By Christoph Welter
This year at the Best of ESOMAR-Germany meetup, we measured the pulse of the industry at what seems to be one of the most hotly contested metrics these days: Trust! In four talks that scrutinized the topic from different perspectives, we talked about surveys and all manner of interview techniques, about participants, about clients and about the wider public – so how is research doing, and how can we regain some of the trust that we seem to be losing?
ESOMAR’s Director General Finn Raben was honoured to have been invited to join the judging panel for the prestigious AQR Prosper Riley-Smith award. Following extensive deliberation and debate, the jury are delighted to announce the Finalists below, in no particular order:
Excellent Exit Polls – very revealing pre-election polls
By Richard Hilmer
In the run-up to the German election there was a vivid debate about how reliable polls would be. The background of this discussion, of course, was the impression the German public had that the polls in the British Brexit decision and the American presidential election had been altogether incorrect and misled the public. The main reproach was that polls underestimated populistic in the British and US population.
By Finn Raben
Over the weekend the New York Times and Observer newspapers reported that data mining and analysis company Cambridge Analytica, a company that had been employed with considerable success by Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential campaign, had illegally harvested 50 million Facebook profiles in order to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box. The Observer reports that data was collected via a digital app on the Facebook platform where hundreds of thousands of users were paid to take a personality test and agreed to have their data collected for academic use. However, the app also collected the information of the test-takers’ Facebook friends.