We are survey methodologists, and we’re here to answer all your nerdy data questions.


We’re Jessica Holzberg and Ashley Amaya, both survey research methodologists based in Washington, D.C. Questions abound regarding the value and reliability of survey research, including federal data, and we want to share how we work to uncover insights that impact the lives of everyday Americans. Public opinion research is essential to a healthy democracy and provides information that is crucial to informed policymaking. This research gives voice to the nation’s beliefs, attitudes and desires. Ask us how!

We believe in transparency and in ethical survey practices. We also believe some practices are not at all above board. You can ask us about those, too.

I’m Jessica, and I am the associate communications chair for the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). I use both qualitative and quantitative research methods such as cognitive interviewing, focus groups, web probing and experiments to reduce survey measurement error and improve the clarity of communication around surveys. I particularly like talking about the burden of surveys for respondents, measurement of sexual orientation and gender identity, and issues surrounding privacy and confidentiality.

I’m Ashley, and I am a senior research survey methodologist at RTI International. I am also the Editor-in-chief of Survey Practice, an assistant research professor at University of Maryland and University of Mannheim, and a member of AAPOR’s Standards Definitions and Policy Impact Award Committees. I focus on the big picture of any design to make sure that all components (e.g., sampling, data collection modes, questionnaires, analysis) form a cohesive design. I also like talking about alternative sources of data (e.g., administrative records, digital trace data) that can enhance or replace survey data.


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