Chesterton Tribune

Chamber survey report glosses over poor response rate

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Voice of the People

I have to laugh at all the attention being given to the results from the Chesterton Chamber of Commerce email/fax survey while very little is being said about its enormous inaccuracy. I conferred with professional researchers with whom I work, and they all rolled their eyes when they looked at the low number of responses (86 of 304 possible) received by the Chamber on which the final results were based.

That is because when you receive responses from less than 29 percent of the total number of people surveyed, the resulting data is absolutely useless. Therefore, any reported results are skewed. For example: Question 1. Do you believe Chesterton should pursue becoming a city? 56 percent yes, 44 percent no (of the 86 who responded). The actual numbers are 48 and 38 (received # of votes); or 15.5 percent yes and 12.5 percent no, based on the total membership of 304. WOW - big difference!

Hey Chamber leaders, do you think the residents around here are that uneducated? Even worse, the noticeably flawed survey results were picked up by a regional paper making the Chamber look even more foolish.

Laura DeSousa


Posted 8/7/2006