The importance of data quality in effective decision-making

Chris Atkins - Managing Director, Yonder Data Solutions

At Yonder Data Solutions we provide fieldwork and data collection solutions within and to the market research industry. Our purpose is to provide the evidence for effective decision-making. Yet effective decision-making can only take place if the data upon which those decisions is being made is of the highest quality and stands up to integrity.

In this article I will demonstrate why there isn’t a single silver bullet that can deliver quality research data but why and how our business, our purpose, our people, our processes and the way we manage our online panel are all geared to achieving this.

It starts with the panel 

We have our own unique proprietary panel that you won’t find on any of the panel marketplaces. We’re able to control every aspect of who we invite to our surveys as well as the quality of surveys that we produce and put in front of our members, as we do very little sample only work. We know there have been challenges within the industry on declining response rates and falling panel quality, so we’ve designed our panel, the Y Live Community, to be the benchmark within the industry. There are no points mean prizes, we have clear exchange with our members that values and rewards the opinions and the time they provide. We pay our panel members £1 for every 5 mins of survey that they complete. Moreover, we don’t over solicit the panel, we provide enough opportunities to engage with our surveys but not so many that they can’t keep up or are unable to give considered responses. We also have high response rates across the board; re-contact rates to diary studies for example, exceed 80% – significantly above industry averages. Placing our respondents at the heart of the research process is key to delivering data that can be trusted first time. 

“87% of our panellists are satisfied as members of the panel and 89% of our panellists enjoy being rewarded for their opinions.”

Based on our panel health survey June 2022. Base 20,414 respondents.

Representation is key

Representation in research is about ensuring that samples accurately reflect the wider population that the research seeks to represent. Effective decision-making based on research data can only happen if that data includes accurate and robust proportions for key sub-samples of the target audiences we seek to represent. 

We have taken an active role within the research industry to recruit members that enable us to deliver truly nationally representative samples. When delivering UK nationally representative studies, we’re able to deliver data with quotas not just on age, gender, region and social grade, but that also ensure representivity on ethnicity. We are then able to analyse data by sexuality and disability where required to ensure an inclusive sample. It has been great to see the recent publication of guidance in this area by the MRS Representation in Research group to ensure the research industry continues to focus on this key area.

Technology plays an important role 

In the modern research industry, it’s important to use the best available technology to support data quality. Since our inception, we have worked with leading anti-fraud solution provider Imperium, to support our focus on data quality. Their solution ensures that we can check if someone is in the right country to be eligible to take part in the survey. It also stops duplicate survey attempts and removes bots and fraudulent respondents. It would be lovely to think that using this type of solution alone could solve the data quality process, however, it’s just another part of the overall solution to delivering data quality.

Process, our experience and our team are where data quality is determined

In our remit as providing trusted fieldwork and data collection solutions, our client’s role is to determine the best questions to ask as part of their survey to deliver the insight that they need. Our role is to then build the processes and checks around these questions to deliver the quality that matters.

We’ve built and invested in a highly experienced and first-class team at Yonder Data Solutions. The individuals that work here are fundamentally part of what drives our data quality and the level of service that we deliver. Within the online surveys we produce, we include many automated checks that automatically screen out respondents that may not be paying full attention to our survey. We build in logic checks that check respondents are attentive, not just at the start of the survey, but also throughout. Our team also look at areas such as speeders, straight liners, and review open ended responses.

Our clients enjoy lower than industry levels of “don’t knows” in our results and often comment on the richness of responses to open ended questions within the data that we deliver.

“The Data Solutions team consistently deliver data that we know and trust to be accurate first time and that gives us the confidence to advise clients on key business decisions. Without that bedrock of quality data, the decisions being made can be wildly off.”

Tom Wormald, Managing Partner

Our focus on quality – a continuous evolution

We will continue to evolve in how we deliver data quality. It’s something that is constantly changing and there will always be improvements to make as we move forward. There’s no single solution to delivering quality data. It’s a combination of many parts and most importantly, by our experienced and trusted team who achieve this. Two of our values at Yonder are “we go further” and “we pursue brilliance”, and these values together drive our continual focus to data integrity.