How to choose the right Research Panel


How to choose the right Research Panel Research Panel
Table of Contents

From knocking on doors with a clipboard to obtain feedback to having access to a pool of professional participants, the survey world has undergone an impressive change.

Thanks to digital evolution, the intense workload of recruiting research participants and generating insight has simmered down. With access to online panels, researchers can simply recruit participants in one of the two ways:

  • They can provide sampling criteria to panel providers. The panel provider will then draw a qualified sample out of the pool.
  • Self-service: Researchers can access the panel themselves and draw out their desired survey participants.

You may wonder why to pay for an online panel when you can simply make use of forums or communities. Privacy and Data Protection & Data Quality is the best answer to that.

Steps taken by panel providers for quality assurance has made research panel more effective and sophisticated choice. Additionally, along with a diverse population and qualitative-quantitative insights in real-time, a better respondent experience also counts for the many benefits the online research panel offers.

The online panel is worth the hype. In this guide, we will help you with a list of questions you can use to compare offerings across sample providers.

Exploratory Research Guide

Conducting exploratory research seems tricky but an effective guide can help.

What answers to look for when exploring for a Research Panel:

How to choose the right Research Panel Research Panel

Company Profile: 

As a buyer, it is a crucial step to learn about the company. The company profile can give you an idea of all the relevant information about the services, products, track record, audience, strengths, and weaknesses of the company you are trying to build a relationship with.

  • Do they offer SaaS or on-premise?

This question will allow you to understand how much freedom you will have over your hosting if you partner with the brand. The hosting alternatives they propose (SaaS or On-premise) can tell you how flexible they are in their offering. The liberty to select suitable hosting also offers flexible pricing.

  • What types of services do they offer:

Depending on your requirements, you may want to partner with a company that gives you an end-to-end solution. This platform is a one-stop market research company – survey builder, hosting, data collection, analysis, and reporting.


This section will give you an idea of whether the company draws samples from its own source or aggregating sources from other sample providers. You can evaluate the quality of the sample they provide and decide whether they suit your research needs or not.

  • What type of security checks do they perform to ensure that participants are real and unique?

This question helps you gather what measures the company undertakes to help you reduce fraud in your research. Working with a company that stays up to date in fraud detection and security technologies can support you in your project.

  • How do they deliver samples? 

The company’s methods to deliver samples can tell you how much control you have over your sample recruitment. The self-service sampling option means you can access the platform to specify the participants you need for your survey.

  • Do they allow buyers to control the composition of their sample?

Use of a single source can lead to unintentional bias. Different sources or collections from various sources can result in a diverse perspective.

  • How do they make sure that the sample meets your requirement?

By understanding the procedure the provider follows and the constraints in offering the sample, you can establish if the sample meets your classification and standards.

Sample Management:

This section can give you insight into the processes undertaken by the company to provide a sample of trusted and loyal participants for your project. This will also help you gather the king of bias which may pose a threat and the potential severity of those biases.

  • What profile information do they collect from the participants?

A company that offers you pre-existing verified profile can help increase efficiency in targeting an audience. This will also help you know what biases may occur due to the questions asked to gather information and when they were asked.

  • What information about the survey do they share with the potential participants before they agree to take part?

People may agree or disagree with taking part in the survey based on the information provided by the sample provider. This may lead to biases in the survey.

Data Quality:

This answers questions about the in-survey data – data validity, participant characteristics, data health, audit practice, etc.

  • How do they verify the identity of the participants?

It is important as a buyer to learn and understand what measures the company takes to verify the identity of the participants. What steps do they follow to ascertain that the participants are actual and their emails are not hacked? How do they guarantee that the respondent is not a bot or the account is not a duplicate?

  • How do they ensure data protection?

Sample providers and buyers are subject to data protection. The buyer must take this seriously and gather detailed information on security requirements imposed to maintain data regulation and compliance with data protection laws.

How Voxco meets all the required parameters of an appropriate Research Panel?

Company Profile: 

  • Do they offer SaaS or on-premise?

Voxco empowers you to choose your hosting environment based on your requirements. The platform lets you choose SaaS or On-premise, whichever best suits your business. 

Voxco Online can be deployed on-premise if you wish to have total control of your environment. 

Voxco can also host it on secure servers for you. This way, you can save on infrastructure and maintenance costs. 

Furthermore, Voxco is an omnichannel survey software. This implies that the platform ensures a similar experience to all panelists irrespective of what channel they use to interact with the brand. 

  • What types of services do they offer:

  • Only sample provider
  • End-to-end survey software

Voxco is an end-to-end survey software. Without ever leaving the platform, you can design your survey (white-label), host it, collect data, analyze and track real-time trends, and create interactive reports.

See Voxco survey software in action with a Free demo.

See Voxco survey software in action with a Free demo.


