Trust In Data Collection


When did everyone start trying to differentiate their company by selling “our 12 step respondent validation process?” I know that we here at watchLAB certainly talk to our clients about it. But it’s just way too close to bragging about how you keep the least amount of cockroaches in your kitchen.

I’ve worked in facilities for almost 20 years and I can’t remember when it changed. I used to feel a partnership with my clients, a mutual respect and now we just simply manage to the lowest common denominator—as though we’re expected to fail. As though we expect ourselves to fail. Every study is designed with as many safeguards as possible to make sure that one professional respondent doesn’t make it into “my” project. I realized a few weeks back that out of the thousands and thousands of people that participate in our studies, we have pinpointed about 125 people that are the troublemakers in our database. It pains me to say that 85% of our validation processes are geared toward that group of less than 1%.

I think it comes down to trust. As Data Collection firms, we have to earn the trust of our clients but we also have to start trusting and empowering our people on the front lines to make better decisions. We have to invest in them and give them the tools to make those decisions.

We have to be focused on results. Until our clients really feel we as data collectors are concerned about the results and not just checking the boxes, putting our hands up and saying “we did our job,” we will always be selling “our 12 steps to meeting the minimum requirements,” instead of sharing “our top 5 best secrets on how to find better respondents.”


Over the coming weeks, I plan on delving deeper into what watchLAB will be doing and what I believe we, as an industry, need to be doing in order to remove that gray cloud over all our heads. I want to look into everything from how we can attract the best and brightest, to finding better ways to engage our respondents, utilizing the technology built for us, and becoming better leaders and motivators to keep data collection on the cutting edge. I think it’s time we all learn how to bring the quality, trust and life back into data collection.

Brian Parker

Brian Parker

CEO at watchLAB
Brian originally wanted to be an engineer until he encountered his first college physics class. While he can still do math quickly in his head, his real claims to fame are his seafood gumbo from scratch and hopeless addiction to golf.
Brian Parker

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One Comment on “Trust In Data Collection

  1. Pingback: No One Goes to College to do Marketing Research - watchLAB Blog | watchLAB Blog

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