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Not too long ago, it was a tedious job for researchers to build their own surveys. The job required familiarity and skill with coding and programming.
Today, thanks to technological advancements, survey software vendors have made developing surveys a breeze.
It was also challenging to select survey participants who represented the target audience until recently. This made quality data collection burdensome for researchers from different disciplines.
This concern was addressed as well with the introduction of a research panel in the survey world.
The research panel made a significant impact in the field of research, especially in social research and academic research. Using an online panel community to recruit survey participants has made it possible for researchers to get hold of diverse populations cost-effectively.
Let’s glance over the challenges faced in conducting academic research before the research panel became the future of the survey.
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The researcher may find it easy to select samples from the university community to conduct academic research instead of actively recruiting participants. This often results in a lack of diversity. University students and their community are different from a broader population.
For example, the US is a country where all religions, ethnicities, and races mix. Moreover, it is also important to note that students are far less experienced in the ways of the world. The opinions of their friends may easily influence them.
Having a diverse group of respondents allows you to tap into a wide range of opinions from people with different life experiences.
Online communities are another way researchers recruit their respondents. However, these virtual communities rather disturb the sampling frame than enhance it.
Many of these virtual community provides membership email lists to the researchers. However, often a single participant may provide multiple email addresses, a person may take a survey multiple times or use bots to complete surveys. These become a threat to the quality of data.
Also, in some online communities, registration may not even be required. This brings in the ‘lurkers,’ people who are visible in the community but read the posts. They may respond to an online survey while not making their presence known. This makes it difficult to establish an accurate sampling frame.
To register in online/virtual communities’ participants often don’t need to provide much information. They only need to share common interests to register. This means the participants may not know much about your survey’s subject but respond anyway.
The lack of profiling or screening of participants means that you can’t be sure whether the respondents represent the target population or not. When you analyze the result, you will often realize how much useless information you have gathered.
Before the research panel, researchers had to recruit participants themselves, which was time-consuming. Or they had to take help from sample providers. Both options had their drawbacks.
As a result, academic research will slow down and end up considerably costly.
The development of the research panel made it easy to recruit participants.
With the establishment of a research panel, researchers could afford to recruit qualified participants and gather quality data while keeping it cost-efficient.
Now onto how the research panel has changed the game.
The research panel takes advantage of the internet to reach a unique population. The platform reaches individuals through social media, emails, SMS, or website to recruit verified respondents.
The advantage of a research panel is that it creates a heterogeneous community of people who share specific values, beliefs, interests, and experiences. From ideas regarding politics to thoughts on online dating, whatever may be the subject of academic research, you can access their desired set of respondents.
The research panel strives to find participants who qualify for all the parameters you set for your target audience. Moreover, it also enables individuals who are hesitant to reveal their identity to participate in surveys and share their perspectives over the internet.
Fraud detection is a fundamental capability that helps maintain the security of data and the loyalty of the panelists. It keeps the researchers from gathering irrelevant and useless responses.
Research panel identifies and discards fraudulent responses from being counted as the final survey data. It empowers you to prevent multiple response submissions by allowing you to detect duplicates. This means, if the same respondent comes back to take the survey, they will be flagged as duplicates.
The software also allows you to detect bots. You can enable the software to indicate whether a human or a bot fills a survey.
In the case of research panels, when respondents sign up to become a panel audience, they undergo extensive profiling. The panel provider is responsible for ensuring that all the participants are verified to offer the researcher authentic and genuine participants.
The panel provider obtains information on the participant, including, but not limited to, demographic, geographic, behavioral, nature of the household, and other essential factors. The profile of each participant is used to help researchers find their target sample for their study.
For the purpose of academic research, panel providers can screen out respondents who do not qualify for the target sample.
For example, suppose the researcher requires only government-employed individuals within the range of age 25 to 50. In that case, the panel provider will use a screening survey to identify those who qualify the parameter set for the academic research. This means all corporate employees will be screened out along with anyone below 25 and above 50.
Profiling and screening ensure that researchers only collect responses from those who represent the target population.
The ability to recruit desired responses and build surveys in one platform has become more pocket-friendly to conduct research. Contracting sample providers and conducting surveys separately tends to be costly.
In contrast, survey software providers give you access to verified and trusted panelists and enable you to build surveys with complete control and flexibility.
The core idea of the research panel is to ensure that all the panelists are authentic, engaged, entirely profiled, and identity secured in compliance with the law.
Panel management such as Voxco Audience can recruit participants from multiple channels. This practical and seamless recruitment positively ensures diversity and scale in the panel community.
Panel management with multiple sources at disposal guarantees the quality of data. Moreover, it also assures the presence of verified and professional respondents to meet the expectation of researchers.
Research panel companies also actively engage in protecting the data against fraud. Using technologies like AI and automation, panel providers can identify any fraudulent data or profile in real-time. They can look through thousands of data in real-time and detect threats that skew your survey result.
Research panel provides protection while you recruit participants who match your requirement. Moreover, by monitoring respondents’ feedback, they maintain consistent data quality. It is filtered out of the final data when fraudulent responses come through.
Voxco Audience is a fully automated research platform that offers you access to a pool of 10M+ consumers and B2B professionals. Researchers can conduct international surveys on any topic and recruit desired respondents from a broad spectrum of verified and loyal participants.
Voxco audience gives you the advantage of:
60% of proprietary sample in North America – 90 + data & profiling points – 20 to 30% save on ad-hoc rate card
A true solution to work smart and not hard, Voxco Audience empowers you;
Diversity: Voxco, a global omnichannel survey software, offers a network of over 10 million B2B and B2C respondents from over 50+ countries. The large pool of professional respondents and their verified profile boosts the probability of identifying respondents who fit the distinct criteria set for the research.
Quality: Voxco ensures that the respondents are respectfully profiled in compliance with GDPR. The respondents are deeply profiled in a consent-driven environment within legal and ethical rules. Deep profiling provides the appropriate recruitment of participants—additionally, a better experience for respondents.
Security: Voxco Audience support industry-leading quality & security checks to ensure the data is not compromised. The platform protects the data from any fraudulent activity that can skew the survey result. Security checks such as CAPTCHA, Maxmind Scores, Red-herring, and more adds layers of protection to recognize genuine respondents from frauds.