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  • Writer's pictureZest

The 3 Secrets Behind our Great Quantitative Fieldwork

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

First in our Field.

How has Zest won long partnerships with so many big-name brands? The short answer is our insights inspire commercial action. These insights are the part of the research process the client sees. However, behind the scenes, something equally important is going on – top-class quantitative fieldwork. Without tapping into the authentic voice of consumers, findings cannot hope to ring true. At Zest we have mastered this art. Here are three reasons why.

1. Putting the quality in quant

One of the biggest challenges facing any fieldwork team is collecting truly accurate data. It can be tempting to cut corners and focus on the busiest trading times and locations, but shopper demographics vary hugely by these criteria. Similarly, when people are shopping in a busy store, completing a survey can feel impractical, and different consumer types will have less time to stop than others – raising the danger of rushed and misleading results.

Zest's shift patterns are designed to cover different locations at different times, in a way that ensures we get a representative picture of all relevant groups, not just those easiest to reach. At quieter times, when low footfall can make it tough to get robust numbers, over-sampling is built into plans.

Training is also key. Our fieldworkers receive regular coaching on how to engage participants in a way that elicits natural, authentic feedback. This work also irons out faults (often known to plague the research industry), such as urging respondents to “just put 10 or ‘don’t know’ against all the questions”. Our in-house training experts assess and develop each fieldworker’s performance and make sure each project is run to the highest standards.

2. Making sure you get GDPR right

Recent tightening of GDPR laws and growing public awareness of the dangers of parting with personal information mean we have to be ever-more scrupulous in this area. GDPR puts the burden of responsibility on those collecting the data, so making sure you do all you can to protect this is crucial. Heavy penalty fines await those who fail to comply with rules!

We have invested in strong encryption software to avoid any breaches in the form of phishing or malware etc. This means that even if someone were to gain access to a device’s hard drive, the data will remain secure.

Whilst the right software can offer greater security, it is training that again has crucial importance. We make sure our field teams follow the rules and communicate this fact to the public. Reassurance here is not only essential in legal terms; it also enhances the quality of feedback. If you’re transparent and personable, people are often more forthcoming.

3. Mastering Technology

What first seemed to make things run smoother is now often the bane of researchers’ lives. Technological faults such as signal failure can strike at the most inconvenient times. Respondents have not got the time to wait for a solution. Data quality is almost certain to suffer.

Here we’ve considered all possibilities. A 4G signal may not be present deep inside a large supermarket, and it’s risky to rely on public WIFIs or hotspots. Fieldfirst has in-house software capable of working offline as well as online.

Once more, good training is paramount. All our fieldworkers are thoroughly briefed on the tech they handle. We’ve set up a dedicated helpline, which is manned out of office hours and has the ability to remotely connect to fieldworkers. This has allowed us to maintain top standards and cement our reputation as one of the sector’s most reliable suppliers.

In this sphere, where big business decisions depend on us, we know trust is king. We always heed that old adage about data and insight “rubbish in, rubbish out”, and work hard to guarantee that, In Zest's case it’s always “quality in, quality out.”


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