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.

Versta Research Post

Nielsen’s Legacy: Tons of Data

Earlier this month Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr. died.  He left behind a giant and reputable market research company and a brand name recognized throughout the world.  The A.C. Nielsen company was started by his father and in its early years tracked the sales of goods through grocery and drug stores.  The company then moved into…

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Versta Research Post

Making Data Apply to Real People

Many of us have uneasy feelings when reading statistics that presumably apply to ourselves and our own lives.  Often the statistics do not seem to “fit” and seem to misrepresent the lives of real people from which the statistics are derived.  It is with good reason that we chuckle when someone tells us that the…

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Versta Research Post

7 Ways to Spot Bad Data

In response to last week’s newsletter, Is Your Research Good Enough for The New York Times?, which discussed hurdles of getting online survey research reported by some news organizations, a customer reminded us that online surveys can be difficult to sell internally as well.  Too many people have been burned by junk data from online…

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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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Versta Research Post

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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Versta Research Post

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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Versta Research Post

Pigeons Beat People on Probability Problems

The hardest part of quantitative market research is not that it involves numbers, math, or even statistics, but that it involves complex problems in probability. Over the past several years, psychologists have been documenting how difficult it is for us humans to solve even “simple” probability problems.  One fascinating example is a puzzle known as…

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Versta Research Post

Have a Cookie with Your 401(k)

Recent social psychological research on consumer decision making suggests that making choices and deciding among alternatives depletes mental energy.  With each choice we make, it gets harder and harder to make the next choice, and our brains start looking for “shortcuts” to make the task easier.  The research, reported this week in The New York…

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