Quality Assurance

At Decision Analyst, quality assurance is a passion.

Every project is carefully monitored for adherence to standards and specifications. Standardized systems and processes ensure accuracy and reliability. Error-trapping and quality-audit functions are built into all software systems. Decision Analyst’s commitment to the highest standards of professionalism, accuracy, and precision is absolute and uncompromising. Ensuring high-quality work is everyone’s responsibility.

Operations Departments and Client Service Teams use quality-assurance checklists to ensure that no detail is overlooked in the preparation of sampling plans, questionnaires, data files, cross-tabulation plans, tables, analyses, reports, and graphs. In addition, Operations Departments all adhere to quality-control processes within their own departments to provide redundancy. The goal is to ensure that several sets of eyes independently review each phase of every study.

Decision Analyst’s Quality Assurance Department not only establishes quality-assurance standards, systems, and processes, it also measures, monitors, and ensures accuracy throughout the life of each research and consulting project. The Quality Assurance Department is involved in every phase of a study, as follows:

Questionnaire Review

  • Sample specifications
  • Quotas and quota assignment logic
  • Study qualifications verified against nonqualification logic
  • Skip logic
  • Validation logic
  • Decision Analyst standards
  • Design and flow; understandability for respondents
  • Avoidance of leading or biasing questions or sequences
  • Grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Consistency (e.g., answer numbering, answer choices matching question text, consistency in brand-name references)

Project "Walk-Through"

  • Is a meeting of all Decision Analyst employees assigned to a specific research project. This meeting is attended by one person from each department involved in a study. The goal is to ensure that everyone working on a project fully understands all the project details and responsibility assignments for each phase of project execution.
  • All quota information, sample specifications, questions, answers, logic, and instructions are read aloud during the walk-through as a final review before programming begins.
  • Meeting attendees discuss threats and risks to the project so that additional attention and scrutiny can be focused on the high-risk parts of the study.

Survey Program Review

Once the questionnaire is finalized, programming of the survey in Logician® begins. Once the survey is programmed, Quality Assurance conducts an exhaustive evaluation of the program’s accuracy, including the following:

  • Skip logic
  • Validation logic
  • Qualification and nonqualification logic
  • Quota assignments
  • Flow and understandability
  • Consistency (e.g., answer numbering, answer choices matching question text, consistency in brand-name references)
  • Grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Logician® Quality Audit (A computer search for 25 common questionnaire errors)

Test Topline Review

After a survey program is approved by Quality Assurance, an Internet Programmer runs a program called "Survey Simulator." This program follows the logic in a survey and populates a topline with 100 artificial respondents, simulating actual respondent answers. Quality Assurance then reviews the topline cross-tabulation for the following:

  • Correct base sizes for all questions
  • Correct base sizes for survey quotas and counts
  • Correct question text and answer text
  • Correct other-specify bases

Live Topline Review

After the first 12 hours of data collection, Quality Assurance reviews data on the live topline for the following:

  • Correct base sizes for all questions
  • Correct base sizes for survey quotas and counts
  • Correct question text and answer text
  • Correct other-specify bases

Codebook Review

Before the coding of open-ended questions begins, the codebook (a list of proposed codes) is reviewed by Quality Assurance.

  • Grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Consistency of code wording from question to question
  • Code numbers (no duplicate codes, no two-digit code number in a three-digit field)
  • Nets/Subnets containing relevant responses
  • Correct indentation of supernet, net, subnet, and sub-subnet responses

Cross-Tabulation Review

Once the survey data is tabulated, the cross-tabulations are thoroughly reviewed by Quality Assurance for the following:

  • Correct base sizes and total rows
  • Correct response bases, including open-ended codes and nets
  • Numbers matching Logician® Online Reporting or data marginal
  • Summary tables matching individual tables
  • Correct means
  • Correct significance testing
  • Correct banner labeling and specification logic
  • Correct table and base titles
  • Banner points matching source tables for all banners
  • Table specifications file (e.g., table filters for correct bases)
  • Inconsistent data (e.g., nonusers in a user question, males under a female banner point)
  • Correct weights (if present)
  • Weighting compared to Decision Analyst standards
  • Corrections, as necessary

Report and Presentation Review

  • Numbers matching source tables
  • Graphs, charts, etc., matching report numbers
  • Written findings matching report numbers
  • Source information on each slide
  • Footnotes reflecting charts, graphs, etc.
  • Management summary matching data in full report
  • Grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Formal language (unless client’s preference is more informal)
  • Consistency of formatting from slide to slide
  • Content and substance of report
  • Readability for clients

Review of Internal Standards And Training Manuals

The Quality Assurance Department is also responsible for ensuring all of the company's internal standards and training manuals are current. The department reviews these documents for the following:

  • Workflow and work processes
  • Grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Accuracy of information
  • Clear, concise language
  • Current checklists

Marketing Research Services

Decision Analyst is a leading international marketing research and analytical consulting firm. If you would like more information on our marketing research and analytical consulting services, please contact Jerry W. Thomas, President/CEO, by emailing him at jthomas@decisionanalyst.com, or by calling 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.


Contact Us

Toll Free: 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974)
International: +1-817-640-6166