Keeping tabs on the ever changing environment

The amount of information and content that the average consumer receives online and on our phones today dwarfs previous generations—and you’d be hard pressed to find any marketing expert that anticipates this trend abating.

In fact, it was estimated that about $107 billion was spent in America alone in 2018 on digital advertising. For campaigns last cycle, that amount is estimated to be between $900 million and $1.8 billion. This is clearly a big range. But it’s a tough number to pin down based on the way expenditures are reported. For comparison, in 2014 digital spending was estimated at about $250 million.

The challenge in the political world is how to measure what’s being done and the effectiveness of that effort. Digital consultants have their metrics such as impressions, clicks, et cetera. But are there other ways to understand the reach and effects of the money being spent?

Kavanaugh’s Confirmation: A Story of Gender and Partisanship

We have been tracking opinions over the course of Kavanaugh’s rocky journey to the Supreme Court. Through Trendency, an online research platform that gathers responses from representative panels of registered voters across the country, we have amassed a longitudinal dataset that allows us to detect small movements and changes in opinion over time as different events occur. One of the ways that our data is different from traditional research is that we do not force our respondents into a yes or no question set, but allow them to indicated how much they support both of these positions.

Volatility Scores

By now we all know the adage, modern data analysis is like drinking from a firehose. However, we might argue it’s more like standing under a waterfall. Through the data we collect is abundant, our human capacity to take it in and analyze it is limited. Given the abundance of data, it is increasingly difficult to tell where to look to find interesting insights and useful analysis. While this challenge is one that is likely to continue to grow exponentially, many of us are trying to develop tools to help tackle this problem. Our newest: volatility scores.

It’s a Matter of Degree

Too often, researchers are leaving data on the table when they survey respondents. Typically, when a researcher wants a respondent’s take on an issue, the respondent is unfairly asked to cram their thinking into a few preselected options (do you agree or disagree, do you support or oppose, etc.). The problem with this approach is that opinions are not so simple. Asking respondents to sort themselves into predetermined static choices oversimplifies data before the researcher ever gets their hands on it. Respondents have a whole lot more than just what side they take on an issue to share; they also know the degree to which they believe their stated opinions. Collecting and analyzing that data is interesting, insightful, and increasingly necessary.

This is where Trendency comes in.