Accurate and high-quality data is crucial for researchers. Data is one of the most valuable resources available to today’s marketers, agencies, publishers, media companies and more. According to Lotame, data is only useful if it’s high-quality. Bad data is at best inconsequential. In the worst case scenario, it can lead companies to make costly mistakes. IBM estimates that bad data costs the U.S. economy $3.1 trillion per year. Those costs come from the time employees must spend correcting bad data and errors that cause mistakes with customers.
Online surveys are among the excellent tools for research, with people across the globe spending most of their time online. The internet provides easy access to people’s critical insights on any topic, which brands and market researchers can take advantage of. While high-quality data can get you great results, data that is not accurate and relevant can severely damage your research. That said, it can be challenging to gather quality data.
According to First Eigen, a research in organization need to improve data quality to ensure they’re always using accurate and useful data. According to Experian’s 2021 Global Data Management Research report, businesses say that poor quality data:
Wastes resources and increases costs (40%)
Damages the reliability of analytics (36%)
Negatively impacts reputation and customer trust (32%)
Negatively affects the customer experience (32%)
Slows down digital transformation and hinders key business initiatives (31%)
Improving data quality resolves these issues and results in several significant benefits, including more reliable analytics, efficient operations, and reduced costs. That is why Gartner projects that in 2022, 70% of organizations will use key metrics to track data quality – and, in doing so, improve it by 60%.
So, if you are someone looking to understand how to improve data quality for conducting research, this article is for you.
We mention some tips one can effectively utilize to maximize data quality and improve research results.
Recruit the right people
Getting started with research requires selecting the right participants.
The more diverse the audience, the better.
While choosing the right set of people, it is essential you try out different sources and platforms.
Gathering varying opinions and outputs can help you optimize your results well suited to the nature of your study.
Keep respondents engaged
Ensuring participants’ attention is a vital step toward conducting quality research.
One of the ways to achieve this is by making your survey exciting and creative.
Even if the content of the study may not be engaging, make sure it is designed well with clear instructions given.
Researchers can also include questions to check respondents’ attention.
Students are the target audience of most market researchers as they are honest and aware.
However, many students do not entertain online surveys as academic pressure can sometimes get overwhelming.
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The majority of people do not like participating in events or surveys that do not have anything to offer them.
Some of the reasons why keeping a reward for your participants can help your research are as follows:
- It will encourage participation.
- Your study will seem more legitimate and important.
- Rewarding responses will prove you care about people’s input and their time.
- Respondents may consider taking part in your future research work as well.
- People will be more honest and considerate while taking surveys.
Moreover, it may not be wrong to expect a reward for spending valuable time on something that requires your efforts and time.
Keep the language simple
Research should be simple and understandable to everyone.
Inserting jargon will create difficulties for an ordinary person to understand its language and purpose.
Word your research questions in a way that a person who does not belong to the field of your research may also quickly get it.
Impeccable writing skills are essential to designing a good survey for your research.
You can take several online courses to improve your writing skills, which will also help you to write your study results efficiently.
Screen dishonest participants
The quality of your research can decline heavily if you have dishonest survey takers. The quality of your research can decline heavily if you have dishonest survey takers.
No one knows the extent of dishonesty among survey takers. According to Info Surv, some survey data experts and you’ll hear that up to 50 percent of people in any given sample will provide dishonest responses on any given survey.
As the respondents are human, some may lie and deceive. They may try to cheat by looking up answers online and manipulating the research results. To avoid this situation, it is better to remove disinterested and fraudulent participants.
Great results come from careful and correct planning. Everyone involved must understand the intent and purpose of the research. They should be involved in the process of identifying the ideal target audience for a study, followed by building an accurate sample plan based on audience composition and research objectives. After that, create a thorough filter that only allows the appropriate respondents to proceed to the main survey.
Prepare candidates for success
A successful survey is not a survey based on stumbling respondents, but rather a survey that is mobile friendly and should not include a lot of trick questions/tricks that could confuse participants. It’s best not to include trick questions as they can frustrate the respondent and ignore the survey or purposely answer incorrectly just to “see what happens”. You may need to do some research to identify how your audience is talking about certain topics, so you can communicate with them in a way that makes sense and is more likely.
Include a appropriate mouse trap
You will need to include different types of questions designed to identify poor respondents, such as Open Questions, Box Questions, Low Incident Questions, Red Herring Questions, and Conflicting Answers to weed out the weakest candidates. The questions need not be redundant and should be related to the survey; instead, use actual survey questions marked anomalous/inappropriate behavior. Also, make sure not to dump respondents at the first sign of concern, as having them trigger one sign will exhaust the pool of potential respondents.
Ditch the fraudsters and dupes!
Using the right technology at the right time will save you time and money. You can build a detailed picture of potential respondent fraud. Use online technology to weed out obvious scams and scams before they enter surveys. These tips will also prevent large-scale attacks from bots and click farms.
Develop consistent, efficient, and accurate data quality checks
Make sure you design an effective and efficient plan to remove bad data that is consistent for all respondents. perform an automated review of data in surveys to safely streamline quality processes.
According to TeachTarget, bad data can have significant business consequences for companies. Poor-quality data is often pegged as the source of operational snafus, inaccurate analytics and ill-conceived business strategies. An oft-cited estimate by IBM calculated that the annual cost of data quality issues in the U.S. amounted to $3.1 trillion in 2016. In an article, data quality consultant Thomas Redman estimated that correcting data errors and dealing with the business problems caused by bad data costs companies 15% to 25% of their annual revenue on average.
Only with quality data can one conduct successful research.
However, several factors may affect the data quality.
From dishonest and inaccurate responses to non-attentive audiences, your research may be negatively impacted.
Mentioned above are some tips to improve the data quality in your research.
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Joanne is an author, economist, and travel enthusiast. She has been working in the research and content field for years. Having authored several books, Joanne is familiar with and worked across genres like lifestyle, education, travel, etc.