Our worldwide Internet panels set a new standard in data quality and comparability from country to country. These double opt-in panels are all carefully recruited and rigorously managed. Recruiting of new panel members is continuous. Nonresponders, respondents who spend too little time completing a questionnaire, and nonserious responders are continuously purged from our panels. Sophisticated sampling software balances the sample in each country to make it as representative as possible. The sample is metered out slowly to ensure equal response across time zones and frequency of Internet access. All survey participants are fairly paid for their time, and the number of surveys per person is limited. Here are our primary panels:
American Consumer Opinion®: American Consumer Opinion® is a worldwide
online panel that reaches over seven million
consumers in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Consumers can sign up to
become members in one of 11 languages. Complete demographic profiles are maintained for each
Decision Analyst® originally created the American Consumer Opinion® panel in early 1986 as a mail-survey panel. Members were personally invited to participate in the panel by telephone, and answered the surveys via mail. Since the surveys were conducted by mail, membership was limited to the United States. Members primarily tested and provided their feedback on new products. By 1995, the mail-survey panel had approximately 20,000 members.
Then, with the development of the Internet, the panel was converted to online in 1996 and membership was opened up to all countries across the globe. The panel currently includes over seven million men, women, and children throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia in over 200 countries.
American Consumer Opinion® applies its advanced technology and systems to building, maintaining, and managing some of the highest quality online panels in the world. Panels are carefully balanced, continually refreshed, and systematically cleaned via high-tech and in-person methods. Usage is strictly controlled. Nonresponders, speedsters, and cheaters are continually purged.
Technology Advisory Board®: The Technology Advisory Board® is a worldwide group of technology professionals—engineers, scientists, computer scientists, information systems professionals, software developers, web developers, and executives in technology industries. The Technology Advisory Board® was established in 1999 and is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.
Executive Advisory Board®: The Executive Advisory Board® is a worldwide group of managers and executives (from those in smaller companies to those in the largest corporations) who help shape the future by participating in online research surveys and discussions. The Executive Advisory Board® was established in 2000 and is available in English, French, and German.
Physicians Advisory Council®: The Physicians Advisory Council® is a worldwide group of physicians and surgeons who help influence the future of medicine and healthcare by participating in online opinion surveys and discussions. The Physicians Advisory Council® was established in 1999 and is available in English, French, and German. Board certifications, patients per week, percentage of surgery, years of experience, and over 180 specialties have been gathered on all members.
Medical Advisory Board®: The Medical Advisory Board® is a multi-country group of healthcare professionals who help influence the future of healthcare by participating in online opinion surveys and discussions. Members of this panel are in the fields of, dentistry, lab technology, nursing, diet and nutrition, optometry, pathology, pharmacy, radiology, hospital/medical office administration, or veterinary. The Medical Advisory Board® was established in 2003 and is only in English.
Contractor Advisory Board®: The Contractor Advisory Board® is a group of building and construction contractors from across the United States, Canada, and other countries, and it spans the residential, light commercial, heavy commercial, and industrial sectors of the building industry. All types of contractors (general contractors, HVAC/R, electrical, tile and masonry, plumbing, landscape, roofing, drywall, painting, pool, fencing, excavation, insulation, framing, glass, remodeling, siding, fire protection, environmental controls, security, etc.) are invited to join. The Contractor Advisory Board® was established in 1999 and is currently in English only.
Panel members’ privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity are always protected.
We have restrictions on how often our panel members can be contacted. No panel member can take more than two surveys per month (once a panelist takes a survey, he/she is excluded for two weeks from all other samples). Our typical panel member takes three to five surveys per year.
Panel members have complete control of their membership accounts and can log in at any time to update, modify, or delete their information. After completing surveys, panelists are asked to review and update their membership accounts. Additionally, all members of each panel are asked to update their membership accounts at least once a year.
Our online help desk provides assistance to respondents during surveys.
