Norstat at the German Online Research Conference 2019

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Competition! Best practice

Every year countless surveys are conducted. At GOR, six companies got the opportunity to introduce the most innovative of them. The topics ranged from local / long distance traffic services, a redesign of the mundane conjoint test to the use of voice messages and video chats instead of classic open answers. All contributions showed the progress of technology and its many possible applications.

The presentations provided ideas for our own studies and that the wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented - sometimes only the presentation or angle has to change and existing technological possibilities and future evolvements should be integrated into online research.

The winners of the Best Practice Awards (HTW Berlin, Gapfish, pangea labs, Insius) showed in "Automation of the Real voice of the Costumer. The use of video interaction in online interviews" how important and content-relevant it is to elicit more content from ‘lazy’ panelists via voice to text or video to text options.

The age of fake news

Another interesting track had the topic “Fake News, Fake Users”.
Claudia Loebbecke from the University of Cologne showed how add blocker companies are trying to develop software that can identify fake news by the use of Artificial Intelligence and Human Crowds. With such software internet users would be able to block fake news in the future in the way we now use to block adds.
In another presentation, Astrid Carolus and her team from the University Würzburg analyzed whether children can identify fake news in different circumstances. The aim of the project is to give guidelines to educators how to prepare students in a world where it is getting more and more difficult to distinguish fake news from facts.     

Post it!

In addition to good coffee and a few snacks, there were 34 posters on display. Various studies on a wide range of topics were shown by their creators and underlined with plenty of information.
Our colleague, Marie-Luise Nau, also contributed a poster on which we looked back on the last 20 years of GOR and tried to show past and current trends in Market Research.

Attention please - what is representative?

In our opinion, the block "Sample Quality and Representativeness in Online Research" was the best attended section. Probably not only because we were part of the presentation and ensuing panel discussion, but who knows…
Norstat, forsa and Civey, discussed this delicate topic. While forsa pushed for a "golden standard" for market research, Norstat used a case study in Sweden with actively recruited participants to show the extent by which weighings should be considered on several levels. Civey advocates for a new approach that collects lots of data from many sources and is supposed to create representativeness through (complex) mathematical calculations. Unfortunately, there was not much time for the discussion round after the presentations for this very important and interpretable subject: Therefore, we expect the debates to continue in the future. Which definition of representativeness should be used and how can it be achieved in the best possible way?

If you can’t make it good make it shiny – the importance of data visualization

Our colleague, Florian Tress with Oliver Tabino from Team Q, also organized the Track Data Visualization for the second year around and again this was very well received.
We saw really interesting presentations and very different approaches to this subject. Paul Simmering of Team Q talked about ‘Shiny for interactive data visualization: a case study’, which uses an online database to visualize data.
Marcel Gemander did a very entertaining presentation on how he created his website “Donald Says”, which visualizes the impact of Donald Trump‘s statements and actions on the news.
Nina Corradini of the visual Agency presented ‘Visualization of Data – Then and Now’, showing how the presentation of data and findings has evolved throughout the centuries.

After many very informative and interesting sessions, the GOR concluded at "Zum Scheuen Reh" – a great location with light finger food and music where the participants could mingle, talk and network – and dance!

The early bird…

Despite a boisterous night, only a few did not make it to the first session of the second day – despite it starting at 9 o'clock. Our colleague, Dominik Racké, was invited to give a lecture on ‘Data Interpretation in the Age of Data Democratization’ at this ungodly hour which was well received.
Our study assesses the extent of data literacy and tries to identify best practices for sharing data with broad and potentially unqualified audiences.

Going Virtual

Afterwards we were convinced by the futuristic, qualitative approaches of Michael Björn (Ericsson ConsumerLab, Sweden) "Using VR for Focus Groups: Risks and Rewards". The idea behind this is to transform typical offline focus groups into an online focus group using virtual reality where the participants meet in a virtual space. This offers a greater range of participants (no longer site-specific) and saves costs for room rental, travel, etc. However, in addition to considerable technical requirements, the discussions themselves can bring the interviewers to their limits. Conventional norms are most often linked to physical presence. Virtual participants, who feel largely anonymous, behave rude and disrespectful, like we have seen e.g. on social media. Nonetheless an exciting topic, which definitely justifies further investigations.
All in all, we were extremely satisfied with the program and organization of the GOR and are already looking forward to next year. For the rest of 2019, we took home a head full of ideas to explore further.