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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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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Versta Research Post

Smartphones Matter More than Cell Phones

The most recent government estimates of cell phone usage among U.S. households were released a few weeks back, and the pace at which landline usage is disappearing is astonishing.  Here are just some of the numbers: Thirty percent of U.S. households do not have a landline telephone An additional 16% have a landline telephone, but…

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Versta Research Post

Cell Phones May Double Your Survey Costs

These days most researchers agree that if you want to do a random sample phone survey of the U.S. population, you ought to include cell phones.  More than one-quarter of the population do not have landline telephones at home.  Those who do have landline telephones are less likely than ever to answer them, and less…

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Versta Research Post

The Pitfalls of Auto-Coding Text Responses

An issue we continually struggle with at Versta Research is how to automate the research process and leverage new technologies without losing the essence of what good research does.  Good research does not report data, build charts, or generate dashboards. It learns, answers new questions, interprets data, and helps users focus on information and findings…

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