Methodology and Management
Survey methods and modes are a critical means to our ends, informed by research goals, sampling frames, budgetary realities and acute awareness of best practices in the field. We apply our understanding of each of these to advance our clients’ objectives.
Our primary practice relies on probability-based sampling, grounded in the principles of inferential statistics. Random-digit dialed telephone surveys, or in some cases probability-based internet samples or in-person interviews (as with our Afghanistan and Iraq polling), are our choice for research intended to reflect broader population values.
We’ve studied, contributed to and carefully follow the literature in optimal research design, with a close eye on sampling, coverage, systematic non-response, weighting procedures and quality control alike.
We sweat the details on our clients’ behalf. Field work vendors adhere to our precise specifications on sample sources and designs, interviewing procedures and oversight, respondent selection, questionnaire programming, weighting and deliverables. As one vendor described our approach: “I felt like I was like defending my dissertation all over again.”
In addition to tightly controlling design and field operations, we closely check programmed questionnaires, pre-test as required, monitor field work, anticipate challenges proactively and respond adaptively. It’s all how we ensure data quality.