I have a love/hate relationship with polls and surveys. They are both often used tools. They may be informative, they may be useless or they may simply be fools gold. My personal opinion is that most fall in the fools gold category find – of a lustrous mine luring prospectors with false promises of immeasurable treasure. Don’t get me wrong, polls and surveys offer up a great deal of valuable resources for the miners – assuming they don’t become obsessed with a quick-riches strike, by the vein of pyrite – while ignoring the more valuable nuggets embedded in the less obvious areas of the dig.
I was reading on QCOnline a story talking about a recent survey performed by Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau (QCCVB) of local Quad City businesses. I was reading what was basically a press release stating the summary of the study by the QCCVB – with comments from Quad City area leaders about how they would use the study to assist them in directing their future business decisions. As I read the article, I asked myself just how much of the material mined was going to be useful resources and how much would actually be a fools gold strike leading the Quad City Developers and Political leaders choking and sweating as they hastily dug shiny valueless nuggets while overlooking the actual valuable minerals of the excavation.
One of the most glaring issues I read in the study was that out of a thousand local businesses that were sent the survey – 10.5 % actually returned the survey. Only 105 businesses out of a 1000 even bothered to answer and return the survey. OUCH!!! Disenchantment or Apathy? Aversion for a request to share the requested business information? Distrust of what they felt was an intrusive survey? Unwillingness to sacrifice the valuable time needed to complete the survey? Animosity for the QCCVB or its members? Whatever the reason, it is hard to make valuable property assessments, from a minority of responses to any information designed to enlighten and direct long-term operations for political leadership and manufacturing corporations. I don’t see much visible gold to be obtained from a ten percent survey of the plotted region. In fact, I would be worried that my mining claim I just bought into, might have been salted by unscrupulous operatives to spur interest in mineral barren pits. Hopefully the surveyors of this parcel will be able to find some actual valuable minerals from this small sampling.