Thursday 17 October 2013

Adroit-e Polling: The Weighting Game

Adroit-e Polling: The Weighting Game
It can be very frustrating.
Why do most National Polls more or less agree on the state of the parties at any given time, but then one Poll produces very different Results? The answer often lies with the interpretation of that data or its analysis, via a weighting system
The Adroit-e constituency Polling system provides the scores to you as found – then you can ask us to weight them in a particular way – or not:
Let’s suppose that the question asked is ‘if the election were tomorrow ,who would you vote for?’ The answer (simplified) might be Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, Undecided. On looking at the Undecided Vote the Polling company discovers that 60% of those undecided, voted Tory last time.  ‘Aha!’ they say having an ‘Aha!’ moment, they may say they are undecided but we know if they voted Tory lasttime they are still more likely to vote Tory next time.
So we’ll achieve greater accuracy by ’weighting’ their answer: so in the analysis it’s not shown as a 1 but us a .8 or some such device – This weighting produces more accuracy, allegedly. But as there is no agreed weighting standards, different companies weigh them differently.  And hence, probably, the differences between Voting companies – The Adroit-e view – Weighting claims to bring greater accuracy but actually it merely adds a further layer of subjectivity.
So with  Adroit-e Polling we devise a questionnaire with you, take it out on to the streets to have up close and personal conversations with your voters, provide you with a rapid topline report, then produce an extensively analysed full report 

There’s a difference between accurate and very accurate polling – meaning possibly the difference in getting first past the Post – or not

Jonathan Brill

Monday 12 August 2013

Data Specialists in two cities

 A pall of smoke hung over Princes Street Gardens in the Centre of Edinburgh.
‘That’ll be the smoke from the one o’clock cannon,’ explained a native Edinburgh chap to his companion. ‘It goes off every day at one o’clock.’
‘It’s only ten to one’ , his friend  pointed out.

So our native Edinburgher had to respond. What do most people do when the information they are sure is accurate, is not? They feel they have been caught out, the data is inaccurate and they clutch at pet phrases or idioms. They bluster.

‘I’m entitled to my opinion’, he blustered on.  Like the moon is made of green cheese or the earth is flat. Does an ‘opinion’ really mean believing something to be true, which verifiably is not?

In London, at the opposite end of the importance of data scale, I encountered  one of these life changing ‘Aha!’ moments. The chap, peering at a complex data set, pushed his glasses up on to his forehead and said ‘Aha, this is not AF. It’s a history of episodes of SVT.’

This is the world of identifying heart problems and their treatment.
Our chap read a set of data produced by a machine which recorded heart beats and was saying ‘this is not a pattern of irregular and very fast heart beats, merely a pattern of very fast heart beats.’

Important – Oh yes! and directly contradicting the ‘opinion’ of a previous expert.

Another case of ‘everyone’s entitled to their opinion?’

Oh no! – this is a failure by one professional to read a set of data properly, the consequence being a wrong diagnosis and a wrong treatment plan.

Nothing wrong with the data collection, nothing wrong with data presentation – a lot wrong with data interpretation. There are professionals and then there are specialists – often a specialist makes the genuine difference.

Are either of these case studies transferable to your company or organisation?

Friday 2 August 2013

The State of Readiness or not of Local Parliamentary Parties

The State of  Readiness  or not of Local Parliamentary Parties

The 2010 election and its subsequent aftermath was a memorable political event.
 [You’ll remember the next bit, but some local party chiefs seem to have forgotten -None of the parties managed to secure the 326 seats needed for an overall majority. Although, the Conservative Party won the largest number of votes and seats they still fell twenty seats short. This resulted in a hung parliament. Deep talks between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats began instantly and finally a coalition government was announced.]

 It was a close thing.

 Fast forward a few years to the present 2013 and we are less than 2 years away from the next election, scheduled ( for the first time ever  as a fixed date) for 7th May 2015.
The normally fierce competition between the three main parties has been ramped up a few gears, considering the closeness of many of the 2010 scores. The Conservative Party have launched a 40/40 strategy aimed at winning the next election - based on holding 40 marginal seats and winning 40 target seats.

Adroit-e has already worked with a number of MP’s including those from marginal constituencies. Adroit-e conducted sensitivity polling analyses, within the many layers of the constituency, to ascertain the MP’s personal ratings and those of the party with existing and new voters. – ‘Hmm,  Should I bother standing again or not?’ – evidence based decision making.

Currently we are conducting research into the state of preparedness of all marginal constituencies. And shock, horror, our findings show that many of the losers in the battle for the constituency ain’t geared up for the fight yet.

Regardless of party, we have discovered that the local political machines, too often, have yet to put the basics in place; the details of the candidate, a useful. informative website, details of policies, details of public appearances etc
Adroit-e has done the research, and it’s scarcely a state secret, which shows that it takes a long time to build brand loyalty or a buzz around the brand. Two years? At least!

Adroit-e Comments: If you want to unseat the present incumbent best be getting on with it –like now.