SOURCE: MarketTools

December 11, 2007 11:11 ET

MarketTools Announces Industry-First Data Quality Patent Filing

Patent-Pending Technology Ensures Highest Quality Data in the Market Research Industry, Empowers Customers With Genuine Insights

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - December 11, 2007) - MarketTools, Inc. today announced the filing of a patent application for its Survey Fraud Detection System and Method with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). MarketTools' patent-pending data validation technology automatically identifies and removes fraudulent responses from data sets before they can impact the accuracy of research results. Today's announcement marks a milestone in the market research industry and reinforces MarketTools' ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality data, market research and genuine insights to its customer base, which today includes more than 400 of the Fortune 500.

In market research industry, it is well understood and accepted that quality data requires industry-standard methodology, as well as reliable, rigorously managed sample/panel. However, few research organizations are able to address the full range of processes required to generate high-quality data and genuine insights, which demands the seamless integration of not only research expertise and panel management, but also technology. As an established and trusted partner of the world's most recognized corporations, market research firms, advertising agencies, small businesses and non-profit organizations, MarketTools devotes significant resources to ensuring the quality of its data.

Conventional attempts to remove erroneous responses from survey data -- such as those caused by survey takers speeding through their answers or "straight-lining" responses -- include the use of pattern matching and/or reverse logic. However, these approaches can have accuracy problems of their own and are often cumbersome to implement. MarketTools' Survey Fraud Detection System integrates seamlessly with its enterprise survey platform zTelligence™. The company's technology begins by determining the response time used by each of the survey takers and establishes a response time indicia for each question. The response times of individual survey takers are then compared to the indicia and any response time with a value below the indicia is identified as fraudulent and removed from the data set, helping to further maintain the accuracy and quality of the overall research.

With the introduction of its Survey Fraud Detection System, MarketTools is now able to offer customers a unique and powerful combination of the three key elements critical to producing quality data and delivering genuine insight:

--  Research Expertise -- In addition to ESOMAR and CASRO, MarketTools is
    actively involved in the American Marketing Association and the Advertising
    Research Foundation's Online Research Quality Council to further enhance
    the company's expertise in delivering high-quality research. MarketTools'
    experience comes from highly experienced staff of market research and
    marketing-science professionals with both client-side and supplier-side
    experience who ensure high-quality research by focusing on sound sampling
    practices, differentiated research practices and leading advanced
    analytics.
    
--  Panel Management -- MarketTools' online panel, ZoomPanel™, delivers
    consistent, reliable responses that enable customers to reduce time to
    market for new products, improve the competitiveness of exiting products
    and capture additional market share. MarketTools has been running its
    online panel since 2001 and has a team of more than 20 professionals
    devoted exclusively to panel and sample management who ensure compliance
    with the highest market research standards set forth by influential
    industry organizations, including ESOMAR and CASRO. MarketTools maintains
    diverse recruiting practices, ensures accurate representation with samples
    balanced to the U.S. census or specific segments, and provides extensive
    profiling with more than 500 attributes. Last year alone, MarketTools
    successfully delivered more than 7 million completes, with a constant eye
    toward increasing capacity while maintaining quality.
    
--  Patent-pending Data Validation Technology -- MarketTools' technology
    correlates survey-taking time and response patterns to identify fraudulent
    behavior. With MarketTools' Survey Fraud Detection System, the company is
    able to identify and remove offenders from the data set, mark these
    panelists as fraudulent, subsequently remove them from the panel based on
    past behavior and ensure the overall quality of survey results.
    

"MarketTools' data validation technology ensures that the data collected in any survey study can exclude responses from people who 'straight-line' or take a survey much faster than other respondents," said John Ouren, executive vice president and general manager of Zoom Businesses at MarketTools. "This proprietary and patent-pending technology, in combination with our research expertise and industry-leading panel management, means that MarketTools' customers can be confident in the accuracy of their survey response data and overall quality of their market research. This application is just the first in a series of innovations on MarketTools' data quality technology roadmap. With each new initiative, we are able to empower our customers to make better-informed business decisions, further enhance our quality-based techniques and technology, and remain at the cutting edge of the online market research industry."

About MarketTools

MarketTools is the defining provider of on-demand market research, giving companies and individuals the ability to continuously understand their target customers through innovative approaches based on advanced technology, research expertise, global market reach and an online panel community of over 2.5 million individuals worldwide. MarketTools' full-range of research applications and services provide organizations from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and non-profits with unique access to their target markets to uncover unmet needs, reduce time to market and capture market share. Further information: www.markettools.com