5 Top Traits of a Data Collection Partner for Survey Programming
It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the promises companies make on their websites. Every survey partner says they offer "white glove service" and "boutique quality focus" for their clients. The decision about which data collection partner to work with is a big one.
On the one hand, a market research partner represents a release valve to the internal pressure to complete projects quickly. On the other hand, onboarding a new partner requires an investment of trust, time, and resources.
Whether this is the first time you are exploring outsourcing for a research project or you're seeking a new partner, these are our top five characteristics that will help ensure your investment is well-placed.
Project Management Excellence
Data collection partners are a part of many steps in an overall survey project. You want a partner that you can trust to take some of the work off of your plate so you can focus on other things. Mostly, clients indicate that they want transparent and proactive communication. A true partner will know this is imperative for project success.
Feedback on whether your project's budget and time constraints are realistic for your goal
Survey Fraud Protection
Survey fraud is a known problem and the cost is growing each year. Between click farms, bots, and run-of-the-mill fraudsters, it can feel like getting clean data is an insurmountable problem. There is nothing more frustrating than realizing that 30% or more of survey responses are fraudulent. The right partner is upfront about the challenges in the sample marketplace and have enumerated standards for weeding out the bad actors from legitimate answers. Failing to have these project protocols is a sure way to waste budget on unusable responses.
Mobile research has removed many geographic restrictions that limit researchers, but that doesn't mean it's as easy as relying solely on Google Translate. You need a service partner capable of retaining the human-to-human connection during international qualitative work.
When it comes to data security and privacy, GDPR is only the tip of the iceberg. Many U.S. states also now have laws governing the way that personal data can be collected and stored. The correct data collection partner will know how to protect the market research survey data no matter where your research takes place.
What to look for:
All of their data collection methods contain double opt-ins for participants that indicated informed consent
Access to the master document linking participant's names with ID numbers and contact information is accessible by a small number of sampling or panel management staff
Internal procedures in place for data requests from participants
Security protocols in place for possible data loss, corruption, and unauthorized access
Private or sensitive information is anonymized to reduce the risk of accidental exposure.