Sigma Validation - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions at SigmaValidation

Q: We rely on our suppliers to collect and validate our consumer research studies -- won’t they use Sigma's Duplicate Search programs if they think it's appropriate?

A: You should rely on your research supplier to handle the entire process from submitting respondent names to reviewing the Sigma reports. However, many suppliers will only take this extra step for clients who specifically request it. Sigma's Duplicate Search programs are known to identify problems, which lead to the need to replace respondents, and sometimes interviews from entire cities. What the supplier doesn't know by not using Sigma, might not hurt them. But it could definitely impact your company's bottom line if you're making incorrect conclusions and flawed marketing decisions based on bad data.

Q: We only use the most reputable research firms and field houses -- if there any problems uncovered, wouldn't they be insignificant?

A: Even the best research firms and field houses can't easily catch and identify professional respondents and cheating interviewers. In addition, for online research, they don't always know if there was a breakdown in the data collection process.  It's highly unusual for a job to run through Sigma's Duplicate Search programs without identifying at least one respondent who participated in another study within the past 3 months for in-person studies; and/or within the past 30 days for online research.  The average duplication for first submissions from any given field agency is typically 8% (i.e., 8 out of 100 interviewers). By the second or third time this agency is used, the matches increase to 16%. The more you use Sigma, the more matches you will find in your studies, and the better the quality of your research results and marketing decisions.

Q: We use telephone validation. Why should we also use Sigma's Duplicate Search programs?

A: Telephone validation is an ideal way to make sure respondents participated in a study and understood the questions. However, when provided with an incentive, a respondent (or interviewer) often will say they have met your screening requirement -- even when they haven't. For these cases, Sigma's Duplicate Search programs are the only way to validate respondent histories. Furthermore, in this day of answering machines, Caller ID, and voice mail, it's more difficult than ever to reach and recruit respondents -- never mind attempting to contact them a second time for validation purposes. With Sigma's Duplicate Search programs, there's no need for recontacting respondents. In addition, a greater percentage of respondents can be validated in a shorter period of time, for significantly less cost.

Q: We have a limited budget for research and, especially, for validation. How much does it cost to run Sigma's Duplicate Search programs?

A: The average cost is less than $0.60 per respondent, depending on how many records are processed each month.  However, consider the cost of not running your respondents through the program -- professional respondents, unmet screening requirements and cheating interviewers will create bad data that can lead to incorrect conclusions and flawed marketing decisions.

Q: Time is an issue -- how long does it take to validate our research through Sigma?

A: For a nominal fee, your job can be processed in as little as three hours. Standard delivery is 24 business hours.

Q: What type of research studies can be validated through Sigma's Duplicate Search programs?

A: All types of online and in-person quantitative and qualitative studies are validated through Sigma's Duplicate Search programs including panels, river samples, mall-intercepts, pre-recruits, telephone, focus groups, and one-on-ones.

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