Icion® panel-tracking software monitors members’ participation in surveys, and inactive members are deleted from our panels.
Our panels are screened periodically for product/service usage, covering such topics as car ownership and type, shopping habits, eating-out habits, beverages used, pet ownership, medical ailments, and credit cards owned.
Decision Analyst carefully tracks surveys by topic/ category. Panelists who participate in a study on a particular product category are automatically excluded for six months from participating in a study for the same category.
Icion® is an advanced multivariate sampling system designed and programmed by Decision Analyst.
The system automatically pulls probability samples representative of a survey’s target
population or target audience, simultaneously balanced by geography, gender, age, income, and
other variables. Icion® creates a multi layered series of nested quotas (a large matrix) and adjusts
those quotas by estimated response rates for different demographic and geographic groups
(i.e., each cell in the matrix). This is the template used to pull the final sample, with random
selection of individuals within each quota cell. The sample is metered out slowly over a period of
time, to allow time for all panelists to respond before any additional sample is released. The
system monitors completed surveys and either closes sample cells down as quota targets are
achieved or releases more sample to fill open quota cells.
Icion® is also an engine to bring samples in from many different sources and to balance and integrate those samples into probability sample that is representative of target populations. Different sources of sample can be comingled and combined to create more random and more representative samples. All samples flow in through the Sleuth™ fraud detection system to screen out duplicates and questionable respondents.
During the mid-1990s, Decision Analyst helped pioneer the development of
online research technologies and continues to be a world leader in online research methods. These
online technologies and systems provide the platform for advanced analytics, modeling, and
optimization. Continuing investments in people, technology, and analytics keep Decision Analyst at the
forefront of online research. Decision Analyst’s double opt-in online panels are rigorously managed,
fairly compensated, and continuously refreshed. Survey response rates are high. *Decision Analyst uses
digital fingerprinting technology to verify all respondents’ identities. * Our panels are whitelisted by all
of the world’s major Internet service providers (ISPs). Plus, ISPs are monitored during surveys to make
sure survey invitations are delivered.
* Images and videos in surveys are protected by proprietary technology. * Panel usage is limited. The average panelist participates in only three to five surveys per year. * An online help desk is available 24/7 to provide assistance to respondents during surveys. * All panels are continuously inspected and cleaned by database experts. * Quality assurance traps are included in all screeners and questionnaires. * All panels are compliant with ESOMAR standards and guidelines. * Decision Analyst adheres to all applicable laws (COPPA, HIPAA, etc.) and is a party to the Safe Harbour Agreement between the U.S. and the European Union, certifying protection of personal data.
Our panels are rigorously and continuously cleaned by computer systems looking for registration errors, duplicate registrations, false information during registration, etc.
Screening questionnaires and survey questionnaires contain “traps” to catch cheaters and sloppy respondents, who are deleted from our panels.
As open-end questions in surveys are coded, respondents who appear to be cheating and/or answering questions in a haphazard manner are deleted from the study and from our panels.
During the survey process, a series of quality assurance processes are employed to look for suspicious responses (straight-line answers, taking the survey too quickly, inconsistent answers,etc.). Problem respondents are deleted from the study and from our panels.
For the specialty panels (such as Physicians Advisory Council®), each panel member’s occupation is verified.
A database of “cheaters” is maintained so that these individuals will be prevented from registering to become a member of any Decision Analyst panel again.
A digital fingerprinting technology is used and designed to prevent survey respondents from taking the same online survey more than once. This feature “fingerprints” a computer by running through algorithms that use a large number of data points collected from the machine.
Decision Analyst’s clients have access to online survey results via a secure portal. The Logician® reporting system permits users to review topline results or run their own cross- tabs. Tabulated results can be exported to Excel for charting and graphing.
Sleuth™ an active fraud-detection system that works in parallel with Icion® (the sampling system). Sleuth™ searches for evidence of cheating or fraud on the part of potential survey participants, based on: