CEO Monthly Reflection March ’23

Since 2020, the awareness of Fraud’s prevalence in Survey Research has exploded. This is highlighted by the announcement this month of a multi-association effort around helping Researchers & brands tackle this rising issue.

While the awareness of the issue is a nice progression, the pendulum may have swung too far to the fear side. I wanted to give you some comfort with a summary of where we see things in the survey sample ecosystem.

  1. Yes, Fraud is ubiquitous, and the biggest vendors are vulnerable.
  2. No, Fraud isn’t taking down the whole ecosystem.
  3. Yes, DIY Insights Platforms are particularly vulnerable to more fraud.
  4. No, your insights aren’t based on fake data.
  5. Yes, some fraud breaks through even the best fraud mitigation tools.
  6. No, not all bad quality is directly attributable to “fraud”.

Essentially, fraud trails ad-tech by a few years in fraud as well. So, in 2023, survey sampling has caught up to the digital ad fraud trends. Based on a recent overview published in Statista, fraud was estimated to be 11% of all global ad traffic in 2019. In 2022, that “invalid rate” hit 13.2%. This is consistent with OpinionRoute’s measurement of the online sample ecosystem across its network. We measured about 12% of traffic as fraudulent in 2022.

Here’s my point- fraud has been here a while. But we as an industry have tools to proactively combat many of the methods bad actors use. At OpinionRoute, we’ve been building technology solutions in data quality for a decade. As our client, you can take comfort in the fact that you have a partner who is rising to the challenge. Anything the associations create will be icing on the cake.

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