Data cleansing is a vital activity before drawing conclusions from any survey responses and certainly before decision-making. Clean survey data boosts data analysis and helps you uncover relevant information – information that you can base your decisions on. Clean data will also help you save time and cost, leaving you with time to make appropriate decisions.
What is data cleansing? And, how do you deal with unclean data? QuestionPro Audience helps customers identify and eliminate poor quality responses or responses that aren’t collected from the right target audience. We control the data quality at ideally three stages – I’ll explain them further. Despite being one of the most critical research steps, researchers overlook data quality and cleaning. This is due to time-consuming data collection processes, lack of budgets, time constraints, and limited data cleansing knowledge.
Three-level survey data quality control system
Being an established panel services provider, over the years, QuestionPro has harnessed technology and machine learning to help researchers collect hi-quality research data – data that matters:
- Strict screening at recruitment
- Double-opt in surveys
- Response health check
A combination of these measures is crucial for clean, useable, decision-worthy data. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
- Screening at recruitment: Data quality control begins at the very beginning of panel recruitment. Every respondent we recruit is screened thoroughly. 80+ data screening questions help us identify and categorize panelists accurately. We also update any change in their profile points regularly to boost response accuracy.
- Double-opt in surveys: Every respondent undergoes a two-factor authentication, ensuring that only the right people get access to the study, boosting the survey’s security. It helps to identify the respondent and ensure the respondent is precisely who they claim to be. It also helps to understand if the member is valid or not to gather seamless responses.
- Response health check: A significant step in data cleaning is analyzing the response style of the survey-takers. QuestionPro has measures in place to detect poor respondents, responses and to flag them immediately. Here are the checks we’ve put in place to assist you in capturing only high-quality responses:
- Straight-lining: Straight-lining is an excellent indicator of response health. The tool looks at whether respondents use the same answer option to answer multiple questions or chooses answers in a pattern. For example, respondents choosing option B for all questions.
- Profanity: We detect curse words in open-ended text boxes and flag them. This helps in identifying whether the respondent has answered the survey seriously or not.
- Speeding: We monitor the average time taken to answer a survey, and if a respondent completes it in significantly less time, the survey is flagged.
- Gibberish: We flag gibberish and meaningless words, like “afdsgrk.” This is an excellent indicator of respondent seriousness while answering the survey.
- Length: We also flag short or one-word responses where more text is expected. Significantly short responses mostly never contain clear responses.
Better the response quality, better the survey analysis, better the decisions
Data cleansing techniques weed out bad responses with great accuracy within no time. All this without having to introduce your bias to the answers. Here are the advantages you’ll derive:
- Time-saving: We’ve harnessed technology to reduce the manual review time with data quality methods in place. This means you can spend more time analyzing data and making well-informed decisions. It also cuts down the overall research time to take quick measures in fast-changing markets.
- Make confident decisions: Data credibility is a top priority when it comes to decision-making. Good data leads to significant findings, but first, the data must be trustworthy. Good data boost decision-making confidence, and you can make strategic worry-free decisions.
- Collect reliable insights: Personal bias is one of the biggest dangers in cleaning survey data. The tool will do the preliminary cleaning of your responses to help introduce as little bias as possible.
Why get stuck with time-consuming manual data-cleansing activities when technology can take care of it in an instant? Significant decisions emerge from accurate data. Step up your research game with QuestionPro Audience. Write to Tim, at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us at email@example.com to know more.