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Webinar Details

Evolving Survey Research: New Technologies & the Next Steps Forward

Michael Link, PhD

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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About this Course

Survey Research is a technology-driven enterprise and for several decades the industry has led in the development and deployment of new technologies, particularly those that assist interviewers in collecting survey data in a quicker, more complex, and higher quality manner. And yet, when it comes to the array of newer technologies being developed – from smartphones with multiple data capture capabilities to social media and non-survey-based Web applications to more customized passive metering solutions – it appears that survey researchers (with some notable exceptions) are slower to adapt to these new techniques. This course provides an innovative look at both technologies and how these are (and may be) used to evolve survey research to the next level.

The course will cover three broad areas. First, a framework will be provided to help assess and categorize new technologies and their impact on data collection. By viewing technologies along different dimensions (such as level of respondent burden; coincidental versus recall data; active versus passive respondent involvement, etc.) we can more readily identify areas where new technologies can be most effective. Second, the lion’s-share of time will focus on current and potential future uses of new technology devices and platforms. Current applications, known best practices and cautions will be discussed for a range of new data collection platforms, including smartphones (for surveys, GPS, and visual data collection), Internet-based data capture (beyond Web surveys), metering approaches (active and passive technologies), and leveraging social network platforms (surveys and other forms of information). The final section of the course examines some of the impediments to research and development of new technologies within the field of survey research and provides some guidance on how such tools can be developed, tested and deployed in a more efficient and effective manner.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Examine a theoretical framework for grouping and evaluating current and future data collection technologies.
  2. Review current application and limits of new technologies, including smartphones, Internet-based data capture (beyond Web surveys), metering approaches and leveraging social network platforms.
  3. Identify a roadmap for accelerating the development, testing and deployment of new technologies for data capture.

About the Instructor

Michael W. Link, PhDMichael W. Link, PhD, is Chief Methodologist/VP for Research Methods at The Nielsen Company. He has a broad-base of experience in survey research, having worked in academia (University of South Carolina, 1989-1999), not-for-profit research (RTI International, 1999-2004) and government (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2007) before joining Nielsen. Dr. Link’s research efforts focus on developing methodologies for confronting the most pressing issues facing measurement science, including improving participation and data quality, use of multiple modes in data collection, obtaining participation from hard-to-survey populations, and developing electronic measurement methodologies to supplement or replace self-reports. His numerous research articles have appeared in leading scientific journals, such as Public Opinion Quarterly, International Journal of Public Opinion Research and Journal of Official Statistics.\


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