Grant Gross’ excellent story in CIO.com goes into more detail about why you can’t pin the exit polling failures of last week’s general election on big data. Paul and I use these failures as a starting point to discuss the lack of quality in survey research, particularly in the B2B tech marketing space. Both of us have been the recipients of lousy survey “results,” or more accurately, wishful thinking on the part of marketing and PR people. So save everyone’s energies: don’t produce these 200-person SurveyMonkey polls that have no real meaning. Better yet, when a reporter wants to see the survey instrument and the underlying methodology, send it. You’ll gain plenty of street cred and may even get some ink too.
Our recommendations are to pay careful attention to survey size, understand the sampling methodology, make use of a professional pollster or research analyst or statistician and learn from the experts.
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