November 2012 Archives

UMN Housing Survey

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The below survey asks students express their housing preferences on the U of M campus. This is a very valid survey, because so many new apartment building are being built around the dinkytown area. Unlike the previous housing survey that I took, this one asks more open-ended questions and allows for more creativity from students who take the survey.

Because of the open-ended questioning, I believe that the creators of this survey need suggestions on where and how many apartment building to allow to be built. The open-ended questions reaffirm this assumption.

We are conducting a housing survey, and your response would be appreciated. Complete the survey by March 28th and be entered to win a new iPad!

Here is a link to the survey:

This link is uniquely tied to this survey and your email address. Please do not forward this message.

Thanks for your participation!

Peak Campus Management

Reuters 2012 Digital Report

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The Reuters Institute for the study of journalism released its 2012 digital report, which conveys new insights about digital news consumption around the world. The results showed that people in the US and the UK are more likely to view economic and business related news, and that they are also more likely to view news online than people in other European countries.

The survey methodology used for this study is available via the link below. Being an online survey, the methodology report admits that older people's consumption habits are under-represented. The study would be validated by including the responses of the older population. This could be accomplished by adding a phone interview survey for older people who don't have Internet access and thus are unable to complete the original survey. The contrast between the original results and the results from an older population would be interesting to compare, and it would give the findings more credibility in the research world.

Quantitative Research from Nielsen

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Nielsen ratings have been relied upon since the 1920s. While the Nielsen company originally measured radion ratings using techniques such as phone and mail surveys, they now use innovative digital techniques to provide television ratings for over 100 countries around the world. This link from the Nielsen website provides invaluable tips for improving digital advertising effectiveness.

Television networks use Nielsen ratings in order to find out what shows to run, and at which time to run them. Results such as reach and frequency allow media networks and cable television providers alike to maximize show exposure. Reach and frequency - measures of how many people see a program and how often they see it are telling statistics in the television business.

Market Research Process

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The article which I have attached to this post discusses the market research process. It first touches on the important parts of gathering research from primary sources such as interviews and focus groups, and then mentions the importance of utilizing pre-existing secondary research.

The most important part of this article is the section describing how to interpret the data you have previously gathered in market research. I learned how important it is to pay close attention to the demographics and psychographics of the parties that completed surveys and focus groups. Even if these groups gave satisfying answers, they might not be representative of a broader population, and thus they may be useless results.

Additionally, when presenting research findings, it is crucial to stress the useful facts even if they are bland in nature. Simply using advanced technology to provide meaningless results might impress your client, but they will lead you nowhere. Jazzing up the useful facts in order to impress clientele will help your market research benefit all parties involved.

Using Social Media for Research

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Social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook can be used effectively to gather research. These sites may not yield all the information necessary to answer a research question, but supplementing them into your research methodology will produce results.

First, monitoring social media buzz by tracking specific keywords can give insight into the frequency with which the specific product or aspect of your research is used online. Secondly, developing social media relationships with users can open up additional opportunities for surveys and online focus groups. The connections that can be established via social media networks can also be used for future research surveys and other qualitative research methods. This article from Entrepreneur explains how.

Bottled Water Pilot Survey

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I recently participated in a pilot survey regarding the usage and perceptions of bottled water. The survey, sent to me via email from professor Ball, contained a series of questions asking me how frequently I consume bottled water, who makes bottled water available to me, and what my friends perception of bottled water is.

The wording of some of the questions was very misleading. A few of the questions were double-barreled in that they asked me two different questions at the same time. Questions such as these are difficult to answer and can pose problems when coding the survey results. I feel that the survey designer should have broken these questions up into separate questions instead of putting them together. This would have given the survey more clarity.

An example of one of the more misleading questions: Answer both of the following - How many times do you drink bottled water each month, and do you think that bottled water is preferable to tap water?

