Relevant experience

An important criterion for selecting one fieldwork agency over another is to look for experience related to the needs of the survey. This experience may be of two kinds. First, it may consist of experience in the industry in which the research will be carried out. Most industries have their special language and problems, and an agency familiar with these is more likely to be able to do a good job than one unfamiliar with them. Second, the particular research method required may be better carried out by one type of quantitative attitude battery scaling exercise, or qualitative research of a particular kind. In both cases, interviewers experienced in the technique are more likely to produce a better job than those who are not. Available evidence suggests that interviewers familiar with the industry and technique with which they are working are more likely to produce better quality data than those who are inexperienced. An attempt should therefore be made to identify agencies whose experience is relevant to the particular research problem.

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