: Rethink Your Research

Executives who lead entrepreneurial firms have dramatically different attitudes about market research from their counterparts at larger established firms, according to a recent study from Saras Sarasvathy, an associate professor of business administration at the University of Virginia. The study suggests that entrepreneurs are more focused on immediate and practical questions that will help them…

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An Interactive Graph for Choosing Sample Size

A good chart is the best way to understand the law of diminishing returns when it comes to sample size.  So for our June 2011 newsletter we built an interactive graph for choosing sample size.  It’s cool, educational, and useful.  Moreover, it will show you just how mind boggling the numbers behind sampling can be. …

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Online Surveys Have Same Accuracy as Phone

A new study presented by two professors from Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst was probably one of the liveliest and potentially disruptive presentations at least week’s annual meeting of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Phoenix. Why?  Because their research challenges the beliefs of many AAPOR-ites who disregard…

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How Data Can Highlight Mistakes

We are often surprised by the number of senior researchers in the market research industry who never touch raw data.  Often they don’t even have the tools, since “data processing” is outsourced to lower levels or other countries.  It is surprising because we almost always engage in work where getting into the data and puzzling…