Even if you’ve started a robust measurement program (good job!) and have data, there can be that niggling doubt.
Are you asking the right questions to measure what you’re trying to understand? Is the data you’re getting showing what you believe it does?
If you’ve struggled with this, you’re wrestling with the question of validity.
As Tina McCorkindale, president and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations, explained at Ragan’s 2022 Strategic Communications Conference, “Validity is if you’re measuring what you intend to measure.”
This can come into play in a variety of different areas of measurement. It could be in your own survey questions. It could be in the data you’re looking at. Or it could be measurements you’re being offered by outside parties.
Validating external data
“If you deal with vendors, question how they’re measuring things,” she cautioned.
Many vendors might offer you an all-in-one score that measures a huge, abstract concept like “trust” or “brand awareness.” These scores seek to condense these difficult ideas into one score that seems easy to digest.