Data quality controls in the automation age

By:  Vassilis Moustakoudis

The time has come to finally address the issue of market research data controls in this new “online era”.  Moving from traditional data collection methodologies to the new online reality, brings to life the need to revise data quality controls.   Taking into account that the traditional quality controls methods cannot be valid in the case of online research, the only way to ensure quality procedures, is through technology and its ability to be “live” at all times.  The reliability of the respondents in online research can only be ensured through automated controls embedded in the same software used for conducting the actual research. This possibility, fortified by controlling “live” at all times can ensure the reliability of market research process.

At the research hive, our priority is to guarantee data quality. Within this framework, we have applied an online audit procedure that controls 24/7 the collected data in terms of quality and reliability of respondents.  For every project we create “control reports”, where, by monitoring the discrepancy between the data, the hivelive platform software automatically ensures the quality of the market research process. If respondent’s answers do not have a cohesive consistency between them, they are not calculated in the final results. Also, when the required time to complete the questionnaire deviates considerably from the average completion time, our “live” supervisor excludes the respondent from our online panel.  This automated and real time quality control process is feasible through our hive live platform and ensures 100% level of acceptable data quality collection standards.

The automation offered by technology intelligence to market research agencies, ensures the high level of their services, helping their clients to further develop their products & services.

Hive Stories, June ’21

What’s important for people today!

Consumers in 2020

2018 has smoothed out the rough edges in people's hearts & minds.

The quest for perfectionism is a thing of the past.

Today, we are starting to reconnect to our inner self...and as we do so, we shift from musts,

strictness & austerity and start treating ourselves with more tenderness & understanding.

Online focus groups – a cognitive substitute or the first step to a new qualitative era?

Online focus groups were initially developed as a faster and less expensive way to capture geographically diverse audiences.
Through experience however, we discover that the “magic” of online focus groups goes far beyond rational advantages, to the discovery of new and more natural conversation behaviors.
Online is the new way people talk and interact … so, by default a more comfortable and familiar communication context where participants - relieved of the “awkwardness” of sitting in a room full of strangers – now feel free to express their thoughts and emotions via a natural for them medium.

…and even more… in online discussions, people communicate using body language, which when you look close enough, could be highly revelating of their lifestyle and idiosyncrasy.

Often enough, in online focus groups people talk from their couch, their bed, while cooking …or even while hugging their pet….real life behaviors, which cannot be verbally articulated in a conventional focus group and which allow for more intimate conversations amongst participants.

As characteristically reported … “online group sessions are like being invited to your friends home”

The annulment of distance and traveling logistics is yet another benefit of online focus groups as communicating from the comfort of one’s home increases accessibility of difficult to reach targets – hence ensuring higher recruitment quality.
At the same time, it enables clients to follow the discussion process from the comfort of their own desk, and interact with the moderator via messages, without disrupting the group process.

With the scope of capturing this new qualitative era, the research hive has enriched its online platform with LiveView…a service which offers group session possibilities based on WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) technology.
LiveView allows for easy, seamless and real-time interaction amongst people in online discussions which encompasses also instantaneous sharing of any data and audiovisual material.
LiveView enables discussion from any location, whether they be in home or on the go …as conversations can be carried out from any screen participants choose to use.
So, in a world that is continuously changing, research owes it to itself, to create methodologies which replicate reality in a familiar and inspiring manner for our participants.

«Mobile Research» – a world in motion

Research in Greece has recently entered the era of technology. The time consuming pen and paper process is now a thing of the past, while the time and effort traditionally required in the preparation, execution, collection and processing of data has now been replaced by the speed, reliability and quality of Computer assisted interviewing | CAPI technology.
But, is CAPI the true evolution in research today? does it truly enhance performance? or does it create different kind of tradeoffs?
Even though interviewing via CAPI (laptop) has solved many problems vis a vis traditional PAPI, it continues to encompass serious issues which restrict the productivity of the interviewers.
More specifically,

  • The morphology of the laptop assumes that the interview will be conducted inside the respondents’ home. However, in reality most f2f interviews are conducted with the interviewer standing up, outside the household door, or even on the street in the case of exit interviews.
  • The short autonomy of laptops hinders the work of the interviewer, as access to electrical power is not always given.
  • The weight of the laptop is yet another burden to the interviewer.

The above result in restrictions as regards speed and validity of data as well as in reduced productivity.

So how can problems which stem from the use of laptop be overcome?
The solution today is found in the technology of Android Software Applications for mobile devices (Tablet – Smartphone).
The future of research is in «Mobile»... as mobile captures the “now” as it happens, free of any restrictions. Mobile research enables us to capture the world in motion, and in doing so, opens new possibilities for the evolution of research in general.
Over the last years, the research hive has invested in this new technology, designing and developing its own software program which covers the entire range of research methodologies.
Under the umbrella of our privately owned platform “hive live”, it is now possible to apply different methodological approaches (even in the same research) via web | online and offline but also through mobile technology.
The advantages of “hive live” are multiple and include …

