The system follows a three-step process:
- Checks of prospective panellists to ensure they are who they claim to be by verifying the information they provide against what MarketTools calls “extensive databases with objectively validated consumer demographics”. Tests have seen as many as 20% of people turned away from the panel at this stage, the company said.
- Digital Computer Fingerprint. This fingerprint allows panellists to be cross-checked against other panel members and other panels that have signed up to use the service, stamping out duplicate respondents in studies that utilise multiple panels, and preventing respondents from taking the same survey more than once. Use of TrueSample to date has seen around 3% of respondents fail this test at the outset of each survey, the company said.
- Data validation technology should spot fraudulent behaviour by correlating survey completion time and response patterns. Activity flagged as fraudulent includes the usual: speeding, straight-lining and ‘satisficing’, but in addition those found to have engaged in such activity will have their computers’ "digital fingerprints" blacklisted.
TrueSample would be available in the US this quarter and was on track for a release in the Europe during the third quarter. It is already in use on MarketTools’ own ZoomPanel and on panels operated by partners Luth Research and Greenfield Online. The TrueSample launch comes within a month of a similar product release from Peanut Labs, called OptimusID.