How to choose the right Research Panel Research Panel
  • What type of security checks do they perform to ensure that participants are real and unique?

Quality and security are of higher priority at Voxco. To provide the researchers with authentic and trusted respondents, Voxco Audience follows multiple checks. With the latest practices, Voxco Audience strives to offer professional participants. 

To qualify as panelists at Voxco, they are required to meet the following security checks: 

Duplicate IP check: Voxco Audience does not allow respondents to create multiple panelist account from a duplicate IP address. 

CAPTCHA: This helps prevent automated registration. It is applied during registration and during the surveys to deter bots from responding. 

Proxy Detection: Prevents any respondent using an anonymous proxy to hide their device from registering to the panel. This helps prevent potential fraudulent behavior. 

MaxMind Scores: Using MaxMind, we evaluate risk scores for all IP addresses. Using machine learning and algorithm, we estimate the risk of transactions with a particular IP address and deny that participant’s entry into the panel. 

  • How do they deliver samples? 

Voxco offers a self-service model. This end-to-end application allows you to have complete control over your project. 

Researchers have complete access to the platform. You can specify the audience profiling points to recruit the target audience. You can also guide the flow of their research – from sample design to launch until closing. 

  • Do they allow buyers to control the composition of their sample?

Voxco Audience is a marketplace. You can choose multiple sources according to your requirements. You can also choose the percentage of sample composition from different panel providers. It depends on the researcher or person guiding the project; they can choose the most suitable panels from the marketplace. All the variables are listed in the vendor profile.

  • How do they make sure that the sample meets your requirement?

Different panel providers provide a different set of samples. 

To leverage Voxco Audience, you can put in the requirements, e.g., longitudinal study, age group, long questionnaires, and other conditions. Based on the participant requirements, you will be provided a list of panel providers and the corresponding respondents willing to become a part of your survey.

Sample Management:

  • What profile information do they collect from the participants?

Voxco Audience asks for a set of general information from participants who want to join the panel. This is the first step to guarantee that all the panelists are thoroughly verified. Moreover, for some countries, Education and Household income are mandatory at registration. 

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Year and month of birth
  • Email address
  • Zipcode or Postal code
  • Household size
  • Age and gender of children under the legal age 
  • Education* 
  • Household Income*

These are some basic demographic information collected at registration. Beyond this, other questions relevant to the client’s sample target are also a collection. The additional profiling questions are not mandatory. 

  • What information about the survey do they share with the potential participants before they agree to participate?

To help clients gather willing participants (not forced) for their surveys, panelists are sent an invitation email with survey information. The information they receive contains:

  • Survey details – survey number, device compatibility, duration, end date, and a number of incentive points. (not the title of the survey)
  • A URL that gives them access to the questionnaire
  • Member support email address/ link
  • Link to the privacy policy
  • Opt-out information

Respondents are routed to the relevant questions based on their answers. The survey is designed to ensure that the questions/sections important to the researcher are answered. The survey provides options such as “prefer not to answer” or “don’t know” to ensure that participants have the freedom to respond.

Data Quality:

How to choose the right Research Panel Research Panel
  • How do they verify the identity of the participants at the in-survey?

Voxco Audience ingrains data protection and quality assurance at every step of research/survey. Our platform offers several capabilities to ensure that researchers recruit verified participants for their survey. We follow and provide the following security functionalities: 

Red-herring and Custom Screening Question: You can ask screening questions to capture authentic and targeted respondents. Only allow relevant respondents to participate. 

MaxMind Score: Estimate the risk of doing transactions with an IP address. Verify the identity of respondents and decide whether to accept or reject their survey responses. 

Encrypted Secure Links: Generate unique survey links for every participant. 

Deduplication Check: Make sure that you do not respond from the same participant. Limit one survey per IP address and prevent duplicate survey responses.

Proxy Detection: Identify any participant hiding their device using an anonymous proxy and eliminate them. 

Transparency: Voxco Audience maintains clarity by offering clients complete access to all information about supply sources. This enables them to evaluate and monitor the quality of recruitment. 

  • How do they ensure data quality?

Voxco follows and adheres to the data practice guidelines and is entirely GDPR compliant. We also empower you to be HIPAA compliant end-to-end application allows – administering physical and technical safeguards to keep patient health information confidential and secure. 

Customers are at the heart of everything we do and stand for. Customer’s permissions are at the core of our business. 


Founded over 45 years ago Voxco is a global leader in omnichannel cloud and on-premise enterprise feedback management solutions. Voxco offers services for more than 450 clients in over 40 countries all around the world. 

Voxco Audience is a fully automated market research platform that reduces your survey research time from days to hours. 

10Mn+ Verified professionals  

60% proprietary sample 

90+ profiling points 

20%+ savings over ad-hoc rate

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See why 450+ clients trust Voxco!

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