Using Quality Assurance and Quality Control to Gather Quality Data
It was five years ago when we started talking to prospective clients about the idea of Field Agent. As with most new ideas, we didn’t know exactly what we were creating, but we knew it would have a chance if clients were interested. Well, interest was not the problem. Everyone saw the benefits of faster, more accessible data at half the price. It was clear that we had something worth launching.
Skepticism to New Mobile Technology
However, as with all new ideas, we had some common hesitations from our beta clients. It might surprise you that our biggest hurdle was actually helping our clients understand and navigate the smart phone. Remember, this was early 2010, and the use of smart phones in the marketplace was not widely accepted. These were still just cool devices for the diehard Apple follower or early adopters of the latest technology.
Quality or Quantity or Both?
Once we were able to clearly show the computing power and usability of the smart phone, we had one more hurdle to jump. This was the hurdle that, quite frankly, was going to make or break our concept. It was the hurdle of quality. We knew that our quantity was not going to be an issue; our model was built for large-scale data collection. But, clients weren’t asking about quantity, they were asking about quality. By far, the most common question went something like this, "Just how am I supposed to trust information from someone who isn’t trained, someone who is just a regular, everyday shopper?” It was a fair question, and a hurdle we were ready and willing to jump.
Ensuring Quality Data
While we adore our agents in the field, we understood early on that our message to clients needed to focus more on the data itself than the person collecting it. Don’t get me wrong, our Agents are the lifeblood of what we do, and we have learned that they can do work just as good as (if not better than) trained professionals. We just wanted to make sure that we could ensure quality data so that any doubts were unmerited over time.
We built an entire structure and process around quality data and we improved the process and quality assurance each and everyday after the initial launch. While I won’t share the intricate details of everything that we built, I can say that Field Agent takes the quality of our data very seriously. From understanding the client’s real objective, all the way to custom QC teams and processes, we make sure that we get our clients exactly what they need. We even measure our Agents and our team by the quality of our data.
The bottom line – we are serious about quality and make sure that our clients never need to question that.
Ensuring data quality assurance and quality control within our team helps us to serve our clients better and in turn, they appreciate our approach to quality. Looking back to 2010, I am glad to say that we drew a hard line in the sand. We were not willing to sacrifice our quality then and we still put all of our new ideas through that same filter today.