Insights Association, MRS, SampleCon & ESOMAR Join Forces to Fight Fraud, Boost Data Quality - Industry News
Insights Association, MRS, SampleCon & ESOMAR Join Forces to Fight Fraud, Boost Data Quality

Insights Association, MRS, SampleCon & ESOMAR Join Forces to Fight Fraud, Boost Data Quality

The Insights Association, MRS, SampleCon, and ESOMAR are coordinating efforts to fight fraud and address ongoing and emerging risks to data quality. Areas in which the organizations will focus include:

• Fraud detection – tracking the prevalence of fraudulent survey completions by humans or bots and outlining best fraud detection and mitigation practices

• Data quality in qualitative research, both in-person and online

• Identification and mitigation of bias

• Improvement of the research participant experience

“These issues are global and persistent and must be addressed in a concerted industry-wide manner,” commented Melanie Courtright, CEO of the Insights Association. “We can more effectively and efficiently combat data quality threats by coordinating our efforts.”

The organizations are committed to facilitating forums to raise awareness and encourage presentations by and discussions with experts and thought leaders. The Insights Association’s Data Integrity Initiative, for example, will host a panel discussion about these key topics at IA’s Annual Conference, April 24-26 in Hilton Head, SC. Additionally, each association will lead an effort to create content, standards, and training around key functional areas of quality including language, measurement, activation, participant experience, and sampling technology.

Jane Frost, chief executive of MRS, said: “The threat of fraud in research isn’t new. For many years MRS has been supporting our members to combat fraud, including through initiatives such as our Fair Data accreditation which assesses and benchmarks how companies manage customers’ personal information. However, fraudulent activity is becoming increasingly sophisticated, particularly in online research. It poses a significant risk to our sector’s future and this international partnership is another important means to confront it.   

“Data is at the heart of what we do and the majority of research agencies in the UK are working to a really high standard, but it’s important we remember that not all data is created equal.  Poor research can have a catastrophic impact on decision making and, as businesses and organisations across the world face economic, political and social challenges, now more than ever our sector needs to prioritise the delivery of quality data and insight.”

“It’s fitting that the announcement of this partnership coincides with the celebration of SampleCon’s 10th anniversary,” commented Rachel Alltmont, President of SampleCon. “Our mission has always been the creation of collaborative and transparent conversation that facilitates the evolution of our industry. That has meant extensive, honest discussion of data quality issues since our inception. Today, as an industry, we face the challenge and opportunity to finally join efforts to fortify trust in data insights."

“ESOMAR’s Professional Standards Committee have identified industry confidence in sample as a major topic to address,” commented Geraldine Proust, ESOMAR’s Head of Public Affairs and Professional Standards. “ESOMAR is delighted to be part of this collaborative industry effort, working with skilled research professionals to provide the insight and tools to support research users and sustain trust in the collective knowledge that our industry generates.”

Meetings are already underway in which experts are working collectively to formulate best practice guidelines and buildout, refine, and coordinate universal terms and definitions.

Research, including fielding a survey about fraud detection, is being discussed.

To learn more about this work and inquire about getting involved, please contact Melanie Courtright (

About MRS
With a diverse membership of individuals in more than 60 countries at all levels of experience and seniority within agencies, consultancies, support services, client-side organisations, the public sector, and the academic community, MRS represents 80% of research agencies who commit to, and are regulated by, the MRS Code of Conduct to ensure professional and ethical research of the highest standard of excellence. A global leader in research qualifications and training, MRS launched in 2013 the Fair Data trust mark that demonstrates which organisations handle their customers’ personal data fairly.

About SampleCon
Launched in 2013, SampleCon was formed with the goal of creating an open forum for discussion of the global topics facing the sample industry. SampleCon has maintained a unique ability to connect global influencers for inclusive, transparent, passionate discussions that shape a strong, thriving insights community for the future. It remains focused on the intersection of human engagement, research, and innovation that fuel the insights community.

ESOMAR champions the research, insights, and analytics sector worldwide. Founded in 1947, the global membership association is a network reaching over 50,000 professionals and 750+ companies in 130+ countries. We support our global community through raising ethical standards, facilitating education, advocating with legislators, sharing best practices, promoting evidence-based solutions for decision-makers, and ensuring the values of honesty, transparency, and objectivity are applied to all data sources.