Tag Archives: quality

Research should be like gummy vitamins #MRX

IMAG0444 IMAG0443I hate vitamins. I hate the big fat pills you have to swallow and I hate the bad taste of the chewable vitamins despite the supposedly wonderful fruity flavours. But this form of self-medication is recommended by doctors and no matter how terrible they taste, I ought to take them.

Fortunately, now there are these lovely things called gummy vitamins for adults. I’ve been staring at them in the stores for a long time. No doubt, they taste fabulous but it disappoints me that they don’t contain all the vitamins that they ought to.

For instance, the gummy vitamins don’t contain any iron. Why not you ask? Well, I checked on the internet (everything on the internet is true) and it seems that the lack of iron is to ensure that should a child find a large bottle of “candy” just sitting around, that they don’t overdose on iron.  Makes sense to me.

Well, I finally broke down and bought a bottle. I removed the safety seal and ate the prescribed dose of vitamins. Wow… Yum… They really do taste like candy. I closed the lid and stared at the bottle. Yum. Would two more hurt? Couldn’t possibly. But I shouldn’t. But would two more really matter? Nah. I stared at the bottle for a while longer and finally put it away. That’s why they don’t include iron in the adult gummy vitamins. Not because kids might OD on them, but because adults like me might OD on them.

And so we get to research. Doctors all around the world prescribe research as a valid and reliable method of learning more about consumers and brands. Heck, as a PhD qualified researcher, I prescribe large doses of research for myself all the time. But, if people are going to self-medicate with research, those without the appropriate academic qualifications and without dedicated on-the-job experience and training, need to have the iron removed. The dangerous parts of research should be safely tucked away to prevent harm as much as possible.

Without the appropriate training, DIY tools, like survey programs, sampling systems, statistical analysis and charting programs, should be carefully locked away to prevent surveys from being written incorrectly, samples drawn incorrectly, statistics interpreted incorrectly, and charts prepared incorrectly. If the “candy” can’t be consumed, then it can’t cause any damage.

For the safety and security of brand measurements, are you willing to lock it all up?

The four toughest questions you must ask #MRX

Question dog

What exactly are the toughest questions when it comes to social media listening research? They’re the ones that force you to admit your weaknesses, your faults, your errors. So if you’re going to take the plunge, here are five questions that could make vendors squirm.

  1. What percentage of your social media data is associated with gender? age? country?  It’s really easy to say “We have demographic data.” It’s really hard to say “Only 1% of our data has age.” If you need demographic information, you need to get an honest answer before you sign the deal.
  2. How much time does a human being spend cleaning out the spam? It’s easy to say “Humans review all of our data.” It’s a lot harder to say “Humans will spend about 2 minutes on your data.” If you need your data cleaned of spam and completely relevant, you’d better hear numbers like 8 hours per brand.
  3. What happens when data comes from a ten year old? It’s easy to say “They’re all grouped together.” It’s really hard to say “We delete all data from children aged 13 and under.”
  4. How valid is your sentiment scoring? It’s really easy to say “Our validity scores are 90% and higher.” It’s really hard to say “Because of sarcasm, evolving language, poor grammar,and many other problems, our validity scores are around 70%.”

Go ahead. Make them squirm.

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