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2013 Year-in-Review: Top 5 uSamp Blog Posts

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Data, whether it was being leaked, mined, or modified by “big,” was on everyone’s minds in 2013. Mobile technology continued to push forward with lower-cost, higher-tech, sharper-pixelated options emerging in the market; while telecommuting, something that seemed the natural progression of the digitally savvy millennial, took a step backward. Many of these major developments also rippled through the market research community, so uSamp’s leaders took to the blog to weigh in and offer commentary on how these changes shaped the direction of our industry.

Here are our top five blog posts from 2013:


#5 An App Alternative: How the Mobile Web Expands Reach

A late entry in the year but an obvious contender for top blog post. In this piece, uSamp director of product Allen Vartazarian explains why mobile apps are not the only game in town when it comes to mobile market research.

#4 The Virtual Office Place: Productive or Disruptive?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to pull the company plug on all telecommuting sparked huge debates everywhere from the water cooler to Twitter and more. In an age where technology has made working remotely so easy, the ban seemed a counter-intuitive move on Mayer’s part. We took the polarizing debate to our panel and received surprising results, which we pulled together in this infographic.

#3 Big Data in Market Research: Big Deal or Big Hype?

Big data was certainly the buzzword of record early in the year, that is, until over-zealous jargon junkies sucked every last drop of meaning out of it. And while data may be the new gluten-free in the media, it’s a familiar face for those in the MR space. In this piece, our former director of analytics, Siva Venkataraman, took a moment to demystify big data and articulate its real potential.

#2 Mobile Apps and Data Privacy: How Much Information Are You Willing to Share?

In hindsight, it seems less surprising that during a year when we all marveled at the power of numbers, we also become painfully aware of abuses in data collection. With the public outcry over NSA practices, we couldn’t resist polling Americans about where they stood on personal data and privacy.

#1 A Geofencing Primer

2013 was a year to stay on the fence—the geofence, that is. One of the most exciting strategies to emerge in mobile market research was geofencing, the ability to use location-based technology in smartphones to connect with customers in-store, at the very point of purchase or consumption. We found this topic so interesting, we devoted an entire three-part series to it. Click here for parts two and three.

December 30th, 2013

Posted in Industry Trends

Quirks Article: Data Privacy and Social Media

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by Dinaz Kachhi, Manager of Research Insights, uSamp

The following article originally appeared in Quirk’s June 2012 Newsletter.

“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen.” – George Orwell, 1984

We may be nearly 30 years past Orwell’s apocalypse but we are closer than ever to his Big Brother predictions. While readers may have once shuddered to think that the walls of privacy might crumble to reveal private thoughts publicly, the above quote seems but a mundane observation in an age where status updates and hashtags make public what was once private – or at least confined to a tight-knit circle. Security concerns are becoming more pronounced, as more and more people engage in social networks and as data breaches force them to think and interact differently.

The topic of privacy is especially important in the world of survey research. Our industry is built on the premise of getting inside people’s minds. We pride ourselves on being able to tap in to the private and make it public for market consumption. We are not only trying to gauge perceptions but also to understand how demographics impact online interactions.

To that end, uSamp conducted a study on social media usage across three groups (U.S. and U.K. general population and Hispanics) to compare, contrast and better understand of how social media usage and willingness to share information varies across and within these groups. The studies were completed over the course of six months. The U.S. and U.K. studies were conducted with 600 respondents each and the Hispanic study was conducted with n of 650, all drawn from uSamp’s online panel. The sample was controlled for age and gender.

The results outlined variation in usage of social media platforms by these groups, along with differences in measures taken to control privacy. Additionally, there were distinct trends in the types of activities performed and willingness to share information on social networks, demonstrating different patterns for each group.

