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Sample Sources

Toluna supports all industry-wide data quality initiatives and is a licensed TrueSample® sample source. We believe it is important to provide our clients with assurance that we have our own standard operating procedures in place to ensure data quality.

We have defined this process as SmartSample™. SmartSample™ ensures that Toluna respondents are Real, Valid, De-duplicated, Engaged, and Representative.

Real – All Toluna respondents are authenticated. Respondents are subject to GeoIP and Melissa checks, a CAPTCHA confirmation process, and a third-party technology, Imperium’s Address Correct®, which prevents individuals from participating in surveys unless a valid postal address is used. Panelists must complete Toluna’s double-opt-in registration process, which requires an individual to confirm membership by clicking on an emailed link upon enrollment in the Toluna panel.

Valid – Respondents are validated using email-address validation measures (Toluna blocks known ‘fake’ or ‘disposable’ IP domains). Respondents are further validated using the TrueSample™ validation process. The latter process compares an individual’s name and address information with third-party data sources, including the U.S. Postal service, telephone directories, and so on. TrueSample™ is used to validate the Toluna panel in the U.S. Toluna’s Healthcare Panel is further validated, by requiring American Medical Association (AMA) member IDs upon enrollment.

De-duplicated – Respondents can’t enroll in the Toluna community, or take a survey more than once, fraudulently or accidentally. To prevent this from happening, Toluna uses a Match 2 process to flag similarities among Toluna panelists upon enrollment. This automated process clusters individuals and helps to identify members who may have attempted to register for the Toluna panel more than once. In addition to this process, Toluna has developed Duplicate Respondent Detection™ technology. This flash/ cookie-based technology is used during the panelist-registration process, and at the beginning of every Toluna survey. This is coupled with a third-party digital fingerprinting technology, Imperium’s RelevantID™, which is used at the beginning of every Toluna survey. Toluna’s process for preventing respondent duplication is proactive: respondents are prevented from participating in surveys more than once.

Engaged – Toluna’s goal is to provide clients with the highest quality data. To do this effectively, respondents must be engaged in the surveys that they complete. Toluna provides clients with data that has been subject to many checkpoints, helping to ensure respondents have provided truthful and thoughtful responses to survey questions. Every data file delivered to clients is analyzed for the quality of open-ended responses and spelling checks are applied; respondents who participate in less than a third of the mean response time are also eliminated from the data set, as a standard practice. Finally, cleaning scripts are used to ensure that data follows logical skip patterns, name and address information matches respondent enrollment data, and more.

Representative – Survey data needs to be reliable, representative and repeatable. Toluna’s SmartSelect™ methodology enables researchers to select potential survey respondents with demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral characteristics that precisely match those of the target population-of-interest. SmartSelect™ is a unique methodology that directs Toluna respondents into a survey and asks demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral screening questions prior to assigning the individual to a survey. The questions asked yield a SmartSelect™ score. This propensity score is used to match the characteristics of respondents with those of the target population-of-interest, ensuring reliable, representative, and repeatable results.

All Toluna-certified sources of sample are interchangeable and complementary, based on evidence produced through Toluna's internal research-on-research, regularly verified and updated. This large pool of potential respondents to is available to clients who use Toluna’s SampleXpress without any need to sacrifice quality.

Toluna has implemented an aggressive profiling program in order to fill quotas faster and more efficiently, in order to address the need for speed, without sacrificing quality.

No online panel is exhaustive. In cases where we need to augment our proprietary panels and Real-Time Sampling® capability to deliver the respondents needed to complete a client project, we leverage our Certified Affiliate Network. This Network of affiliated partners enables us to seamlessly fulfill unique sample requirements.

We continually evaluate potential partners to add to our Affiliate Network. Toluna upholds the highest industry standards when recruiting respondents to participate in our surveys, and/or to join our panel, and we require that our partners uphold the same high-quality standards. All Affiliate Network partners are asked about opt-in policies, privacy policies, legal guidelines, and geographic locations, as well as restrictions.

Toluna will not work with brokers, and only with suppliers who have their own, proprietary panels. His requirement means we work primarily with local suppliers based in their country. We evaluate and select suppliers who have local knowledge of the regions where we are carrying out studies.

In addition, suppliers must be ESOMAR-registered and provide adequate responses to ESOMAR’s 26 questions about online research.

Once a supplier is on-board, the agency is automatically and continuously monitored to gauge its performance in delivery on studies. If an agency fails to deliver on two studies, its status is set to probationary until the issues are resolved and performance is restored. If, while the supplier is on probationary status, it continues to fail to deliver, then they are removed from our preferred supplier list.