This survey Hertz: Part One (lack of thought)

I recently took a survey sponsored by the Hertz Corporation, intended to assess the appeal of several new approaches to services. This post discusses some of the problems I found, and why you should avoid creating your surveys like this one. After asking about the number of times I had rented a vehicle, for what […]

Valentine’s Day: think about product seasonality and annual trends

Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity for me to suggest that your research should take into account some bigger picture factors. Whether or not you have a retail product or service, there are lessons to be learned from Valentine’s Day. What are the annual seasonal variations in your business and what are the trends over longer […]

IT terminology applied to surveys

James Murray is principal of Seattle IT Edge, a strategic consultancy that melds the technology of IT with the business issues that drive IT solutions. When James gave me a list of things that are central for IT professionals, I thought it might be fun (and hopefully useful) to connect these terms with online surveys […]

Survey Tip: Pay Attention to the Details

Why survey creators need to pay more attention to the details of wording, question types and other matters that not only affect results but also how customers view the company. A recent survey from Sage Software had quite a few issues, and gives me the opportunity to share some pointers. The survey was for follow […]

Impact of cell phones on 2010 Midterms and beyond politics

Whether you are a political junkie or not, recent articles and analysis about mobile phones as part of data collection should be of interest to those who design or commission survey research. Cost, bias, and predictability are key issues. In years gone by, cell phone users were rarely included in surveys. There was uncertainty about […]

Why you should run statistical tests

A recent article in the Seattle Times covering a poll by Elway Research gives me an opportunity to discuss statistical testing. The description of the methodology indicates, as I’d expect, that the poll was conducted properly to achieve a representative sample: About the poll: Telephone interviews were conducted by live, professional interviewers with 405 voters […]

Poor question design means questionable results: A tale of a confusing scale

I saw the oddest question in a survey the other day. The question itself wasn’t that odd, but the options for responses were very strange to me. 1 – Not at all Satisfied 2 – Not at all Satisfied 3 – Not at all Satisfied 4 – Not at all Satisfied 5 – Not at […]

Researchers: remember, honesty is the best policy

A tale of three types of cheating. If you are going to fudge the numbers, you’d better be very clever. Last December’s Annual Year in Ideas issue of the New York Times magazine included an idea titled “Forensic Polling Analysis” describing how Nate Silver analyzed results published by a polling firm called Strategic Vision. Silver […]

Correlation isn’t Causality

I came across a published report recently that made me wonder why people persist in reporting that there is a causal relationship when the data doesn’t justify the assertion. Actually, the reasons aren’t all that hard to figure out. Usually, it’s because the relationship seems obvious, and sometimes it is when the person writing the […]

P&G ad banned for bad survey and misleading claims

Proctor and Gamble UK has been forced to pull a TV ad due to misleading claims based on a poorly designed survey. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority felt that the survey results were too likely to biased by the invitation process, which included providing free samples of Clairol Nice ‘n’ Easy (the advertised product) prior […]

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