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”.

It’s all about turning theory into action

By Vassilis Moustakoudis

Τhe most insightful learning in this first year of the research hive life, is the importance of transforming theory into action, daring to move forward, even when conditions are not always favorable or the outcome always guaranteed. Because this is the only way to attribute value to an idea or a plan, to understand how far this idea can go;

by testing it in real life conditions and fine tuning it in the process of development.

The idea of developing our own software, a platform that would satisfy the imperative need of communicating with our respondents in real time and in a much more natural for them environment, was at the beginning a challenging undertaking. But, we felt that it was worth taking the risk.

After numerous meetings, revisions and trials with our technical partners, our platform, hive live, was ready to host the most intuitive discussions with our consumers on a 24/7 basis. We experienced firsthand, along with our clients, the merits of turning consumers into protagonists, letting them take the lead and revealing aspects of their lives that we would not have encountered any other way.

But this was only the beginning, as this experience gave birth to new plans. The idea of overcoming the space barrier & reducing the costs of conventional CATI was our next challenge. Bringing to life an on line CATI, based on our software, would allow clients to have access both to the interviewing process & feedback reports at any time, throughout the project lifespan. Tel hive was conceived at that very moment.

Making our clients partakers of the research procedure was the vision behind hive on air service. Our clients would be able to watch the discussions with their consumers on line and interact with the moderator, at the comfort of their office, via the hive live platform.

Today, 1 year later, we feel really happy that we did not listen to the “voice of reason”. And this has become our philosophy. If you believe strongly in an idea, dare to implement it and this may become the beginning of an exciting journey.

An update on our tech habits

On average, Greeks possess 1.7 technological devices. 35-50 y.o. are determined to “go with the flow” and compete with younger audiences in technology devices possession.

Focusing on apps, each user has downloaded approximately 4 types of apps, with social media and gaming apps being universally appealing across age groups.

But, technology is also changing the way we are getting informed, with social media establishing itself as key sources of news. Let’s take a closer look . . .

Untitled Infographic (7)

Cooking habits revisited

If somebody asked you a few years ago what "ratatouille" is, it would be highly unlikely for you to know the answer. Today, chances are you have already experimented with numerous ratatouille recipes in your kitchen. The meaning of cooking for Greeks is changing. And so are the motives which drive men and women in the kitchen. Creativity and inspiration are key words in the cooking vocabulary of Greeks, with a breadth of on & off line sources battling for the attention of the "new breed of chefs". But how do brands stand in this new cooking reality? Is their presence enchanting enough to make consumers relate?

Untitled Infographic (4)