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.

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Beware Bad Sample from Crowdsourcing

Beware Bad Sample from Crowdsourcing

Oddly enough, the researchers who most prize scientific rigor (our research colleagues in academia) are the last to have realized that online sampling can be treacherous. An article published in Wired magazine last week describes academic psychologists as “freaking out” because they just learned that a lot of their data, which they source from Amazon’s…

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What Makes A Survey Scientific?

What Makes a Survey Scientific?

Surveys run the gamut from silly to serious, and from sloppy to scientific. Occasionally we do something silly if a client insists (though we generally advise against it). But we never do sloppy surveys, and we hope you never do them either. Lean as far as possible towards rigor and science within reasonable constraints of…

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Easy Surveys Generate Tons of Errors

Easy Surveys Generate Tons of Errors

There is a “user-friendly” feature that some survey platforms now offer, and almost certainly you should avoid it. It is called auto-advance. I had an unpleasant encounter with it in a customer survey I just took. The idea is that, after clicking on an answer, instead of having to move a mouse or finger all…

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Surveys on Cell Phones Are Just as Good

Surveys on Cell Phones Are Just as Good

If you worry that cell phones make it harder to get high quality, thoughtful, and richly detailed data with surveys, stop worrying. New research from a trio of survey measurement scientists (one at the Census Bureau and two at University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center) shows there are no differences in data quality and measurement…

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Don't Fall for the Neutrality Trap

Don’t Fall for the Neutrality Trap

I once heard from an overzealous boss with a Ph.D. in political science that measurement scales should always have an odd number of scale points – the reason being that measurement scales should always have a neutral middle. We sometimes hear this from clients reviewing survey drafts as well: “Shouldn’t every question have a neither,…

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How Random Correlations Ruined a Gender Story

How Random Correlations Ruined a Gender Story

The problem with most business approaches to “analytics” is that they rely on automated, unthinking algorithms. The algorithms scan boatloads of data and generate correlations that are surprising and, therefore, presumably deeply insightful. But in most cases the correlations are not insightful. They are random coincidences, which unfortunately does not stop humans from sharing with…

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Two-Point Scales Have the Highest Reliability

Two-Point Scales Have the Highest Reliability

If you want the most valid and reliable measures you can get, forget about NPS and other 11-point scales that so many companies use as their primary measure of customer satisfaction these days. It turns out that 2-point scales (yes vs. no, satisfied vs. dissatisfied, etc.) are far more reliable measures for gauging consumer attitudes.…

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