Trust in Online Consumer Panel Data

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Posted Sep 04, 2019
Tiffany Mullin

Historically, there’s been many challenges in the market research industry concerning the quality of data. Some researchers have found that respondents fail to express their candid opinions or truthfully disclose their demographics. And yes, there are respondents who can derail your market research surveys by trying to game the survey-taking system to break the mechanics and achieve the maximum benefit with the least effort, posing as bots or multiple fake accounts. How can you trust in a survey panel and the survey methodology it presents?

In our most recent Webinar, we pulled back the curtain and shared reasons you can trust AYTM’s panel of respondents, the transparency behind the data you collect, and how our panel empowers you with the tools you need to build relevant personas without doing the heavy lifting.  

Introducing our panel: is our fully integrated proprietary panel, only available to AYTM platform users, giving you access to an audience of over 40 million consumers globally. Even before we created the AYTM platform, we built this community of opinionated people who wanted to take surveys.  From the start we focused on creating an engaging survey experience for respondents and producing quality data for our clients. Here are 5 key steps we take to control the sample quality.

  • We Remove Bots:

We have enhanced our methods to identify the sneaky bots attempting to take client surveys. Methods include verifying IP/cookies, recognizing log in patterns, utilizing reCAPTCHA, and asking panelist to validate a phone number and Paypal account. We have invented an automatic system that consistently verifies the panelists, managed by TrustScoreSM which makes it impossible for a bot to answer the same question(s) worded in different manners. Humans can easily answer profiling questions when they are consistently telling the truth. 

  • We Remove Duplicates:

When people register with PaidViewpoint, we ask them to verify a unique phone number that is not associated with any existing account and provide a valid PayPal account in order to claim their incentives for taking surveys. The same phone and PayPal will be required for second verification before they can cash out their incentives. We automatically detect and block IP numbers and use PayPal API.

  • We Verify Target Audience:

Through ID verification we check the respondents’ name and address and with their honest responses we adjust and increase their TrustScoreSM. We allow clients a way to balance their sample by demographic traits, up to two nested quotas to mimic the US Census breakdown.

  • We Verify Response Quality:

Our respondents are aware that in order to keep their TraitScoreSM high they must answer honestly and consistently. We believe in adding “red herring” questions to a survey to identify those respondents who are not paying attention. And we offer clients the ability to reject up to 5% of respondents when reviewing the open-ended responses.

  • We Value Annoyance Free User Experience:

Respondents with a high TrustScoreSM receive priority access to surveys when first launched. In order to maximize their incentive, there is a limited timeframe to complete the survey and they must complete the survey when the survey is fielded or they will receive a lower rate. We pay respondents after they have completed the entire survey. It’s not about the speed of responses, it is always about the user experience.

Building relevant personas:

One important factor that separates us from other panel companies: we do not resell our panel data to other companies. The data is exclusively available to AYTM clients. This allows us to build relevant personas from the data, using our Personality Radar, which helps clients identify their respondents quicker and even create segmentation studies.

Personality Radar is a unique market intelligence solution that gives you access  to our ever growing database of over 3000 up-to-date behavioral and personality markers, or psychographic traits associated with our panel members. It is built off of a robust engine that combines groups of people into clusters of dots / tags with things that they all have in common.

For example, there was a survey conducted based on the type of hobbies people liked to have and perform. When assessing Personality Radar, we are able to connect personality attributes, like people who ordered food from a Food Truck in the last 3 months were more likely to play sports (football, soccer, baseball, volleyball, etc.) as a hobby.  As you can see in the image below, Personality Radar has several instruments: location, color and size of the dots. The size of the dots, the tags, represents the amount of people that share that behavioral marker. And the proximity of a tag to an answer choice as well as the color are indications of the statistical relevancy of people who possess this tag.

Guidelines to enhance survey design:

The cluster of tags in Personality Radar are available because we enhance and consistently protect our guidelines in survey designs. We care about our panelists, their time and survey taking experiences and in return they build out the quality data we seek.

An average Joe survey taker usually has only a few minutes of downtime in their busy lives to take a survey. Imagine they have 10 minutes before their metro arrives to take them to their next destination, or they quickly need a distraction from their back-to-back calls, or their child goes down for an afternoon nap that will last about 10 minutes instead of that hopeful 30 minutes of peace.

The reality is, no matter how detailed you want to create your research surveys, programming them to fit into the lives of the respondent is key to receiving actionable data and building relevant personas. 

  1. We strive to be the friendliest survey-taking experience anywhere, ensuring our respondents understand the questions you are asking and spend more time giving you actionable feedback.
  2. To give a Twitter-like feeling of brevity, we have marked all question and answer fields with character limits to help you track your characters along the way.
  3. Add in open-ended questions to gain qualitative feedback in quantitative surveys. It’s important to hear from your respondents in their own words and opinions. Keep these questions about ⅓ of your survey design to reduce respondent fatigue.
  4. Make sure nothing is lost in translation by speaking the respondents language. You are able to translate your survey in 16 different languages, depending on the targeted country, allowing your target audience to comprehend and interpret your questions.
  5. Walk a mile in your respondents shoes. Utilize the Quick Preview feature on the Survey Editor page to reveal how your survey flows from question to question to replicate a respondents experience. Enhancing your survey design and double checking the user experience with Quick Preview connects you to your audience, valuing the data you will obtain on the reporting page.


From our respondents to our reports, we are transparent with the action behind the scenes to ensure integrity in responses and reliability in the algorithms that generate the reports. 

We reveal all the ways we source and nurture the panelists who support your market research needs. It is possible to expose the hidden truths of respondents by using the tools to enhance survey designs, double checking the survey user experience and achieving maximum benefits from panelist with minimal effort.

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