The company recognizes that in order to gain a competitive edge in the market, high levels of quality data must be obtained. Therefore, the quality of the data is paramount and a basic requirement for the company to achieve its business objectives. This manual provides guidelines that will be applied during market research for the company’s products.
To ensure that the data collected is useful in decision making, it is critical that the procedures used to collect the data are effective to ensure quality of the data stored in the company’s database. To ensure proper quality assurance during data collection, the following requirements need to be adhered:
- The organization should ensure fieldwork purchases comply with the standards set by the company. Reasons must be stated and recorded where fieldwork purchases cannot be obtained from accredited suppliers. Validation and quality control procedures must be documented and should also comply with the set standards of the company.
- The following information shall be provided by field-based interviewers and recruiters for accountability as well as confirmation that they are qualified for the assignment:
- Application forms
- Date of interview or date highlighting when the acceptance letter was received prior to training.
- Training report form highlighting the various trainings attended, the dates as well as the length of training.
- Documents confirming previous training where reduced training is provided
- Field based individuals must possess a report of accompaniment on first assignment
- Projects worked on
- Appraisal reports
- Identity card showing the individuals social security number
- Actions to be taken against deficient work from individuals should be clearly stated
It is important that the information is accessible electronically and the above information is available for a minimum of 6 months since they were lase used.
Information about Recruiters and Interviewers
Interviewers and recruiters shall receive a current copy of the market research code of conduct on appointment for the survey assignment. Recruiters and interviewers should ensure that they understand the content in the code of conduct before embarking on any assignment. The code of conduct will cover at least the following areas:
- Roles and responsibilities of interviewers to respondents
- Responsibilities of the fieldwork team to the general public and the business community.
In case the organization makes any changes to the code of conduct, it must inform the recruiters and interviewers of such changes.
All recruiters and interviewers should ensure that they possess a valid identity card at all times during assignments. Supervisors will be responsible for checking the validity of the identity cards. However, in the event that interviewers and recruiters are issued with temporary cards, they will be valid only for a month, during which a valid identity will be processed and handed to them.
All interviewers, recruiters and supervisors will be issued with training manuals specific to every assignment. The manual shall contain general training instructions relevant to the tasks they will engage in. Training manuals will be provided by the organization. The date of revision and replacement of manuals must be done in the event any revisions or updates are made to the training manuals.
Supervisors, interviewers and recruiters must be adequately briefed before embarking on any assignment. Below are the details that must be included in the project brief:
- The date the field assignment will take place
- The sample population the particular survey is targeting
- Fieldwork methodology for the project
- Project requirements
- Attendance register for records
Prior to the commencement of any project recruiters shall receive clear instructions pertaining to every project. The instructions will be clear and specific and will include the following information concerning the project:
- Dates for the fieldwork and meeting time for the group
- Criteria used during recruitment
- Targets that must be met during every assignment
- Number of respondents to be interviewed for each group as well as the maximum number of respondents to be interviewed
Record keeping must be done as proof that recruiters and interviewers have received project briefs and instructions.
A record of confirmation should be kept from all respondents recruited to confirm the availability of all respondents. Moderator feedback should be recorded after every assignment. The feedback should include the following information:
- Location of the venue
- The hosting of the group
Training of Interviewers and Recruiters
All training materials should be kept safely for easy retrieval. Either supervisors to the project or organization’s staff shall train recruiters and trainers. They must be adequately trained before training the recruiters and interviewers to ensure that they capable of carrying out all the tasks asked of them. In the event that a new supervisor is appointed, training needs for that individual will be identified and recorded so that they can be trained.
To ensure presence of everyone during training the dates and length of training shall be recorded and every trainee shall sign off on documents that show the date and length of time the training has been carried out.
The main aim of data validation is to ensure that data gathering has been carried out according to the briefing instructions and general training given. Individuals appointed by the organization to carry out data validation must be adequately trained and experienced in data collection and validation. To ensure accuracy, data collected must be validated by at least 2 people. This activity shall be carried out in a systematic way and rotational basis. A high degree of thoroughness from validators is required to ensure a high degree of accuracy.
Validation of fieldwork assignments shall be done on a regular basis and the number of validation checks attempted must be documented. In the event that validation identifies discrepancies in the assignment, the following actions must be taken:
- Recording and documenting the discrepancy and the corrective measure taken
- Conducting further validation by rechecking all the work carried out by the individual to ensure similar discrepancies are not found in other assignments.
- Affected individuals must undergo additional training as part of the continual approval process to improve future work.
Where the organization deems that the validation exercise is inappropriate or impossible to carry out or may damage the market research, the organization has the power to validate such a project and the supporting reasons should be documented and stored.
Validation for Field-based Interviewing
This can be carried out via telephone, face to face contact or electronic media. A minimum of 10% must be achieved on each survey. Where interviewers are dealing with a high number of respondents, more attention shall be paid to such individuals. The following questions must be answered during validation:
- Did the interview take place?
- When did the interview take and what was the subject matter?
- What was the length and where did the interview take place?
- Demographic and eligibility questions
- Were show cards or visual material used during the interview?
- Did the interviewer identify himself using an identity card and was a reassurance letter provided?
- Was parental permission granted?
Face to face interviews which are recorded can simply be validated by listening to the recording. Validations that are carried out via post must be completed within 6 weeks of the date when the interview took place.
Validation for Depth and Group Recruitment
Validation is carried out to determine qualification of the respondents in terms of demographics and to determine the method used where recruitment has taken place. The identity of all the respondents must be confirmed during the interview. The minimum number of respondents to be validated should not be less than 10% of the total sample recruited. The organization must also attempt to validate all respondents in at least one of the groups. The eligibility of the respondent must be validated at the point of arrival before the commencement of the depth interview.
Respondents can also fill questionnaires at the beginning or end of the group and forwarded to the organization. Eligibility questions can then be cross referenced with answers recorded on questionnaires. Post group validation can also be carried out either by telephone or face-to-face or by post.