In the market research industry data quality is everything.  Data quality needs to be a top priority – everything relies on it.  Putting your energy into monitoring the quality of your data will help ensure the quality of your results, quality findings, and quality recommendations.  In previous blog posts we’ve talked about things such as pre-testing, call-center quality vs. quantity, and things to look for when proofing your market research report.  But to get straight the point, we’ve compiled 3 quick tips we stick to here at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS), a market research firm in NY, to ensure our data quality remains top-notch.

1) Daily data review – This is something that becomes a daily morning ritual for us here in the Bunker whenever a project is in the field.  Nothing beats a good cup of coffee and some fresh data.  (Okay, maybe a few things.)  Incoming data isn’t something you can let sit for a few days.  This is especially true for phone surveys or any survey that isn’t being self-administered (where you have the most control over the interviewer/surveyor process).  Data must be reviewed as frequently as possible to ensure you are getting the correct, valuable and insightful information you are looking for out of your respondents.  Daily project management and working with your call center supervisors is critical. 

2) Continual auditing of calls (in real-time) – Not only does this help to ensure that the data is being entered properly and accurately, it helps make sure there is proper interpretation of the survey script by both the telesurveyor and the respondent.  By conducting these audits you are able to make adjustments before a potential problem arises and/or snowballs before it is too late.

3) Review of data by research analysts –Cleaning up open-ended responses is one thing, but to ensure the best quality data, it is imperative that an analyst reviews the data.  The reason for reviewing data expands far beyond a simple check for typos and/or grammar.  When an analyst reviews data, they can determine if the data is providing enough information for analysis.  This includes confirmation that the answers are being answered properly and adequately where applicable.  The analyst is more familiar with the project and will be able to put themselves in the client’s shoes – making sure the data will provide insightful and useful findings.  Also if something manages to slip through pre-testing, this process will be the way to identify issues in the survey questions and/or routing.  

Aside from directly impacting the projects in queue, reviewing data will help you become a better market researcher because you learn from the ground up.  Listening to and learning how people respond to questions over and over can you give you insight on how the minor tweaks/adjustments to question wording will impact responses.  Reviewing data can help you learn to minimize respondent fatigue and frustration.   All in all, data reviewing is an important process from multiple angles – because you’re essentially building the foundation for your research study.

Quality Control Market Research

Do you have a question about data quality or quality control in market research?  Contact the RMS Bunker by clicking on our question box in the top right corner of the blog.