Rep Data Study Shows Impact of Audience Characteristics on Data Quality

New research-on-research with experts from DM2 reveals how survey respondent demographics, behaviors and more affect market research outcomes

Rep Data, a full-service data collection firm for quantitative primary research, and DM2 (Digital Marketing & Measurement), released a new research-on-research report, “How are today’s survey respondents affecting your data quality?” The report illustrates the impact of audience characteristics and behaviors on market research outcomes, furthering the ongoing exploration of factors impacting data quality in the insights space.

“Issues surrounding data quality in the market research space are persistent, evolving and complex. This unfortunately has not changed over the two decades that I’ve spent working in this industry,” said Jeremy Antoniuk, COO of Rep Data. “If researchers want to trust their data again, we must understand exactly which elements in the research process impact data quality. This insightful study shows one of the key factors is the composition of the survey audience – factors which can be improved through better sourcing, expert project management and intelligent sample aggregation.”

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The report not only examines the impact of audience demographics and characteristics on data quality, but also provides a review of data surrounding the quality of responses based on the device used to complete surveys. Included are the quality measurement techniques and algorithms used, based on years of DM2’s research on the subject, plus specific best practices for avoiding data quality pitfalls surrounding respondent groups. Some of the findings published in “How are today’s survey respondents affecting your data quality?” include:

  • Mobile survey-taking continues to impact quality, as those respondents using mobile devices were nearly one-third more likely to provide lower quality data than desktop computer, laptop computer or tablet users.
  • Education level produced a bell-shaped curve, with the least educated (some high school, -19%) and best educated (master’s degree – 8%) individuals providing data that was of lowest quality, including answer inconsistencies.
  • Political leanings produced the same bell-shaped curve with those who identified as extremely liberal or extremely conservative were, on average, 19% less likely to provide quality answers than their more moderate counterparts.
  • Other profile points such as income levels, self-identified characteristics (such as propensity for risk taking), social behaviors, technology and online usage, and more are also examined in the research.

The survey was conducted in late October 2022 to assess the consumer audiences at the highest risk of producing data quality issues in market research studies. Three different surveys, with an approximate length of seven, 12 and 18 minutes, were conducted among n=1,800. Completes were divided evenly by survey length and device type, as well as reflecting consistent age and gender quotas.

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