Without going into “overdrive”, we can report that Dutch drivers recently had the opportunity to voice their opinions en masse, and this thanks to Synthetron!
We mean by this that over 6000 drivers had their say! For three days, Synthetron registered their views on assignment by the ANWB (the foremost Dutch Automobile Association).
“I finally am allowed to express my opinion!”
This survey will help the ANWB to present the government with some solutions to a prickly situation. The report goes beyond the standard traffic statistics and proffers interesting opinions expressed by Dutch drivers on the subjects of traffic jams, road pricing, and the ways in which politicians can and ought to react. The Synthetron method consists of an online discussion forum capable of hosting up to 1000 participants for a debate to last on the average one hour. Decision-makers can ask questions from the general public and thus gain insight into the prevailing opinions and ideas at large. The participants debate amongst themselves, proffer their opinions on every relevant posted commentary, and reach clear conclusions about the problems thus addressed. This survey method powerfully combines the qualitative with the quantitative aspects, thus to arrive at an overview on the opinions and the motivations that drive the participants. The success of the Synthetron method rests on the positive feeling that participants in the program experience all throughout the course of the online discussion. “I am very happy that the ANWB has given us the opportunity to voice our opinions”; “This is a useful and valuable discussion”; “I am finally allowed to voice my opinion “ … these are but a few of the spontaneous reactions.
“Heavy caliber” methodology
Synthetron is part of a wider approach: the Ruigrok Agency had organized a quantitative large-scale survey, to be followed by a more in-depth inquiry into fundamental questions. Synthetron was given the assignment to collect additional information by organizing online debates about seven major underlying themes. For this process, the participants were expected to feel personally involved and able to identify with the problems. For that purpose, a large-scale recruiting campaign was launched in cooperation with Amplixis in order to find some 6000 pro-active respondents. Synthetron (in collaboration with the ANWB) composed the scripts, thus ensuring an effective interaction between the participants. The discussion topics, the themes and queries were drawn up in an unambiguous and comprehensible manner in order to ensure clear conclusions. A team of specialized moderators kept the discussions on the right track. Subsequently, the proffered ideas and opinions were analyzed for two weeks in keeping with a method worked out by Synthetron. And, in the end, the “Synthetron” results added even greater value to the quantitative results of the Ruigrok Survey. The final report was sent to the government for the latter’s evaluation. All of the above is a fine sample and telling example of what can be realized by a well-managed methodology.
German article: Synthetron ANWB Anwenderbericht