The Data Indicated…

data outlining head - © agsandrew -

After attending the WAPOR Annual Conference, the ESOMAR Annual Congress, and the MRA Corporate Researchers Conference last month, I was flipping through the notebook of rants and raves that I create as I listen to speakers. Interestingly, even at these conferences, where the best of the best speak, I heard a certain phrase repeatedly. “The […]

Boring Charts Are Often the Most Informative

disease funding and fatalities chart

  Too often data is dressed up in ways that distract from the underlying message. Take this infographic about donations to fight diseases vs. the annual mortality rate for those diseases: The first problem with it is that you have to look in three places to understand any disease: the legend, the Money Raised column, […]

The Advantages of Cell vs. Column Comparisons in Crosstabs

Crosstab with cell comparisons

Consider the following table, which shows the relationship between preference for different brands of cola and age: Which cells on this table are worth examining more closely? The first answer to this question is that we should look at any cells that relate to existing hypotheses. However, more often than not, we have no hypotheses. […]

Living in a World of Significance

Sphere made of numbers

Guess what? It’s 2014! The year of Super Bowl XLVIII©, the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and a whole host of other, generally not-that-impactful events, anniversaries, and changes. One event that will happen in 2014, though, is something which happens every two years: U.S. national elections. […]

With Your Head in the Clouds, You Can See the Forest For the Trees

sample word cloud from WordTree

The ideal solution to analyzing a few hundred verbatim responses to a survey has yet to be found. Most text analytic programs aren’t much help here – once trained, they shine at processing tens of thousands of verbatims, but they are not much help with 200 verbatims. Yet 200 verbatims is enough to require hours […]

21 Tips for Writing Research Reports

Typewriter close up shot, concept of Market Report

In a CASRO webinar yesterday, John Gilfeather of Koski Research shared 21 tips for writing research reports. Prepare an outline. Just like you were taught in middle school, it’s best to organize your work on a single sheet of paper before you start writing. “Don’t assume that questionnaire order is the best way to write […]

You Can’t Dash Off Mobile Dashboards

data visualization box of icons

There’s a good chance you’re reading this on your smartphone or tablet. Now imagine if it inspired you to look up something on one of your company dashboards. Would you be able to read it, navigate it, use it? Too often these dashboards weren’t designed with mobile in mind. Dashboards for the PC, whether delivered […]

All Hail the Humble Median

median abstract image

At the 2013 Inbound Marketing conference, Nate Silver said, “The average is still the most useful mathematical tool ever invented.” I agree that it is powerful, but I would argue that in fact it is the median that is the most useful mathematical tool ever invented. This lesson was brought home to me as I […]

Interpreting Net Scores and Mean Scores for the Likelihood to Recommend Metric

calculator on graphs

How do people interpret mean scores and net scores? Is there an advantage of using one metric over the other? I am studying these two different ways of summarizing data to determine the usefulness of each method. A popular metric in the field of customer experience management (CEM) is based on the following question: “How likely […]