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January 2017

How does Veracio even work, work, work, work, work?

By | Data Journalism Resources, Nonprofit Resources | 2 Comments

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A Veracio user (YOU!) starts by designing a survey using the Veracio website with questions relevant to your purpose, company, or organization just like you would design any other survey. In addition to the questions you create, Veracio surveys will automatically include demographic questions (sex, race/ethnicity, age, and/or education). Veracio then uses the answers to the demographic questions to statistically weight the survey responses with the click of a button!

In order for the weighting to work, you first have to specify where your respondents live when you create your survey. The area you choose can be a county, state, or the entire United States–and more than one can be specified. (We hope to bring you additional country selections in a future version!) Since Veracio uses U.S. Census data to implement the statistical weighting, it is important to accurately identify the appropriate geographic location of your survey respondents. It is not better to err on the side of larger or smaller geographic regions, so carefully choose the most appropriate region for your population of interest.

In addition to geographic information, you will also need to specify which demographic questions Veracio should ask your respondents. The choices include sex, race/ethnicity, age, and education. The Veracio tool is able to test which of the weighting indicators gives the best result, so it does not hurt to err on the side of including more demographic questions.

Once you’ve designed the survey, included the appropriate geography/geographies, demographic questions, and actual questions of interest, you can share your survey with respondents. During the survey period, responses are stored. At the end of the survey period, all the survey responses are ready to be analyzed.

Tune in to future blog posts to learn about populations, over sampling, under-sampling, weighting variables, and how Veracio analyzes your survey responses by choosing the best set of weighting indicators. If you’re curious about the technical stuff, we’ll also talk about how Veracio reports post-stratification weights and estimates of error!