Your Questions, Answered
ESOMAR is the global voice of the data, research and insights community–a truly international association that provides ethical and professional guidance. Its document, Questions to Help Buyers of Online Samples, requires sample providers to expose their level of consistency, reliability and commitment to transparency when it comes to quality data. We are only too happy to oblige.
What experience does your company have in providing online samples for market research? How long have you been providing this service? Do you also provide similar services for other uses such as direct marketing? If so, what proportion of your work is for market research?
Do you have staff with responsibility for developing and monitoring the performance of the sampling algorithms and related automated functions who also have knowledge and experience in this area? What sort of training in sampling techniques do you provide to your frontline staff?
What other services do you offer? Do you cover sample-only, or do you offer a broad range of data collection and analysis services?
Answers to the questions in this section will help you understand the types of sample available from different sample providers in the market and the sources they rely on. This will help you evaluate the quality of the sample being offered, whether it is suitable for measuring change over time, and whether there are any specific constraints you need to consider when using it. It will also allow you to understand whether the sample provider is drawing the sample from its own sources or aggregating sources from other providers. We recommend that you first identify the sample types being offered, and then ask the relevant questions for all sources.
Using the broad classifications above, from what sources of online sample do you derive participants?
Which of these sources are proprietary or exclusive and what is the percent share of each in the total sample provided to a buyer? (Assume proprietary to mean that the sample provider owns the asset. Assume exclusive to mean that the sample provider has an exclusive agreement to manage/provide access to sample originally collected by another entity.)