Four leading organizations in the research industry have decided to join forces to tackle fraud and enhance data quality. The Insights Association, MRS, SampleCon, and ESOMAR will collaborate on identifying and mitigating fraud, bias, and data quality risks in qualitative research, both online and in-person. The organizations will also focus on improving the research participant experience.
ESOMAR’s Head of Public Affairs and Professional Standards, Geraldine Proust, said, “ESOMAR’s Professional Standards Committee have identified industry confidence in sample as a major topic to address.” She also expressed her delight in being part of the collaborative industry effort to sustain trust in the collective knowledge generated by the industry.
Melanie Courtright, CEO of the Insights Association, emphasized the need for a concerted industry-wide effort to combat data quality threats, stating, “These issues are global and persistent and must be addressed in a concerted industry-wide manner.”
The organizations plan to facilitate forums, presentations, and discussions with experts and thought leaders to raise awareness of key topics. The Insights Association’s Data Integrity Initiative will host a panel discussion on these issues at IA’s Annual Conference in April. Each association will lead efforts to create content, standards, and training around key functional areas of quality, including language, measurement, activation, participant experience, and sampling technology.
Jane Frost, chief executive of MRS, emphasized the need to confront fraudulent activity, which is becoming increasingly sophisticated, particularly in online research. She stressed that poor research can have a catastrophic impact on decision-making and that the delivery of quality data and insight must be prioritized.
Rachel Alltmont, President of SampleCon, remarked that the industry faces the challenge and opportunity to join efforts to fortify trust in data insights. Meetings are already underway to formulate best practice guidelines and coordinate universal terms and definitions. Research, including fielding a survey about fraud detection, is being discussed.