Versta Research Blog

Versta Research Blog

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

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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.

Conjoint Analysis Helps Apple Win $1B in Lawsuit

If you ever have trouble convincing your managers and executives about the value of market research, tell them this:  The one billion dollar settlement that Samsung will pay Apple for patent infringement was based on a carefully designed market research study using conjoint analysis. According to colleagues at Sawtooth Software, a company that develops the…

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Versta Research Post

13 Threats to Survey Accuracy

Way back in 1944, Edwards Deming published an article in the American Sociological Review that could be required reading for anybody who does research today.  He outlined all potential (and unfortunately, common) sources of error in survey research. Apparently our contemporary obsession with sample sizes, random samples, response rates, and margins of error is not…

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William Playfair's Pie Chart

Why You Should Avoid Pie Charts

The New York Times Magazine runs a weekly feature called “Who Made That?” It provides a history on the origins of oddities like fly swatters, soy-sauce dispensers, clothespins, Kraft Singles, and … pie charts.  They attribute it to one William Playfair, a Scottish engineer who created and published a pie chart in 1801.  He is…

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Versta Research Post

Doing Market Research with Social Media

When all of the hype and uncertainty around social media settles down, market researchers will likely see it as “merely” another useful channel through which to gather data and opinions from the audiences they care about, just like surveys, focus groups, or ethnographies. In the meantime it is good fun to read articles, like this…

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Versta Research Post

High Response Rates May Hurt Your Survey

A couple weeks ago we presented new data showing that response rates continue to decline.  You can now expect that a typical, rigorously executed phone survey will yield a response rate in the single digits. Scientific evidence over the last decade has shown that high response rates do not necessarily yield more accurate surveys.  In…

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Versta Research Post

Response Rates Fall to New Low

Survey response rates are now staggeringly low—in the single digits.  A typical response rate for a relatively high-budget, carefully executed phone survey is merely 9%, down from 36% just fifteen years ago.  Here are the numbers from research conducted earlier this year by the Pew Center: If you want to throw money at a survey…

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Versta Research Post

Park Your Demographics at the End

In a typical graduate-level research course on survey methods, students are taught to ask demographic questions about race, ethnicity, age, gender, income, etc. at the end of a survey.  The questions are typically off-topic, and they sometimes scare away respondents who feel such questions are intrusive. But with most surveys now fielded through online survey…

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The Dumbest PR Survey on Earth

The Dumbest PR Survey on Earth

Last week there was a flash of news coverage for a PR-driven survey that documented these important facts: Most Americans think Obama would do a better job than Romney in defending against an attack by aliens from outer space Most would not “mind” a minor alien invasion, because they expect aliens to be cute Most…

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Versta Research Post

Better Charts for MaxDiff Data

The New York Times is one of the few organizations trying to push our industry further in developing better data presentation and visualization techniques.  Sometimes they do a good job, introducing rich, informative, engaging, and interactive charts that would make even Edward Tufte, the contemporary pioneer in data visualization, proud.  Sometimes they do a not-so-good…

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