I'm Brett Slatkin and this is where I write about programming and related topics. You can contact me here or view my projects.

08 November 2012

Reviewed by Pew Research

Yesterday the Pew Research Center released a post-election reaction piece with data collected via Google Consumer Surveys. Here are the source survey reports (linked in the PDF version).

This is a huge deal.

It's not just that the infographic is cool:

Or that the result confirms our instincts:

The reaction to the election was divided along partisan lines. Fully 90% of Obama voters were happy that their candidate won while 88% of Romney voters expressed unhappiness.

What's remarkable is that Pew Research decided to do the surveys using the product I've been working on for the past 2+ years of my life.

Being Pew, they also needed to do a full analysis of our platform and its accuracy before they'd ever consider publishing anything. To put it in context: They are the best and most rigorous. To even have their attention to critique our team's efforts would be an honor. To have them reach a positive conclusion is amazing. From their FAQ:

How accurate are the results?

We are continuing to explore this question, but over the course of six months from May to October, 2012, we compared results for more than 40 questions asked in dual frame telephone surveys to those obtained using Google Consumer Surveys. Questions across a variety of subject areas were tested, including demographic characteristics, technology use, political attitudes and behavior and civic engagement. Across these various types of questions, the median difference between 48 results obtained from Pew Research surveys and using Google Consumer Surveys was 3 percentage points. The mean difference was 6 points.

The full methodology paper is here, entitled "A Comparison of Results from Surveys by the Pew Research Center and Google Consumer Surveys". The PDF version even has links directly into the surveys they ran. I've embedded it here:

Enabling this to happen is one of the proudest things I've ever done in my career. The product is great. Our team is awesome. The best is yet to come.
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