Data Centrifuge: Cleaner survey data for better insights

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Posted Aug 09, 2023
Janel Hagaman

Gaining valuable insights is a lot like cooking a delicious meal—the quality of your ingredients (your data) plays a huge role in how your final dish will turn out. Only the freshest, highest-quality data will lead to a truly insightful feast. Whereas starting off with stale, low-grade data may yield indigestion of understanding. 

In order to avoid unappetizing insights, it’s important to use tools that can help you properly prepare your data. Yes, a “sous chef” for your data—a tool that can follow a proven recipe to clean, prepare, and analyze information with precision and care. And at aytm, we believe we’ve created just that with Data Centrifuge—an indispensable assistant in your insight kitchen. Please, allow us to elaborate!

Finding fresh ingredients: Data collection

Just like a tasty meal, in order to get the most out of your insights, you’ll need high-quality ingredients—a data source you can trust to provide accurate, representative information. For us at aytm, this means sourcing respondents from our proprietary panel and trusted providers. 

But keep in mind: Bad responses don’t necessarily mean bad respondents. Sometimes you’re asking for sugar and someone passes you salt—an honest mistake that may bitterly affect your meal. That’s why verifying the quality of response data has always been a challenge. Sure, we can do our best to treat respondents with the utmost respect—and for the most part, they return the favor in the form of honest and candid responses—but how do we evaluate data to ensure our clients are getting the best of the best? After all, just because a data set is large or comes from a reputable vendor, individual responses still need to be scrutinized. 

Data Centrifuge is our solution to this challenge. It puts any dataset through a rigorous testing and quality assurance process in order to determine how “fresh” the responses are, and how well they’ll work for a given project. It looks at things like completion rates, duration, key performance indicators, semantic analysis, and more to see if the data will produce tasty insights.

You can think of Data Centrifuge like your personal produce tester. It examines the quality of your data to make sure it’s farm-fresh before you bring it into your insights kitchen. It provides recommendations based on years of expertise in verifying data excellence, so you can feel confident with the insights you cook up to guide your decisions. 

Data Centrifuge is driven by a growing number of vectors—independent, automatic approaches, techniques, and statistical models—working together to separate convincing respondents from questionable ones. It identifies:

  • Speeders
  • Straight-liners
  • Duplicate responses
  • Random responses
  • Exotic responses
  • Bad and meaningless open-ended responses
  • Inadequate image responses
  • Interrupted sessions
  • And much more

Prepping your ingredients: Data cleaning

Even the freshest, high-quality data needs proper preparation before it can produce nourishing insights. Raw data on its own is rarely ready to consume or act on confidently. It needs to be washed, peeled, chopped, and properly seasoned to become insight-ready. But common practices make it easy to over-clean or under-clean data—either removing good data that leads to loss of powering or signal, or not properly resolving data issues that make insights less accurate.

Data Centrifuge is built off of decades of experience preparing data for optimal analysis. But experience alone doesn’t solve the challenges of knowing how much cleaning is truly needed; it doesn’t ensure a consistent, tailored process for each and every project. Data Centrifuge is an advanced algorithm leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI)  to detect and fix data issues based on the unique attributes of each dataset. 

That means Data Centrifuge will: 

  • Scrub data by fixing errors, typos, and invalid values based on data type
  • Peel away outliers and anomalies using statistical methods tailored to the data set
  • Chop data into consistent units of measure and categories through semantic analysis and normalization
  • Season the dataset with just the right amount of testing, verification, and data enrichment for your needs
  • Wash data through deduplication, gap filling of missing information, and imputing of “null” values

Follow the recipe: Analysis

At this point, you have all the ingredients you need to gain impactful insights. But measurements matter when it comes to good cooking—and there’s no difference when it comes to data analysis. Your analysts need tools and methods tailored to the datasets—ones that help them properly measure, mix, and cook the data to produce meaningful insights.

Data Centrifuge provides the recipe for insightful analysis by generating a customized statistical model and script based on your unique data attributes. It determines the right quantities of questioning, filtering, correlating, segmenting, modeling, and more to guide your analysts to the most valuable insights for your needs. That includes: 

  • Providing a statistical model tailored to detect impactful variables in your data
  • Analyzing vectors to identify patterns and data relationships worth exploring
  • Evaluating qualitative data, including open-ended and image responses
  • Rating responses and indicating which ones deserve further scrutiny 

Now your analysts can follow a proven recipe for success rather than spending time on tedious manual work to weed out bad apples. Data Centrifuge leads them directly to the insights that will help you find the answers to those key questions and drive critical business decisions. 

While experience and tools are helpful in analysis, by themselves they don’t fully eliminate the risk of overanalyzing data into non-usable information, or missing opportunities for key insights. Here, Data Centrifuge mitigates these risks with systematic guidance for gaining maximum insights tailored to your needs. It allows you to focus on what really matters for your organization instead of exhausting time and resources on an inefficient exploration of dead-ends.

The perfect dish: Impactful insights

With Data Centrifuge as your sous chef, you can be confident that your insights are coming from all the right places—and that they’ve been properly cleaned and treated. So what do you say? Are you hungry for insights to guide your most critical decisions? Here’s a quick recap on what you can expect from Data Centrifuge:

  • The freshest, highest-quality data sources
  • Meticulously prepared data
  • Customized guidance and recommendations
  • Embedded expertise delivered intuitively
  • Real results that lead to more impactful decisions

So why not give it a shot? 

Pondering the evolution of market research? Get the guide to insights technology.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2020 but has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.

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