Advantages of Secondary Research

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Taking the time to gather credible secondary research has many benefits for a researcher. Secondary research allows researchers to gain a deeper understanding of the intended research, and avoid mistakes that have been made before. Additionally, secondary research can prove to be cost effective, easy to access, and instrumental in crafting research questions in the most effective way possible. Secondary research can also be used to design alternate primary research methods, and in some cases, answer the original research question.

Overlooking research that has already been conducted is a mistake that can easily be prevented. When crafting a research question, it is likely that studies and surveys have already been conducted on the same research topic. Using these past research studies and surveys can save a researcher time and money. Secondary research is an invaluable research tool. The following article elaborates on the effectiveness of secondary research and also outlines additional techniques for gathering secondary research.

Apartment Association Survey

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I received this survey from a friend. It asks questions regarding the different amenities of the new apartment building that have been erected around campus. The questions it asks are mostly based on semantic differential scales and likert scales. I think that it is smart to construct the survey this way because it would take to long to code if there were many open-ended questions.

Dear Resident,

We have partnered up with the National Apartment Association and J Turner Research to conduct this short survey to understand student behavior related to Apartment Features, Amenities & Programs. The survey is confidential and the results will be presented at a National Student Housing Conference.

We appreciate your time and input. Please click on the link below to complete the survey. As a thank you note we will put your name for a $100 drawing.

If the link doesn't work then you can copy and paste it in your browser.

Thanks in advance for your participation,

J Turner Research on behalf of the National Apartment Association and Stadium View
Please note: If you do not wish to receive further emails from us, please click the link below, and you will be automatically removed from our mailing list.

Debt Problems and Educated Americans

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The Ohio State University published an article through its research and innovation communications department. It focused on the prevalence of debt problems before and after the financial crash of 2008. Specifically, more severe cases of debt were thought to plague uneducated people more so than people with college educations or above. However, this study suggests that this might not be entirely true.

Results from the study showed that higher incomes, bigger mortgages and car loans, and economical 'shoving' by lenders has caused many educated Americans to take on more debt than they can handle. The research came from data produced from the US Survey of Consumer Finances between 1992 and 2007. Just under 26,000 households were randomly sampled from different parts of the country. The link to the survey is attached below.

Importance of Validity

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In light of recent lectures on measuring the different types of validity when conducting research and surveys, I took it upon myself to expand upon the information found in the textbook and on lecture slides pertaining to validity.

What I concluded was that no matter how ingenius the construct may be in a particular research situation, it is essentially worthless if it cannot be operationalized and tested accordingly. For example, while it may be invaluable to discover if a relationship exists between alcohol use and social skills amongst college undergraduates, these two constructs (alcohol use and social skills) are difficult to operationalize, and thus difficult to validate in a research study. Without measurable variables, studies lack sufficient validity and can be disregarded. Essentially, the inability to operationalize constructs or ideas will make the process of designing a survey or research method almost impossible. The following source outlines different obstacles that arise when attempting to operationalize different research constructs.

Opinion Survey on Tobacco

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Received an email today asking me to complete a survey about my attitudes towards tobacco use on campus. I've attached the email invitation below...

I would be interested to see the results of this survey - specifically how many students complete this survey. My UMN email account is usually bombarded with survey requests, and this makes me reluctant to participate in all of them.

You have been randomly selected to participate in a survey to collect information about attitudes and perceptions regarding tobacco usage and exposure on the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus.

To take the 10 minute survey, Click here to begin...

By completing this 10 minute survey you will be eligible to win one of five $100 gift certificates to the University of Minnesota Bookstore.

Whether you are a tobacco user or non-tobacco user, your feedback and opinions are extremely important. The information you provide will assist the Tobacco-Free Initiative Work Group in making recommendations regarding the tobacco use policy on the Twin Cities campus. The 10 minute survey was created by the Tobacco-Free Initiative Work Group and is administered by the Office of Measurement Services and Boynton Health Service on behalf of the work group.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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