4 common survey errors and the advantages of online panels
This article focuses on how online panels and surveys can reduce some of the common errors found when executing traditional surveys. Sampling error, the article points out, is still likely to be an issue since you are not 100% sure of who is taking your survey. Yet, with the new technology and data bases on website users, we can be more certain that we are getting a strong sample when selecting prospective survey takers. The coverage error the article discusses also ties back into sampling error, as it addresses how it is easier to be sure your sample is taken from a range and variety of respondents, not just from one group. Measurement error is also reduced with online panels because you can test a survey more easily. This allows the surveyor to see trouble questions or problem areas that respondents have and fix them quickly and efficiently to maximize the best results possible. Non-response error is also lessened by online panels since surveys can be designed so that respondents may not skip questions. Since there will always be error in surveys and it cannot be completely taken out there can still be skew in results, but online panels reduce the amount to which these four factors play into that skew.
I believe that this particular article gives strong selling points to convert to online panels. I, personally, believe that people often feel rushed if asked to take a survey in person, but would be more likely to do it on their own time or in the comfort of their own home. There are also questions that people would not want others to see their responses to, so online panels can benefit those types of surveys, too.
On the other hand, there are a lot of trust issues with online surveys. Online surveys are easily mistaken for pop-up ads or spam and are not trusted sources by viewers. People would also not necessarily trust that they will receive that monetary payment or other type of gift as a result of taking the survey, because it may appear "sketchy" from being online.
The final point I would like to make is that though people may say they are a 60 year old female with 5 cats, the person taking the survey could actually be a 45 year old male with 2 dogs. The point being, as the surveyor, you may be fooled by fake or false accounts that appear to be taking your survey, which, in the end, can throw off valuable data.