NEWS9 July 2009

Survey Geek vs. The Cord-Cutters


Self-confessed ‘survey geek’ and blogger Reg Baker brings us up to speed on the rising numbers of cell-only households and the challenges these ‘cord-cutters’ pose to telephone research in the US.


The impact on data quality is limited for now, says Baker – but he warns that clients are already starting to question the validity of studies that don’t include cellphones in their sample.


Reg Baker

Trouble playing the audio? Click here to download the MP3 file.

You can read more of his thoughts at The Survey Geek blog. Baker is chief operating officer at Market Strategies International.


1 Comment

15 years ago

Reg, I was struck by what you said near the end about how researchers appear to be more concerned than clients about data quality. It's amazing to me how the business world is so insistent on hard evidence and "proof points" for ROI and other essential metrics yet often seems to accept survey data at face value, with no apparent assessment of the underlying validity and reliability. My observation is admittedly anecdotal but is based on countless cases where research findings are reported/relayed -- in social media, elsewhere online, and on dead trees -- with little to no methodological disclosure. I must say this applies even to two stories atop the home page as I write. And, again anecdotally, it seems to me this is particularly a problem with publicly reported consumer/market research; political and other public affairs polling has undergone more scrutiny in recent years as major media organizations become more attentive to data quality and with the advent of blogs like Specific survey percentages seem to be shiny objects that distract many otherwise sophisticated consumers from thinking critically about whether the estimates really are representative of the population being studied. This baffles me. (My own disclosure: Reg and I serve on the Executive Council of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, where the issues of methodology disclosure and survey representativeness are and will continue to be hot topics.)

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