Callosum A marketing research agency
July 31, 2018

Quality Assurance Processes In Online Surveys

Unlike focus groups, surveys often do not afford clients the opportunity to observe respondents taking part in the research process. As such, it can be helpful and reassuring to learn about the various quality assurance processes that exist behind the scenes.

Tracking time of completion

Once a preliminary group of surveys are completed, they produce an average time of completion. From here, any survey that is completed much more quickly than the average is flagged for further investigation. If the respondent answered in ways that appear illogical or haphazard, their survey will be removed from consideration.

Tracking patterns of completion

If a respondent’s particular survey has an identical pattern of response regardless of the question, it too will be flagged for further investigation and removed if deemed necessary.

Attention tracking questions

Attention tracking questions help ensure that respondents are genuinely reading through the questions they are asked before answering. With this technique, at random points throughout the survey, respondents might be asked something simple like “select the word ‘blue’ from the list below. Any respondent who fails to answer these questions correctly is assumed to not be paying sufficient attention, and will be excluded from the final data set


We systematically obtain more completed questionnaires than needed (generally 5% more). This provides room to eliminate any respondents who are flagged, and yet still end up completing the sample size we originally intended to fulfill.

If you would like to learn more about our quality assurance processes or our quantitative methodologies in general, please contact Nathalie Martel.