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Survey Science Goes International—Big Data, Online Panels Insights and More

Survey Science Goes International—Big Data, Online Panels Insights and More

Mobile SurveysSurveys on the go are on the rise. Over 35% of SurveyMonkey responses are collected from mobile devices and the number is still growing.

With that in mind, questions around people’s survey-taking behavior on mobile started popping up for us.

Questions like—do mobile respondents provide different answers from non-mobile respondents?

Where do people take their surveys on-the-go—the bus, shopping, or at home? Is it really more difficult to answer open-ended questions on mobile devices? How about matrix questions?

To answer some of these questions and more, one of our survey research scientists made his way to beautiful Germany to attend the General Online Research Conference (GOR)—the country’s most influential online research gathering of industry professionals and experts. GOR provided some answers to these questions but not all.

Here are a few highlights of what our intrepid survey expert learned!

Online panels are easier to build now than before

As technology improves and the Internet becomes ever more prevalent globally, it’s now easier than ever to build an online panel, even in developing countries. However, this exciting fact doesn’t totally solve some of the other tactical problems the industry faces.

For example, one session at the conference was dedicated to the representativeness and biases in online panel and presented some new adjustment and estimation methods. How to best engage panel members was another topic at the conference.

Also, other alternatives to panel studies, such as river samples, were also subjects at the conference. Different approaches have their pros and cons, but a “fit-for-purpose” approach is one important concept for researchers to keep in mind when choosing sample sources and conducting surveys.

Big data is still a thing

Big data—a term that describes the large volume of structured or unstructured data that floods into businesses and organizations—has been a hot topic for quite a few years. It remains a popular topic at the GOR. Researchers in all sectors, including academia, industry, and government, have spent a lot of effort on exploring the opportunities for using big data.

Big data can provide very rich and useful information, but it can get messy and sometimes it’s more difficult to make sense out of than survey data. Connecting this specific type of data with big data can provide some unique insights. A lot of research continues so stay tuned as we learn more.

The SurveyMonkey Survey Research team is committed to help you deliver the best survey design and collection advice. We promise we’re on top of the latest and greatest in hot research topics.

Check back here for even more Survey Science blogs and don’t be shy. Let us know what you’re working on and what problems you’re facing—we’d love to share our pro solutions. 


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