Why Are We Publishing This Now?
Here at Populus Data Solutions we support many
of the leading insight and media agencies by
providing first class fieldwork and data collection
services. We have invested both in the staff we
employ and the way we go about our work, but
also in the members of our panel and the partners
that we work with, to build a business that our
staff can be proud to work for, and our clients can
be proud to partner with. A business that
ultimately delivers research services which can be
trusted and sustained for the long term.
Why Are We Publishing This Manifesto For Sustainability Now?
Some very interesting themes came out of the MRS Conference this year around building trust, both with clients and with consumers. The way research is carried out, particularly online data quality, is top of mind to clients, and the concepts of privacy, and how data is stored is paramount to all consumers. We felt it was an appropriate time to bring together our policies on these matters into one place and to communicate to our clients the long term sustainable approach we take to carrying out market research. The recent publications of guidelines for Online Sample Quality by ESOMAR/GRBN and the Privacy Report by the MRS further emphasise the current focus on online data integrity
Why Is This Important To Set Out?
Simply put, because we feel it is the right thing to do. Taking shortcuts with data quality, reducing respondent incentives or taking part in the perceived race to the bottom with sample costs can only lead to the long term deterioration and devaluation of data quality. As the results we produce are regularly published in the media or inform key decisions made by businesses or organisations, it’s critical that the research we produce is highly reliable. This reliability is underpinned by sustainability
Approach To Quality
We produce research that can be trusted first time by our clients in a manner that can be sustained for the long term. We provide confidence that the correct processes and procedures have been followed to ensure robust results in a fashion that can be replicated time and again. Even when studies are turned around at great speed, we don’t compromise on quality or on delivering to quotas.
Maintaining high levels of data quality is the key founding principle that Populus Data Solutions has built its business on. Be it data collected online, via a mobile device or using our experienced CATI centre based in Newcastle.
We have built a proprietary set of online
quality control measures that ensures
respondents are giving considered answers and automatically removes respondents who may not be paying attention. This significantly enhances the quality of the data.
We have developed our survey platform to create an engaging way to present surveys to our panel members. It’s designed to be an appealing and attractive interface whilst being underpinned by robust survey methodology.
Our scripting team has 50+ years of collective experience and are the experts in translating questionnaires into engaging online surveys. We would always recommend to keep surveys as short as possible and avoid using repetitive grid questions to maximise engagement and improve data quality.
We have a consistent approach to sampling and understand with great certainty the importance of the sampling process, particularly on tracking and long term studies to ensure consistency and confidence.
A particular strength of ours is the quality of data tables that our experienced DP team produces. As so much of our research is published in the press it’s essential that our data can be trusted first time.
The aim of Populus Data Solutions is to provide state of the art data capture and delivery solutions, yet remain true to the ethos of robust survey research. What that means in the context of a sustainable business is that the team understand the concept of what we stand for and are proud to represent that vision. Employees are empowered to communicate across the company to raise challenges and bring solutions to the long term benefit of our clients and the research that we produce.
We have invested heavily in an experienced and first class team here at Populus Data Solutions and our staff are the foundation on which the business is built upon. We operate with the key principles of robust market research at our core and support our clients in a highly consultative manner to ensure they receive the benefit of our experience.
We don’t expect our clients to be the experts in carrying out fieldwork, that’s our role and we make sure our clients benefit from the combined experience of our team. That means providing advice on best practice or pushing back and challenging our clients at times when they might be doing something we wouldn’t advise on. We continually challenge and push ourselves to find solutions on behalf of our clients.
We lead the way with innovative approaches to research on behalf of our clients, such as integrating online video voxpops with online quantitative studies or the adoption of mobile rendering across our surveys. Everything links back to our motto of method driven by innovation. We don’t do things unnecessarily and everything must produce meaningful and robust data.
Whilst it’s imperative that we as a business have the correct quality procedures in place, it’s also essential that the individuals who work on projects understand the importance of quality research and operate in accordance with this.
Our approach to the way our panel is managed means that we have a very sustainable way of carrying out research both today, and into the future, because of exceptionally high engagement. Our panel provides well above average response rates which allows us to deliver studies at scale and provide real time research solutions. By maintaining and engaging the panel, without over burdening them, we can also ensure the answers provided are considered and highly reliable on a long term basis.
We view the members of our online panel
Populuslive as a key part of the business.
We treat them with the fairness and respect they deserve and don’t view this as an asset that can exploited. Our members are paid £1 for every 5 minutes of survey they take, effectively meaning they are paid well above the level of minimum wage for their survey participation.
We create a two way dialogue with our
members. Every survey has a feedback
section at the end that allows them to
feedback comments for suggestions or
improvements in surveys.
We have invested heavily in making our survey platform device agnostic to work across PCs and mobile devices so members can take surveys in a way that suits them. This maintains high response rates and engagement when taking surveys. We only render on mobile devices where suitable to do so.
On average our panellists receive 4 invitations a month. A sufficient amount to keep them engaged that is achievable and still provide considered responses.
We also have sophisticated de-duplication
measures in place to ensure participants cannot take part more than once and collect postcode and date of birth on all studies as part of this in conjunction with machine fingerprinting technology.
We have complete transparency with our
data policies and are a member of the
Market Research Society.
A sustainable business in the market research sector must place data security central to the work it does and be open about data practices and how information is stored and collected. It is essential to gaining the trust both of consumers providing information and organisations you wish to do business with. It is particularly key when handling customer information on behalf of clients from their own databases.
We have a data protection policy in place which is based on the following principles:
Consent – Data to be collected and used only with the informed consent of the data subjects
Minimisation and purpose – Holding only data that we need for specific purposes, and securely destroying any data that is no longer in use
Anonymisation – Only holding data attributable to individuals where necessary for research, and anonymising data wherever possible and practicable
Consistency and fairness – Treating all personal data equally, whether it relates to staff, clients or participants in research
In the modern business world, sustainable development and growth must be coupled with Corporate and Social Responsibility and the research world has a vital role to play in this area. Much of the information that supports the need for sustainable development is backed by research findings and it’s vital that this information is produced by companies that can be trusted by consumers to be ethical and fair but also that are seen to be leading by example in this area.
Populus Data Solutions are a responsible and charitable company and a good employer. We are committed to carrying out business fairly, honestly and openly wherever we operate.
We regularly ask participants in our research to nominate a charity to which we can make a donation. In the financial year 2013/14 we donated over £50,000 to a variety of charities and good causes. We also have a Charity of the Year, chosen by our staff, for which we raise money throughout the year.
We provide an office environment that encourages staff to limit our impact on the environment and have policies in place to do so.
We are very proud of the thriving business we have created here at Populus Data Solutions and the principles upon which we have built the business. We feel it’s one that has long term sustainability at the heart of what we do and produces research that can be trusted and relied upon both today, and into the future, that has built the reputation that we hold today.
We operate with complete transparency and if you believe in the importance of maintaining high levels of quality to guarantee the sustainability of the market research industry then we’d love to hear from you.