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March 9, 2022


The five best qualities to look for in a panel API partner

Caroline Kim Avatar

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Caroline Kim

We hear you! Choosing the right panel partner can be hard, especially if you are considering an API integration. Finding a reliable source for quality survey audience directly impacts the accuracy of your insights, which is why it’s so important to look for the following top five qualities in a research partner:

1. Diverse Panel Recruitment 

Sample providers who recruit panelists in-house using multiple channels have a better opportunity to continuously update a diverse panel that will meet all of your project needs.

Providers that utilize creative and innovative recruitment methods such as advertising and affiliate partnerships — across different device formats — can actively onboard panelists across a wider range of demographics and preferences. This is important so you’re not left having to fill in the gaps.

2. In-depth Panel Profiling

Profiling questionnaires are one of the most important tools for qualifying people for participation in a survey panel. You want to ensure that panelists are mapped across many profiling attributes to get the most accurate representation and understanding of the person taking the survey. This enables you to target the right audience for your questions and ultimately helps enrich the quality of your findings. Talk about a win-win!

After the initial onboarding questionnaire, find out what sample providers are doing on an ongoing basis to enable deeper profiling of their panelists. For example, how often are the questions refreshed? Truly innovative companies are enhancing their profiling process by collecting passive data and using it to better understand their panel members.

3. Innovative Fraud Prevention

However, none of this matters if fraudsters and bots are infiltrating your panel. It is imperative for providers to monitor and track respondent quality at every part of the process.

Most providers have basic techniques in place to tackle ‘light’ fraud, such as working with third party vendors to pick out fraudulent IP addresses. However, to identify more sophisticated fraud that is increasingly pervasive, you should look for an API partner that has direct relationships with the audience members. This way, advanced techniques for identity verification – such as machine learning, postcard mailings, and biometrics – can be applied directly to assure quality responses that help you develop critical insights.

4. Emphasis on Panelist Experience 

A good sample partner knows that by prioritizing a good respondent experience, they are simultaneously optimizing the quality and fidelity of the data they deliver to you. It’s simple: happy panelists provide the best responses. So, ask your supply partners: “How do you incentivize and motivate panelists to keep them engaged?” Appropriate incentives and a high-quality panel experience can move one-time survey respondents to becoming long-term, high-frequency panelists, especially useful for advanced research such as recontact studies.

This is another area where direct consumer relationships come in handy. If you care about the quality of your survey responses, you should seek out providers that own and manage their panel in-house. It’s impossible to gauge the quality of their audience if there is no direct relationship with their panelists.

5. Abundance of Support Resources

Robust documentation by a technical writer empowers team members to use the API effectively to reach their organization’s goals. (Read this comprehensive blog post we wrote about the key principles of API documentation and why it’s important for developers). However, sometimes documentation is not enough. When consumers have a question or need help with something, they want an answer fast. Buying automated sample is no different. It’s important to have access to a live support team with a clear escalation procedure and a quick response time.

Finally, we believe that automated panel access and manual managed market research go hand in hand. The optimal mix of API and managed services will vary from case to case, which is why you want the option to have both.

As you browse your options for programmatic sampling, make sure to keep an eye out for these key attributes in a partner. Find out how DISQO’s Research API tracks to these standards.