Data Quality Should Not Be a Magic Trick

by Rich Ratcliff, Chief Trust Officer

In the enchanting world of market research, data quality has often been likened to a mythical creature – elusive, mysterious, and, for some, unbelievable. Well, it’s time to dispel the myth with a dose of reality. 

The MRX Illusionist Act 

Picture this: a magician, his cape sweeping behind him, claiming to make your data quality concerns vanish into thin air. Sounds magical, doesn’t it? That’s because it would be. But that is how some in the industry approach your survey data quality. The standard pitch focuses on a single evaluation point in the traffic. For example, “we neutralize bots!” It’s a neat trick, but it’s only part of the puzzle.  

What about the end status of the respondent? What about the authenticity of the participant?  Did the survey taker do a slight of hand like opening their dev console?   

This deeper look is where the magic’s secrets are revealed.  Yet few go there.  

Let’s Make the Magic Instead  

Let’s dig beyond the surface of typical data quality approaches which always leaves the researcher wanting more. In this exercise, the industry shouldn’t just peek behind the curtain; it needs to reveal the entire stage.  

A comprehensive approach to data quality is a continuous journey with different phases. Imagine if you could adopt an evaluation system that’s dynamic to constant changes in the landscape.  A system that isn’t about a single master illusionist but about empowering every researcher to navigate clear of the mirages of bad data swiftly. 

Real Life Examples 

Picture a respondent whose device sets off alarms with a normal fraud system, but with a closer examination, they show a clean track record of past survey activit that reveals it’s just an innocent bystander caught in the web of an ill-secured hotel WiFi.  

What about the respondent who looks local, acts local and even seems to come from just down the street from us, but then we see it.  We see they are on the other side of the world using that house down the street as their ‘proxy’, their trick is caught.   

These nuances, these intricate details, are where the true magic of data quality lies.   

A Bright Future with No Slight of Hand 

Data quality strategy isn’t just about dazzling with one trick at the survey’s entrance. It’s about choreographing the entire show, from the opening act to the final bow. It’s time for the industry to move beyond the superficial small tricks and embrace a holistic approach to data quality.   

The future, where data quality takes center stage, is here. Look at every conference, if the conversation isn’t about AI, it’s about survey data quality. In this ever-changing landscape, agility and readiness to adapt will always be the greatest trick. A show-stopper in 2023, might not even work now. Behind the curtains, the industry needs to tirelessly refine its methods, ensuring the acts are fresh and the magic tricks are compelling. 

The entire survey process deserves our discerning observation. And if you ever need a partner in this quest, OpinionRoute has putting theory into practice for researchers for years.  

Data Quality is not a myth – it’s the reality we strive for, breathe, and aim to deliver every day. 

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