Banishing ‘The 3 Evil Cs of Bias’ with the help of passive tracking

As insight professionals, we are all aware of some of the biases inherent in the more traditional research methodologies, which we at FreshMinds like to call ‘The 3 Evil Cs of Bias’.

All too often research is conducted out-of-Context, is reliant on respondents’ ability to accurately reCall their behaviour and seeks to understand Claimed rather than actual behaviour. These 3 Cs can seriously undermine the integrity of the insights uncovered. To avoid this we’re always focused on trying to get to ‘real’ to understand the best strategy for growth so we love new ways of conducting research that reduce or indeed eliminate these biases.

Against this backdrop it’s no surprise that almost a third of clients believe that ‘consumer-specific data collected passively’ will be the ‘single most important source for insights creation two years from now’ according to a new study .

By its very nature, passive data collection avoids many of the biases involved in asking consumers about their past behaviour. So it’s no wonder that passive tracking is perceived to be so important to insight professionals. But interestingly despite this, 68% of clients and 69% of suppliers are not currently doing any passive measurement. And what’s more, they don’t expect to start doing so within the next 2 years.

Here at FreshMinds, we’re bucking the trend. In our quest to banish ‘The 3 Evil Cs of Bias’ and get closer to the real truth, we’ve embraced passive tracking, most recently using it to get to the heart of the app usage and media consumption amongst families.

We gained permission from 75 participants in 3 markets to have their device usage tracked across a 14 day period. The result?! Some 4.5m rows of data which were able to distil down to provide our client with a comprehensive understanding of how families engage with apps and online media.

Naturally, passively tracking consumer behaviour and above all, making sense of the masses of data you collect as a result, is an incredibly complex process. But it’s one that pays off, helping us get ever closer in the battle to defeating those pesky 3 Cs and enabling us to find the answers to questions that until recently had never been thought possible.