Sentinel and C+R’s Data Quality Philosophy

Filed Under: Data Quality, Data Trends, Advanced Analytics


Matt Werner

Senior Director, Quantitative Research

By nature, market research is an industry that relies on having accurate data. It’s impossible to deliver great research and deep perspective if the underlying data is flawed. At C+R Research, we understand the importance of authentic, accurate data and have taken unique steps to ensure that the data we are reporting is of the highest quality. Our ability to deliver accurate results is something we pride ourselves on and continues to make us a leader in the industry. We truly feel this sets us apart. 

And, because we are constantly working to provide the most accurate data, we’ve developed a data quality system, C+R SentinelTM (SentinelTM).

SentinelTM is our proprietary system of processes, partnerships, and solutions that work together to ensure the accuracy of the data we collect and deliver to our clients. With SentinelTM, we can quickly identify, react and remove potential survey “cheaters” from our clients’ datasets, but we also take proactive steps to ensure that non-qualified people/professional respondents never enter the survey in the first place. In addition to our focus on creating these initial stop-gaps for data quality, we also think respondent engagement is vital, and our data collection department is constantly innovating the respondent experience to maximize engagement among those who want to provide their honest opinions, leading to a higher quality dataset.  

With SentinelTM, there are three primary dimensions: 

  1. Advanced Analytics: C+R’s Advanced Analytics team is a team of Ph.D. statisticians that lead our data quality taskforce. The team sets project-specific thresholds for consistency checks, including determining a minimum acceptable interview length, flagging straight-liners on key attribute batteries, identifying contradictory responses within individual surveys, and flagging “red herrings” in the data set. An algorithm then looks across all consistency checks and assigns a data quality score to each respondent. Those with a score outside the acceptable range are removed from the dataset in real-time, allowing us to replace them with valid respondents. 
  2. Proprietary Technology: C+R has also invested in several technologies that focus on different areas of the data collection process, which allow us to maximize respondent engagement and proactively catch potential cheaters. We’ve fondly named these technologies: Purgatory, CR ID, and Data Sink.
  3. Strategic Partnerships: C+R also partnered with several industry leaders in data quality. Our partnership with Imperium, the minds behind Real Answer, allows us to analyze open-end survey responses and flag potential professional respondents based on the text they type. We also use survey URL encryption when collecting data with sample suppliers, preventing link tampering, and keeping respondents honest. 

And, we’re working with our sample partners by providing them with real-time data when a respondent fails to meet a study’s data quality threshold. This feedback will help improve the quality of the members in their panel. Our sample partners are very appreciative and welcome our new protocol and in fact, overall, we believe that it’s good of the market research industry as a whole. 

Of course, as technology advances and processes change, our data quality checks will continue to evolve. And, partnerships with companies like PRIVO (an FTC approved COPPA Safe Harbor and a leading expert in children’s online privacy) and various auditing firms, helps us ensure the integrity and safety of our data. We’re constantly evaluating new partnerships and exploring new approaches to data quality to ensure we stay one step ahead of professional respondents and survey “bots” and to make our surveys as engaging as possible. At C+R, we are always focused on providing great research, deep perspective, and committed client service – and we know none of this is possible without focusing on quality data and security first. 

To learn more about our approach to data security policy, read our blog, “The Evolution of Data Security and Privacy at C+R Research.”

To find out more about PRIVO’s Kids Privacy Assured Programs, including GDPRkids™ visit:


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