Field Service

Read this carefully, because fieldwork quality is where the “wheels fall off” research in Asia.

To be blunt, opportunities for cheating and the incidence of taking up these opportunities is too common to ignore. In our experience a huge percentage of research in developing markets (China being the worst case!) is either very poorly done, is riddled with cheating or in some cases not even done at all.

The tragedy here is that the masterminds of the cheating are often the project management within the supplier and even the buyer. This must seem like an unbelievable scenario for the overseas buyer who assumes that some point in the buyer-supplier chain has a degree of integrity. This knowledge and scepticism only comes with considerable experience and hands-on involvement. The International research buyer, delegating to a seemingly professional in-market supplier, has no way of knowing where their study will go off track … but it more often than not will!

When Anovation have been asked to audit research in markets like China, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia for example, we are no longer surprised to see cheating levels as high as 40-60%. What really disturbs us is that easily applied systems could have been implemented to avoid this ongoing problem, but rarely are, or worst still are made to appear to be in place. These include the obvious independent supervision in field, quality control at coding and cleaning and systematic data interrogation at data entry.

When Anovation run studies for you we are basically going to be “all over” the fieldwork and data. We implement our own systems of checking and quality control, we ensure independent sources check the source materials and we set up at data entry
sophisticated methods for checking for falsification.

Our fieldwork management across Asia have all been in the industry for over 15 years in each of our
main centres and have lived and worked in many Asian markets. They have developed that sixth sense
for where things can go wrong and are fully aware of the ways to counteract collusion between field,
supervision and data.

Basically you are buying confidence and trust when you engage with Anovation. There is not much of
that around the industry in Asia these days!


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