[PMC Weekly Insight] Slogging away the morning

Philip Morgan

Quick tophat: Could you help a client of mine with some research they're doing? If you think of yourself as a consultant and know something about how you or your firm generates leads, please share your experience here emailforexperts.com/clg-survey/ It's a 5 minute commitment that will enrich a very valuable dataset Tom is developing and sharing back with those who participate.

A belated happy Wednesday to you!

It's belated because I spent the entire morning coding responses from my list sample for my survey marketing experiment1.

It was more work than coding the responses to the LinkedIn sample because 1) more responses and 2) more verbose, thoughtful responses from y'all. And then I had to do some re-work because I got sloppy and overwrote a bunch of columns in my spreadsheet where I was doing the coding and had to do some of that over again. :-|

I think y'all will enjoy the following two snapshots of the data from this coding. Remember, this is you, meaning these are coded responses that came from people on this email list who responded to my survey.

In response to the question "2. Please list ways you have you spent time and money for career development.":

And one more that's particularly interesting, this one in response to the question "7. Consider your entire career as a self-employed software developer and times you have gotten new opportunities, better projects, or other forms of career improvement. What do you think led to these improvements in your career?":

I'll have a more robust analysis for you in a week or two.

In the meantime, some interesting stuff that came up while coding these responses:

Do you code clearly bad-faith responses?

^^^ This dingaling took the survey while also insulting the survey questions (highlighted row). I ignored these responses because they are noise, not signal.

If this happens to you while doing something similar, don't sweat it. If you sample enough people, you'll get stuff like this. Just exclude these obviously bad faith answers and move on.

UI matters

When coding responses, seemingly minor UI stuff (column width and how text wraps in a spreadsheet) really matters. Fighting the UI by popping back and forth from the column you are trying to read to the column you are writing codes into vs being able to easily read and code without the back and forth is a surprisingly big deal. So take the time to set up the UI to make the process easy.

Look-ahead responses

It's interesting to me that multiple people seem to have reviewed all the survey questions before answering them. So far it's4 out of 56 responses that evidence this behavior.

I don't think this is a problem; it's simply interesting to be able to see this.

Tough stuff

Man, some responses are really tough to code! Ex: "Meet with people to discuss future career changes." Is this networking, informal mentoring, or something else? Or all of the above?

I just give it a few minutes of thought, come up with the best code I can, and move on. I'm not sure it's worth more effort than that.

Now that I've got all my survey responses coded, I'm much closer to being able to write up a first draft of my findings. Woot! I won't lie: it's been a slog getting here.

There might be ways of doing research that don't involve some slog work. But if you're willing to embrace a bit of slogging, you can generate some absolutely fascinating, unique insights based on proprietary datasets that you collect and own. I think that's worth some slogging.

If you're in the US and celebrate Independence Day, then happy Independence Day to you! If you don't, happy Get A Lot Done Because The Phone and Inbox are Quiet Day! If you're outside the US and wonder if this country is going crazy and taking the rest of the world to hell with it, you have a valid concern.

I'm kind of kidding with the fatalistic pray for Mojo GIF.

You know that William Gibson quote, right? "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed." The same, I believe, is true of positive change. It's here and happening and there's lots of it, it's just not evenly distributed. Don't over-focused on the negative and sources that profit from focusing on the negative.

Happy Wednesday,


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  1. If you want to read up on this experiment:
    1. philipmorganconsulting.com/pmc-survey-marketing/
    2. philipmorganconsulting.com/pmc-the-de-biasing-survey/
    3. philipmorganconsulting.com/pmc-survey-marketing-recruitment/
    4. philipmorganconsulting.com/pmc-survey-marketing-initial-data-from-the-de-biasing-survey/
    5. philipmorganconsulting.com/pmc-weekly-insight-survey-marketing-qualitative-analysis-of-the-de-biasing-survey/
    6. philipmorganconsulting.com/pmc-weekly-insight-survey-marketing-coding-and-counting/
    7. philipmorganconsulting.com/pmc-weekly-insight-its-a-grind-grind/