  • Unlimited number of interviewers: “hive live” is a platform specially designed to address the 3 fundamental values of the research hive, namely; accuracy, speed and flexibility. “hive live” is free of licenses, hence, it can accommodate an unlimited number of interviewers working in parallel to offer our clients ultimate efficacy and speed.
  • Ease of use: the flexibility and lightweight nature of tablets |smartphones facilitate the interviewing process by ensuring a more “comfortable” and thus, more productive and accurate interviewing result.
  • Autonomy of devices: unlike laptops, tablets and smartphones have batteries which facilitate continuous use for more than 24 hrs.
  • Efficacy: questionnaires and test material are loaded automatically on the device through our software. Questionnaire completion can be conducted online or offline… hence, facilitating interviewing even in areas with no internet connection… the data can be dispatched fast and easy either real time, or when the device finds an internet connection
  • Real time updates: connection to “hive live” provides all parties involved with real time updates on the field progress, while it allows instantaneous checking and confirmation on the work of the interviewers. Moreover, “hive live” offers clients online access to real time data in the form of cumulative reports
  • Training: via our service “hive on air”, all training sessions are held through our platform online, simultaneously and without restrictions as to the location of the parties involved. All stakeholders …interviewers, supervisors and clients …can participate in the briefing session through live video streaming. This allows for an interactive process amongst all stakeholders and ensures an alignment of the team to the requirements of each project.
  • Uploading of material: mobile technology allows us to “upload” audio visual material (photos, videos, music) not only on the interviewer’s device but from the part of the respondent as well at any point in the questionnaire.

In parallel to interviews conducted by interviewers, “hive live” mobile platform is also accessible to the research hive panelists, who can participate in quantitative and qualitative projects via mobile devices.
Via “hive live” platform, the respondent – panelist,

  • Can participate in the research from any location (wherever he|she is)
  • Is immediately informed on new research or new questions on ongoing studies, via the application installed on his smartphone | tablet or via SMS
    Thus allowing for,
  • Access to information the moment it happens
  • Speed of response

Lastly, capitalizing on the development of IoT (Internet of Things) technology, we have added onto “hive live mobile” the ability to record the exact location of the respondent when filling in the interview and the depiction of this location on Google map

With the help of new technologies offered by mobile devices we can best capture the new reality and best record and understand the “world on the move”.

Are trade-offs becoming the new normal?

If we come to think about it, our everyday life is a series of trade-offs. But not in the way it used to be once, selecting out of two desired options. Today, trade-offs are more demanding, and cause frustration. Especially, given that every single euro we are about to spend needs to be well thought out and fully justified.


We have definitely caught ourselves camouflaging our desires into needs so as to pass them through our tight budget.

What does that mean? For starters any product, activity needs to be exceptionally good in order to prevail in this trade off, especially since it falls into a comparison with many different things. It must be either of undoubtable value and importance or it must be very emotionally rewarding to the individual.


18-24 seem less willing to sacrifice entertainment and continue to consider it money well spent. Accordingly for 25-34 traveling | vacations is something they prioritize, as very important to keep them going, as an inner need to cut off and escape from reality.

However, for 45+ it seems that trade-offs are more in the direction of sacrifices. These targets are likely to suppress their desires and wants in order to meet the obligations, more basic needs and things that have to do with their kids, like education, training, activities or clothing.

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Are we falling out of love with brands?

Well, it’s hard to say. According to the research hive study, 1 in 2 consumers admit not being emotionally attached to any brand in the super market. Instead, they claim to have a number of brands that they trust and prefer. This is especially so for the youngest (18-24 y.o.) & the eldest targets (55-65 y.o).

Trying to find the answers amongst those brand lovers, we were surprised to see that rational criteria had entered the love equation. A brand that has good value for money (even if it doesn’t offer the best possible quality) has high chances of winning consumers hearts.

Love is one thing yet loyalty is another. Only 24% stay loyal to the brand they love, purchasing it every single time. The rest decide to take their chances with other temptress brands

It seems that a brand today cannot but take into consideration the need to facilitate consumers, enabling them to enjoy the brand that they love in their everyday life.

On the other hand, consumers were in position to detect inspiring brands, brands they may not embrace in their everydayness, but hold admiration for them. What were those most motivating brand features? Younger targets appreciate design, style and fit to own lifestyle. We have indications that escapism, uniqueness and positive mood is a trigger for 25-34.

Older targets appreciate trust & reliability, while economy re-appears as an inspiring element for 55-64, who seem to maintain a flatter relationship with brands vs other targets.


Generation Y Part II: Reaching out to Generation Y

So what are the key words to have in mind when addressing Generation Y?

Causes: Generation Y bond better to brands that support social causes. This generation need to feel good about brands they buy, and feeling good with brands today has shifted from how the brand makes me look . . .to what story the brand tells about me as a person.

Process: Generation Y relate more to the way products are designed and build rather than the product itself. So let them in behind the scenes, show them how the product is actually made. . .or in the best case . . .ask their advice, and co-create together.

24/7: this generation will not wait for tomorrow. When they seek information or even to buy a products, this has to be now! So stay connected, make products available to them the moment they want them.

Experiences: Generation Y are dedicated to living their life to the fullest, that’s why they respond best to brand that promise them a “once in a lifetime experience”.

Future: this generation is not interested in what you have done in the past, in fact past glories are often scrutinized by Generation Y as “those that brought us here”. So think ahead and promise them how your brand will enrich their life in the near future.

Understate: Generation Y thrive on being the first to discover and share. So be discrete about your brand, understate its worth and allow Generation Y the joy of discovering your brand themselves. The impact of their voice will be worth what you understate.

Bite sized info: this generation can pay attention to and digest only bite sized information. So consider the length of your message or posts. Be concise and to the point.

Transparency: Generation Y are great at reading behind the lines. So be transparent, be yourself, look them in the eye and tell them your true brand story.

Freebies: Generation Y love giveaways, and they want instant gratification. Offer them something free or at little costs that they can take away right now.

Talk digital: Generation Y live a connected life. So make sure your website is always up to date and accessible. Respond promptly and in their text language, take the initiative to direct them to other sources of information on the Web and stay on top of your online reputation.

Pictures: Generation Y live in a visual world, a world in which your brand ought to have an identity if it is to address the specific generation. So say your brand story in pictures, and consider visual context if your are to communicate and bond with this generation.