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Webinar: Everyone cares about sample quality but not everyone values it!


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On December 7, 2016, Mark Menig, Chief Executive Officer of TrueSample and Lisa Wilding-Brown, Chief Research Officer of Innovate MR explored various strategies to help research professionals navigate the challenging landscape of online sample quality. The webinar addressed:

• A brief overview of quality through the years. Where have we been and where are we going?
• What are current examples of online sample fraud (i.e., bots, hijackers, foreign click shops etc.)?
• What are the challenges and costs associated with today’s online fraud? How does online fraud impact data quality, specifically B2B research?
• What technical and behavioral strategies help to protect online research?

Published in: Marketing
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Webinar: Everyone cares about sample quality but not everyone values it!

  1. 1. EVERYONE CARES ABOUT SAMPLE QUALITY, BUT NOT EVERYONE VALUES IT! A review of responsibilities and techniques you can implement to protect your online research and beyond
  2. 2. REAL PEOPLE, QUALITY DATATM DATA QUALITY SOFTWARE Lisa Wilding-Brown Chief Research Officer Mark Menig Chief Executive Officer
  3. 3. Agenda ■ Quality through the years (brief overview of where we’ve been and where we are going) ■ Current landscape i.e., bots, hijackers, foreign click shops in China etc. ■ Challenges & costs associated with today’s online fraud and how it impacts data quality ■ Implementing an effective solution (multi-layered approach) – Technical approaches: Digital fingerprinting (when and where); Respondent validation; algorithmic solutions over a member’s lifetime, other 3rd-party techniques, etc. – Behavioral approaches: Knowledge question design (red-herrings); Pre-survey screening; smart survey design (do’s and don’ts) ■ The Path Forward: Responsibility, Accountability, & Collaboration 3
  4. 4. Care About vs.Value ■ When you care about something, you simply have even minimal regard for someone or something. ■ When you VALUE something, you consider it important and worthwhile. ...As a verb, it means "holding something in high regard," (like "I value our friendship") but it can also mean "determine how much something is WORTH," like a prize valued at $200. 4
  5. 5. QUALITY means doing it right when no one is looking 5
  6. 6. 2000 2006 2008 2012 2016 2020 The industry rapidly becomes enamored with the speed and cost savings of moving to online Industry associations launch major initiatives to investigate and restore online research quality Fraud continues to morph and evolve with the emergence of new threats P&G speaks out about online data quality issues at the Client Summit sparking industry- wide discourse Rapid evolution and diversification of devices and engaging respondents migrates from a proximity- fixed experience to a portable experience The only constant is change! Continual innovation is required in order to stay ahead; recognizing the battle is never over
  7. 7. Current Landscape Dr. Liz Nelson, co-founder of TNS, advisor to the board of Fly Research and a fellow of the Market Research Society, talks about how the need for speed is affecting the quality of research. Research Live – November 24, 2016 7 “I would say immediately that the emphasis on speed is what’s happening now. Clients demand immediate results with the survey in field on Friday, and 2000 results the next day. I think the sad bit is that quality suffers”
  8. 8. Current Landscape  Recent advances in big data and artificial intelligence are now making it possible to teach a machine to understand and speak to humans.  It's very difficult to simply look at the data provided by some of the more sophisticated bots and identify what to remove, because it's all gray goo inside, just like a real brain, and may be indistinguishable from real data.  Need a real world example? Take out your iPhone and ask Siri a question.  Forums like the one to the left abound online with users looking for and sharing information about how to utilize tools to create/mimic bots and automate the process of filling in surveys. 8
  9. 9. Current Landscape “Here is survey bot attempting to complete a survey with no given information.The creator ran this on 6 surveys a day for two weeks (fully automated of course) and got the total sum of £14.95p, with no user interaction what so ever!” That was 10 questions completed in under 17 seconds in case you lost count! 9
  10. 10. Current Landscape “Create a fake whatever you need” 10
  11. 11. Current Landscape  TheTor software protects users by bouncing their communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world.  TheTor Browser gives access toTor onWindows, Mac OS X, or Linux without needing to install any software.  Survey Click Shops are popping up around the globe  Comprised of many “unique” devices in a single location being utilized by a group of fraudsters to game surveys and generate incentives 11
  12. 12. Current Landscape  Device Emulators. In computing, an emulator is hardware or software that enables one computer system (called the host) to behave like another computer system (called the guest).  This threat will only get worse as computers and global computer networks continued to advance and emulator developers grow more skilled in their work.  Datacenters,VPNs,Anonymous Proxies, etc. are favorite tools for fraudsters because they allow them to spoof their device to appear to be coming from a different country on a case by case basis as needed based on the requirements of a given survey. 12
  13. 13. Challenges & Costs Timeliness of fielding Purchase process Ease of accessing panel Customer service Quantity of respondents Cost of panel Quality of Respondents Not at all satisfied 2% 2% 2% 3% 5% 5% 7% Slightly satisfied 11% 8% 12% 10% 17% 15% 26% Moderately satisfied 33% 37% 36% 39% 41% 46% 42% Very satisfied 44% 44% 42% 40% 31% 30% 23% Completely satisfied 9% 9% 8% 8% 5% 5% 3% Top 2 box 54% 53% 50% 49% 36% 34% 26% 2016 GRIT Report 13
  14. 14. Challenges & Costs “Technology, or lack thereof, is the prime culprit for sample getting worse: from bots, to survey design, to mobile enabled surveys, all these are driving sample quality down. Many folks have a strong sense that there are only professional survey takers and fraudulent bots that are taking all the surveys because there is a race to the bottom in terms of cost.” “Sample providers should only actively communicate on issue of representativeness, not quality or design.” 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Insights Buyer or Client Insights Providers or Supplier Sample Quality by Buyers vs. Suppliers Better Worse Stay the Same Not Sure 2016 GRIT Report 14
