Data Quality and Fraud Prevention
Toluna supports all industry-wide data quality initiatives and is a licensed TrueSample® sample source. We believe it is important to provide our clients with assurance that we have our own standard operating procedures in place to ensure data quality.
We have defined this process as SmartSample™. SmartSample™ ensures that Toluna respondents are Real, Valid, De-duplicated, Engaged, and Representative.
Real – All Toluna respondents are authenticated. Respondents are subject to GeoIP and Melissa checks, a CAPTCHA confirmation process, and a third-party technology, Imperium’s Address Correct®, which prevents individuals from participating in surveys unless a valid postal address is used. Panelists must complete Toluna’s double-opt-in registration process, which requires an individual to confirm membership by clicking on an emailed link upon enrollment in the Toluna panel.
Valid – Respondents are validated using email-address validation measures (Toluna blocks known ‘fake’ or ‘disposable’ IP domains). Respondents are further validated using the Markettools TrueSample™ validation process. The latter process compares an individual’s name and address information with third-party data sources, including the U.S. Postal service, telephone directories, and so on. TrueSample™ is used to validate the Toluna panel in the U.S.
Toluna’s Healthcare Panel is further validated, by requiring American Medical Association (AMA) member IDs upon enrollment.
De-duplicated – Respondents can’t enroll in the Toluna community, or take a survey more than once, fraudulently or accidentally. To prevent this from happening, Toluna uses a Match 2 process to flag similarities among Toluna panelists upon enrollment. This automated process clusters individuals and helps to identify members who may have attempted to register for the Toluna panel more than once. In addition to this process, Toluna has developed Duplicate Respondent Detection™ technology. This flash/ cookie-based technology is used during the panelist-registration process, and at the beginning of every Toluna survey. This is coupled with a third-party digital fingerprinting technology, Imperium’s RelevantID™, which is used at the beginning of every Toluna survey.
Toluna’s process for preventing respondent duplication is proactive: respondents are prevented from participating in surveys more than once.
Engaged – Toluna’s goal is to provide clients with the highest quality data. To do this effectively, respondents must be engaged in the surveys that they complete. Toluna provides clients with data that has been subject to many checkpoints, helping to ensure respondents have provided truthful and thoughtful responses to survey questions.
Every data file delivered to clients is analyzed for the quality of open-ended responses and spelling checks are applied; respondents who participate in less than a third of the mean response time are also eliminated from the data set, as a standard practice. Finally, cleaning scripts are used to ensure that data follows logical skip patterns, name and address information matches respondent enrollment data, and more.
Representative – Survey data needs to be reliable, representative and repeatable. Toluna’s SmartSelect™ methodology enables researchers to select potential survey respondents with demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral characteristics that precisely match those of the target population-of-interest. SmartSelect™ is a unique methodology that directs Toluna respondents into a survey and asks demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral screening questions prior to assigning the individual to a survey. The questions asked yield a SmartSelect™ score. This propensity score is used to match the characteristics of respondents with those of the target population-of-interest, ensuring reliable, representative, and repeatable results.