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Rating places: a statistic exploration [Download PDF]
Ron Johnston
This paper suggests an alternative procedure to the rating of places according to the assumption that averaging data on a number of different criteria presents a valid representation of a general pattern. The UK media frequently publish articles reporting on research that rates places on various criteria, with indices that can be structured into league tables. Such indices are frequently based on statistical procedures that over-simplify the differences between places. Following a critique of such methods, an alternative procedure is presented and applied to the data used for the recent production of the UK Prosperity Index. It shows that the geographies of the 43 separate variables deployed in producing that index are more complex than can reasonably be assumed.
[Digital First] Published 3 April 2017

Book review: Mindframes: 6 enduring principles from 50 years of market research, by Wendy Gordon [Download PDF]
David Smith Vol. 59 No. 2, 2017 pp. 265–267
This book review looks at 'Mindframes: 6 enduring principles from 50 years of market research', by Wendy Gordon. The book is extremely insightful and useful for qualitative researchers. It features six key mindframes: the unconscious; making sense of difference; liking; why we behave like we do; language – beneath the surface of words; context – ripples of meaning. The reviewer observes that the fundamentals of market research may be changing over time, that they would like to see business acumen as a seventh mindframe and that the mindframe perspective should be utilised outside of qualitative research.
Published 17 March 2017

Book review: The twelve powers of a marketing leader: how to succeed by building customer and company value, by Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise [Download PDF]
Malcolm McDonald Vol. 59 No. 2, 2017 pp. 263–265
This book review looks at 'The twelve powers of a marketing leader: how to succeed by building customer and company value', by Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise. The book is aimed at practitioners but should have value for academics. It positions itself as a 'leadership book for marketers'. The twelve powers are divided into four categories: mobilising your boss; mobilising your colleagues; mobilising your team; mobilising yourself. The book argues that successful leadership is not just about personality. The findings are based on high quality data and analysis. The reviewer highly recommends the book, only criticising the quality of the print and the layout.
Published 17 March 2017

Successful dashboard implementation in practice: How to overcome implementation barriers and ensure long-term sustainability [Download PDF]
Alexander Skorka Vol. 59 No. 2, 2017 pp. 239–262
This paper examines how dashboard applications might be transformed in order to maintain interest and user attention. Although dashboards are an integral part of today’s marketing and market research environment, many dashboard applications share the unfortunate downside that, over time, the dashboard becomes less interesting and might be neglected by the user. The upside, however, is that you can do something about it. Consider the following questions: Are you backed by your senior management? Does your dashboard concept fit your corporate culture? Does your dashboard add value and does it support the user in their daily management tasks? Added Value 1: Have you decided on the right KPIs? Added Value 2: Are the data easy to understand? Added Value 3: Are you following a call-to-action approach? Added Value 4: Is your dashboard designed to gain insight? Added Value 5: Does your dashboard encourage user to take action? Do you have a dashboard vision? If you are able to answer all of these questions with ‘Yes’ right away, congratulations! You are a dashboard pro. If you can’t, here is some food for thought for you that will help transform short-term dashboard hype into a sustainable success story.
Published 17 March 2017

Shorter interviews, longer surveys: Optimising the survey participant experience while accommodating ever expanding client demands [Download PDF]
Harvir S. Bansal, James Eldridge, Avik Halder and Roddy Knowles Vol. 59 No. 2, 2017 pp. 221–238
This paper explores strategies on how to best balance expanding survey length with the need for concise, relevant and engaging surveys, deployed in a device agnostic format. When designing a survey we, as an industry, are often seeking a balance between competing design challenges: clients have diverse and extensive objectives, survey participants have short attention spans and an ever increasing suite of connected devices to choose from. Survey participants are voting with their feet when surveys are not compatible with the device they want to use, whether that is the smart device in their pocket or laptop they are working on, and this is very real for online panels. We are seeing increased abandon rates, with the effects of extended fieldwork times, smaller pools of sample to draw from and the possibility of introducing bias into our data. Having spent much of 2015 working with clients to design more smart-device friendly surveys, Research Now has explored innovative ways to shorten survey length without compromising on the amount of material covered. Following on from work by Johnson et al. (2014), Research Now conducted a piece of primary research exploring survey modularisation as discussed in the current paper. The approach splits questionnaires into modules, with participants receiving only a specific module, a subset of the overall survey. It is expected that a long questionnaire can be split and – when applied appropriately, designed properly and implemented effectively – data can yield results comparable with a full non-modular survey. Building on previous industry work on this topic, and primary research conducted by Research Now, we discuss our methodology, the results and conclusions from this work, and explore opportunities to automate the approach. The overall goal of this study and resulting paper is to explore how adapting survey research in this way improves rather than complicates the lives of both researchers and research participants. If we are not able to shorten our surveys, then survey modularisation may prove to be our best hope for a complete, representative dataset and we need to ensure that this is achieved accurately, confidently and efficiently at scale.
Published 17 March 2017

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