August 5, 2016

As many of my blog followers know, my firm does numerous research projects a year. So, I am often asked if you can trust all these political polls? This is actually a tough question. The truth is, collecting quantitative data today is very different than just a few years ago.

Why, primarily do to the demise of landlines, the portability of phone numbers, the use of cell phones, and the increased use of automated telephone surveys known as interactive voice response (IVR). That is why you are seeing such an increase use of online panels – people who have agreed to participate in surveys ahead of time.

One of the best essays I’ve read recently on the challenges of contemporary data collection is from the Pew Research Center. They are the gold standard for contemporary social research. If you are considering a study or are just curious if you can trust political polls, it is a must read. Here’s a link to the essay.

If you are interested in conducting a poll, let me know and I can help explain the pitfalls that make research more difficult today. Contrary to popular belief, just using survey monkey doesn’t does not create reliable data.

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