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June 13th, 2012

Posted in Data Quality

Best Practices for Panel Management: Recruitment Sourcing

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by Lisa Wilding-Brown, VP Panel Operations, uSamp

Recruiting and managing an online research panel is often a challenging and complex endeavor. The respondent lifecycle poses challenges every step of the way. Methodology, management philosophy, sourcing, rewards and technology all play a key role in generating high quality online sample. These fundamentals can be further complicated by the financial investment required to develop large-scale research panels. As clients evaluate panel providers, there are many standards that should be considered to ensure success from both methodological and financial perspectives.

Panels are not bottomless wells, and like anything that lives and breathes, they need to be nurtured and fed. The following blog series will illustrate the life cycle of a panel by addressing recruitment sourcing, registration, profiling, routing, incentives, and respondent engagement. Hopefully, this detailed look will encourage an examination of our industry’s health, and inspire future discussion for improvement.

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May 16th, 2012

Posted in Best Practices

What You Should Know About Tracking Studies (Part II)

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by Scott Worthge, AVP, Survey Solutions, uSamp

Part II (read Part I)

Sourcing Respondents

These are just a few of the many issues that trackers bring to a researcher. At uSamp, we are frequently asked how the respondents for trackers can be sourced, what options are available and what are the benefits and drawbacks of each? Very generally, using an online panel, as well as an intercept methodology for a River solution, are both applicable. Here are some aspects to consider before making a choice about supporting ongoing data collection.

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March 14th, 2012

Posted in Online Research

Taking the Pulse of the Market: What You Should Know About Tracking Studies

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by Scott Worthge, AVP, Survey Solutions, uSamp

This is an introduction to our series on tracking studies. Over the next few posts we will be touching on some of the salient issues around this particular type of project. Why are tracking studies important? How are they executed? How are respondents sourced? And what key questions should you be asking your sample suppliers about their procedure? We hope you will share any examples, tips or opinions you have on trackers with us during this exploration.

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March 12th, 2012

Posted in Online Research

Anti-Social Shopping: 83 Percent of UK Consumers Don’t Care What Friends Think

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Only 1% of people have bought something via a social media site, but 30% have shopped via smartphone, the findings of a new U.K. study from uSamp have revealed.

The study of online shopping habits among 1,195 people was conducted by uSamp.™


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February 29th, 2012

Posted in European Outlook

Analysis of a Hashtag: What Twitter Means for Market Research

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by Ben Leet, Sales Director, uSamp

Last week, while travelling home from work, a trivial tweet of mine was retweeted by a complete stranger. My initial reaction was one of annoyance; I didn’t really want complete strangers knowing that I was frustrated by my train service that day. But then I started to question myself… why had I put a hashtag into the tweet citing the train company by name if I didn’t want it to be found in the Twittersphere?

What even compelled me to tweet in the first place? Sure I was frustrated at the delays, and the probable untruths that were being used as explanations for these delays, but did that tweet improve the situation? And more importantly, did it make me feel better that I’d voiced my anger directly at the train company, who may or may not be paying attention to the random rant of a customer on Twitter?

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February 22nd, 2012

Posted in Industry Trends

Sample Aggregation in Market Research: Critical Questions to Ask Online Suppliers

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by Matt Dusig, Co-Founder & CEO, uSamp





If you’ve worked in the industry long enough, you’ve experienced a five-alarm fire drill. You’ve carefully plotted out what you believe will be the perfectly executed project. Everything is running as scheduled when suddenly, incidence drops without warning, response rates tank, and the client unexpectedly adds that last minute “little” change that screens out potential respondents. Your best-laid plans are no longer suitable and more resources are needed—fast. What do you do to keep your project alive and your client satisfied? Did you say…aggregation?

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February 15th, 2012

Posted in Panel

INFOGRAPHIC: uSamp Datapoint Study on Social Media Habits in the UK

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Men are more likely to share information about themselves on social networking sites than women apart from when it comes to shopping, according to new research from uSamp™.

uSamp surveyed 600 adults in the UK in January 2012.

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February 13th, 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: Why 13% Don’t Engage on Social Media Sites

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February 2nd, 2012