Respondent Engagement: Boosting Survey Satisfaction and Participation

Numerous industry groups have reported that the levels of respondent cooperation and response rates have been dropping over the past 20 years.  Phone surveys have an average answer rate of less than 8% and of those, less than 4% agree to participate.  In the early 2000s Web-based panels produced average response rates of around 48%, […]

DIY survey research

I’m old enough to remember typing pools – though not old enough to remember when the secretaries in them were using typewriters. They were using word processors – not software like Microsoft Word but hardware like the Wang OIS, a dedicated system for timeshared word processing. Researchers would handwrite their reports and give them to […]

It’s the sampling, stupid! (Part 3)

In two previous posts I commented on the difficulties that pollsters face getting representative samples regardless of the methodology they choose. Those difficulties vary depending on the broad approach to sampling (probability vs. nonprobability), but in all cases it takes a deep knowledge of the target population, a science-based approach, and a little luck to […]

It’s the sampling, stupid! (Part 1)

The folks over at Pew have put up a blog post of sorts that that starts what will no doubt be a long, torturous, and, if recent history is any guide, ultimately forgettable series of investigations aimed at trying to determine why, once again, the polls were wrong. The Pew post lays out three potential […]

The future of Surveys

Earlier this year I wrote a very short piece on this topic for the Australian Market & Social Research Society (AMSRS) publication, Research News. Unfortunately, access to the journal is restricted to AMSRS members but they have agreed to let me share my article on this blog. You can download it here. Any one interested […]

The UK polling report’s message to MR

Last week the group investigating the failure of polls to accurately predict the 2015 British election released its final report. You can read about it on ResearchLive and download the report here. As expected, the report points to unrepresentative samples as the main culprit. And, as I wrote in a previous blog post, there are […]