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

Eliminate Your Margin of Error

Should you state a survey’s margin of error in your press release when pitching a story to the media?  In our view, the answer is no.  Why not?  Because margins of error refer to sampling error only, not about the overall accuracy or error of the survey itself. But how many readers of your news…

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Versta Research Post

Statisticians Who Watch Focus Groups

A client had a surprising experience this week when a member of our multivariate analysis team showed up online to watch a live in-depth interview with a registered nurse about how prescribing decisions are made.  “Who is that online with us?” the end-client inquired, not recognizing the name.  The qualitative manager answered, “He’s on our…

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Versta Research Post

Wowing the CEO with Research

An essential component to Versta Research’s strength in turning data into stories is communicating those stories to the audiences who need them most.  Those audiences might be researchers, internal clients, brand management teams, PR specialists, or reporters.  Or the audience might be the top level executives at the companies or organizations we are working with. …

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Versta Research Post

Genetics Affect Whether You Take Surveys

Despite having been on the front lines of social research for twenty five years, interviewing respondents personally and eliciting data through surveys, I still feel somewhat surprised and disbelieving that people really want to participate in research.  But they do.  Sometimes eagerly.  Almost always truthfully.  Surely, my surprise stems from my own reluctance to fill…

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Versta Research Post

Why You Need a Partisan Pollster

In an op-ed column two days ago, Stuart Rothenberg, a prominent political (and non-partisan) commentator argued that partisan pollsters (those who work directly for either Democratic or Republican candidates) do a better job than presumably objective third party pollsters.  Why?  Because they have to get it right.  Their campaign strategies depend on it.  Quoting Mr.…

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Versta Research Post

How to Stop Fraudulent Polls

With the sad proliferation of silly surveys, non-scientific interest polls, and downright fraudulent polls, the research industry is stepping up with a number of key initiatives to combat the trend.  Versta Research is part of that effort, and in August announced that we are part of the Transparency Initiative being developed by the American Association…

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Versta Research Post

Who Are Your Anonymous Respondents?

We feel strongly that people who give us information through surveys, in-depth interviews, or focus group deserve a promise that this will never happen to them: One of the tenets of rigorous market research is that respondent confidentiality is key.  Why?  Primarily because it benefits you as a client.  To make smart decisions, you need…

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Versta Research Post

Optimize Your PR—Don’t Do Silly Surveys

We are strong advocates of using surveys for public relations outreach.  Commissioning surveys that answer interesting questions to help drive news stories and other types of communication can build a credible foundation so that journalists and other audiences take note and listen.  But we are not fans of silly surveys that rely on outlandish, sexy,…

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Versta Research Post

Tips on Easy Data Visualization with Excel

At its core, data visualization is about using visual techniques as shortcuts to understanding patterns in data.  Some of the newer tools available in common programs like Excel provide an excellent means for visualizing data.  This can save you time and it can point you in the right direction for rigorous analysis. Here is an…

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Versta Research Post

Bad Decisions with Better Graphics

Does data displayed in charts and graphs, rather than tables, lead to better decisions?  Not according to the latest research reported in this month’s Journal of Marketing Research. The authors looked at various types of biases that creep into business managers’ decisions when based on data presented to them.  They did this by conducting experiments…

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