Versta Research Blog

Versta Research Blog

About Versta

Versta Research is a marketing research and public opinion polling firm that helps you answer critical questions with customized research and analytical expertise.

Explore Versta

Versta Research Blog

Explore industry trends, research methods, and tips for your own research projects in the Versta Research Blog. All opinions are our own, and some may change over time.

First time reader? Check out the Best of the Blog for the most popular posts from almost 10 years of blogging. We’re glad you’re here.

A Fun and Easy Way to Try R

A Fun and Easy Way to Try R

Data wonks have more fun than you may think. If you have not yet begun working with the R statistical program (which is mesmerizing, extremely powerful, hard to learn, but weirdly intuitive, and FREE) then here is a fun and relatively easy way to give it a test drive. It is becoming a tradition that,…

Read the rest of this entry
The Best Way to Stop Survey Cheaters

The Best Way to Stop Survey Cheaters

Using surveys to “quiz” people about their knowledge (versus asking them about their attitudes or behaviors) is tricky. First, online surveys make it easy for people to look up answers they may not otherwise know. Second, people want to get quiz answers right, and so they are motivated to cheat. This is the reason I…

Read the rest of this entry
Why You Need 4-Point Scales

Why You Need 4-Point Scales

One of the “best practices” for survey research I learned in graduate school and then early in my career is this: Survey measurement scales should have at least five points. Presumably that provides enough room for variation, and it provides a neutral midpoint as well. But it is not true. Or, like all best practices,…

Read the rest of this entry
200 Chart Choices with R

200 Chart Choices with R

The R statistical package is an amazingly powerful and versatile tool for data analysis and data visualization. When it comes to graphics and charts, here is one reason: It has foundational plotting tools that can be adapted in infinitely many ways to create (and invent) many more types of charts than you will find in…

Read the rest of this entry
How Much Incentive You Should Pay

How Much Incentive You Should Pay

If you have trouble getting people to fill out your surveys, you ought to be paying them. There is nothing wrong with it. It does not mess up your data with phony information that people were paid to provide. On the contrary, paying an appropriate incentive helps signal the importance of your survey such that…

Read the rest of this entry
Google Surveys Stumbles with Sneak Peek Mess

Google Surveys Stumbles with Sneak Peek Mess

Sometimes data visualization is too compelling for it’s own good. People are impressed by the beautiful design, and they look right past the utter nonsense being presented. This is “beautifully” illustrated by Google’s rollout of the first of many new features of their survey tool. Here’s the email they sent: We’re excited to announce that…

Read the rest of this entry
Good Research Has Insights Baked In

Good Research Has Insights Baked In

Here’s a sobering question for professionals who work in the “insights” industry: How much of your market research really offers insight? Not just validating data, or routine measurements, or pro forma tracking. Not just percentages of “how many said what” in a customized study. By true insight we mean: a direct answer to a deeply…

Read the rest of this entry
Big Fat Margins of Error

Big Fat Margins of Error

Whenever you see those “margin of error” statements on political polls and other published surveys (even in market research industry publications, unfortunately!) take them with a grain of salt. They reflect only one type of potential error in surveys: namely, sampling error associated with sample size. Chances are that the “real” margin of error (if…

Read the rest of this entry