  15. 15. Implementing an Effective Solution Technical Approaches Most Adopted Fraud DetectionTools 67% 51% 32% 11% 13% 17% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Identity/Address Validation IP Geo Location Information Device Fingerprinting Currently Using Planning New Implementation 2016 Fraud Report 15
  16. 16. Implementing an Effective Solution Technical Approaches DEVICE FINGERPRINT A device fingerprint or machine fingerprint or browser fingerprint is information collected about a remote computing device for the purpose of identification. Fingerprints can be used to fully or partially identify individual users or devices even when cookies are turned off. Motivation for the device fingerprint concept stems from the forensic value of human fingerprints. In the "ideal" case, all web client machines would have a different fingerprint value (diversity), and that value would never change (stability). Under those assumptions, it would be possible to uniquely distinguish between all machines on a network, without the explicit consent of the users themselves. 16
  17. 17. Implementing an Effective Solution Technical Approaches IDENTITY VALIDATION Identity validation solutions allow for the evaluation of names, postal addresses, and/or email addresses against third-party consumer databases to determine if they're legitimate and correspond with one another. They provide confidence in knowing that a participant is who they say they are and lives where they say they live. Also allows for the removal of duplicates within and across sources. Layering in a Geo-Location Distance Check adds additional fraud detection by calculating the distance (in miles across the surface of a sphere) between the latitude/longitude coordinates of the postal address and the latitude/longitude coordinates that the user’s IP address resolves to. 17
  18. 18. Implementing an Effective Solution Technical Approaches FRAUD DETECTION At the device level, there are key markers that can be identified to indicate the risk of first time user fraud:  Language Check  Geo-Browser Language Check  Geo-OS Language Check  Geo-Time Zone Check  Geo-Off Hours Check  Geo-Country Check  Multi-Device Check  Bot Check  Anonymous Check  Blacklist Check  Browser Status Check 18
  19. 19. Implementing an Effective Solution Technical Approaches SURVEY VALIDATION A respondent can be flagged as unengaged in the survey if he or she speeds on at least X% of the pages they saw in the survey.The norms and standard deviations of the times for each page should be calculated in real-time as the page submissions from the respondents are received by the survey platform. It can also be useful to consider the response patterns that are being submitted as another key indicator. Respondents who provide undesirable response patterns on more than X% of pages can also be classified as unengaged for the survey. Good ResponseValidation tools leverage real-time Bayesian statistical models/analysis to determine engagement. 19
  20. 20. Implementing an Effective Solution Behavioral Approaches There are three channels to address in order to ensure superior data quality in your study:  Sample Design & Management  Survey Design  Member Management 20
  21. 21. Implementing an Effective Solution Behavioral Approaches – Sample Design & Management  Vendor selection is key. Understand how your vendor’s sample is sourced, managed and incentivized.  Ask the tough questions! How is sample outgo balanced? What measures are implemented to ensure the highest quality sample is provided?  Demographic balance  Activity & tenure balance  Survey field time  Invitation/introductory language  Competing survey inventory  Survey frequency & variation  Routing/project prioritization 21
  22. 22. Implementing an Effective Solution Behavioral Approaches – Survey Design  Question design is key!  Use non-leading wording  Provide an out for all respondents  Use open-ends sparingly  Avoid yes/no format 22
  23. 23. Implementing an Effective Solution Behavioral Approaches – Survey Design  Avoid burdensome question formats (i.e., extensive grids and lists longer than 10-15 attributes).  Strive to keep your survey short and simple.  Clear, concise wording – write for a 5th grader!  Avoid multiple questions on one screen – visual clutter will result in respondent fatigue.  Mobile-compatible and mobile-friendly are two different things! 23
  24. 24. Implementing an Effective Solution Behavioral Approaches – Member Management  Trap Questions  Honey Pots  Algorithmic solutions  Tracking activity over time (LOI completions & invalids)  Profiling & third-party data validation sources  Demo consistency checks  Quality exists across a wide spectrum; lifetime management is critical 24
  25. 25. Implementing an Effective Solution Behavioral Approaches – Trap Questions Do’s & Don’ts  Not all trap questions are effective! Trap questions shouldn’t be too simple or too complex.  Types:  Instructional (i.e., Select the image which shows a book.)  Skill-based (i.e., 2+2 = ?)  Honesty-based (i.e., What brand(s) are you aware of? What activities have you done in the last 12 months?)  Implement multiple measures to assess quality, never rely on a singular question within the survey to dictate quality.  Be mindful of question position within the survey i.e., adding your trap question at minute 45 will yield false positives that arguably are a result of a lengthy survey NOT a poorly-behaving respondent. 25
  26. 26. Implementing an Effective Solution Applying Our Learnings to B2B Research  Know thy sample source!  Always use multiple knowledge-based trap questions (.i.e., looking for experts in cloud-computing? Test their knowledge on various storage products vs. the color of the sky).  Implement multiple measures to assess quality (inclusive of technical and behavioral approaches).  When possible, leverage 3rd party data sources to validate member data.  Never become complacent – your research will always be a hot target for fraud. Stay protected! 26
  27. 27. The Path Forward: Responsibility, Accountability, & Collaboration  Every company up and down the supply chain involved in the execution of online research has a role/responsibility as it relates to data quality/fraud detection. What you are responsible for depends on which part of the research process you have operational control over (i.e. you can’t just push responsibility down to the operational layer below you, everyone has to do their part, or the whole system suffers).  There is no silver bullet solution. Effective solutions require a layered technique/approach that incorporates redundancies and failsafe mechanisms.  It’s not enough to simply care about data quality and fraud detection, you must VALUE it! 27