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Edgy Interview: Julie Meier Wright

Julie and her beloved Sailor
Julie Meier Wright is credited with selling San Diego to the nation and the world. She was also no less than California's first Secretary of Trade & Commerce. As the subject of this month's Edgy Interview, Julie talks about competitiveness, a subject near and dear to CERC. She also dishes on food, Samurai artwork, everything that needs fixing in the state of California, the importance of integrity, a big data startup she's helping a friend develop and a dozen other topics.
Read the Edgy Interview with Julie

CERC's John Nienstedt Speaks
to the San Diego Strategic Roundtable

The Strategic Roundtable is a group of San Diego's retired civic luminaries who come together to understand regional issues. It is part of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. Comprised of former business leaders and public officials, they bring experts into their meetings so that Roundtable members can take positions, push for change and help improve San Diego.

John Nienstedt was fortunate enough to be invited to speak to the group in January, along with Democratic communications strategist Rachel Laing. We spoke about the upcoming 2018 election cycle and beyond, dissecting both high profile and relatively obscure races. Nienstedt confidently predicted Congressman Darrell Issa would win a hard-fought re-election campaign, only to see Issa drop out of the race the next morning. That's life in the prediction game.


Staff News: Ronald Zavala Promoted to Director of Operations and David Ferree is CERC’s New Call Center Manager

Ronald Zavala, CERC Director of Operations & David Ferree, Call Center Manager
Ronald Zavala began his survey research career as an interviewer in 1996. Since then he’s acquired a wealth of supervisorial and management skills, having worked in qualitative research, medical data and quantitative research. He's been with CERC for a decade as our Call Center Manager and has moved to our El Paso facility to take on larger responsibilities as our new Director of Operations. A proud Aztec, Ronald received his bachelor of arts in Classics from San Diego State University. He was honored as the Outstanding Graduate in his class, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

David Ferree has made a stellar career in survey call centers for more than 20 years. He has served as Director of Site Development, Director of Training and Development and Director of Field Services. He has expertise in research planning and design, questionnaire development, interface with analysts and subject matter experts, project scheduling, training of management/ supervisory staff and ensuring on-time deliverables. 

Both Ronald and David are fluent Spanish speakers. We are thrilled to have them guiding El Paso's interviewers.
Competitive Edge Research & Communication

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Ask the Guru
Q. "
How many surveys do I need... I mean, is 400 really enough?”
A. I'll respond with four questions of my own. First, how important will the research results be to you and your success? The more important, the larger the sample size. Second, who do you want to impress?  If the consumer/ audience has a sophisticated understanding of probability, they won't need a large sample to be impressed, so you may need less sample. Third, how much do you want to know? Knowing more requires more sample because the data will have to be sliced and diced into sub-samples. Fourth, and most important, how much money do you have? Seriously, larger samples are usually better but they cost more.

What's not a consideration? The size of the population you are studying. It's counter-intuitive, but the size of what we call "the universe" you want to know about is irrelevant to the margin of sampling error. That means a 400-person sample of Rhode Islanders is going to yield the same plus or minus 4.9% MoSE as a 400-person sample of Californians. 

And one last thing: sample size is not everything. The sampling method is incredibly important to getting accurate results, as are questionnaire design, data collection and weighting. Remember what happened to the Literary Digest when it had the largest samples but the poorest sampling techniques? It died.

CERC Conducts the San Diego
Business Forecast for 4th Year

The San Diego Business Forecast
CERC is proud to enter our fourth year of conducting the San Diego Business Forecast. Produced by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by San Diego Private Bank, the Business Forecast presents the Business Outlook Index as the business community’s optimism gauge. It also polls on important regional topics from a business perspective. Respondents are randomly drawn on a monthly basis from a pool of more than 4,500 local companies across San Diego County. 

We invite you to have a look at the January 2018 installment, which finds an uptick in optimism to begin the new year and looks at how companies view San Diego's homelessness problem: The San Diego Business Forecast
Check out the San Diego Business Forecast
at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce!
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