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Online data quality is not the discussion the industry WANTS to have, but it is the discussion we NEED to have.  This coming week (Oct 28-29), The ARF will participate in and host the discussion we need to have about data quality and the following week (Nov 3rd) we will have the discussion we want to have, about how to obtain and leverage future-focused insights about “the human condition” that lead to business impact.

The discussion we NEED to have

We can’t get to impactful insights unless the marketing teams can trust the source of those insights.  Can online research be trusted? The ARF Foundations of Quality research has offered a path forward via what we call the Quality Enhancement Process (QeP).  On October 28th in Chicago, I will be on a panel at an ESOMAR conference talking about how the QeP will provide needed structure for buyers and sellers to collaboratively manage the quality, and consistency of research results.  Other panelists will add in perspective on other quality initiatives, ISO standards, and ESOMAR 26 questions.

On Oct 29th, the next day in Chicago, The ARF has made its ORQC (online research quality council) meeting freely open to all (physical and virtual attendance options).  We will give an update on the QeP templates and the 8 pilot tests including which suppliers the buyers have approached to be in the test.

We hope to make clear that QeP is not “in competition” with industry solutions; it offers a “must-have” foundation that can be used alone or in combination with other approaches that are commercially available or in development.

Perhaps the main event will be is a panel discussion among leading scientists in the field of online research data quality.  Doug Rivers, CEO of Yougov America, George Terhanian of Harris (leader of propensity weighting applied to online marketing research), Steve Gittelman from MKTG, Inc. and Charles DiSogra, Chief Statistician at Knowledge Networks will share their thoughts and have a lively discussion about their points of view regarding online data quality.

The ARF welcomes the debate.  Data quality is not a “one size fits all” problem.  There are times when RDD phone or pre-recruit is needed and certainly the industry needs the scale offered by big online panels.  Deciding on a strategy for making these pieces fit together in a trustworthy and valid way will be helped by this session on Oct 29th.

When Stan Stanunathan, global insights leader at Coca-Cola says, “Data quality doesn’t matter”, what he means is “data quality is not enough”.   He advises that we researchers must not have an eternal debate about data quality.  We must move on to insights that “inspire the marketer”. This is a great wakeup call to researchers that data quality is a means to an end.

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