How do survey incentives influence data quality?

When conducting a survey, data quality needs to be at the centre of your decision whether to incentivise or not.

Possible effects of incentives on data quality:
  • Motivation to participate changes. Instead of providing meaningful feedback, the survey becomes an ‘entry’ or ‘ticket’ to get something in return.
  • The incentive may influence perceptions of the company, product or research and will therefore influence feedback.
  • When you offer someone an incentive, they will complete the survey in the same way that they would return a favour and will feel obligated to do a good job.
  • Respondents who receive an incentive are also more likely to say that the survey subject matter was interesting, and this causes them to place a greater value on their task.
  • We highly recommend our clients not to incentivise a survey as the true value for the participant lies in the possible changes that will benefit them after the survey is complete and recommendations have been implemented.
When embarking on a research study, communication plays an important role.  Make sure that you inform your target population about the survey, the purpose behind it, and importantly, how it may lead to improvements that will benefit them. This may be enough to encourage their participation.

Read the full article here.

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