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How we work

At BIT we use a large number of processes to ensure the quality of all of our work across the team and around the world. We refer to this as our quality assurance (QA).

These are the principles that underpin our QA for every project and piece of work we undertake:

  • Competent staff

    Each project is assigned a team with the necessary skills, experience and availability to deliver the work. Assurance of the competency of staff is maintained through appraisals and training.

  • Independent QA

    Every project is also assigned a quality assurance team who sit outside the core project team, and who are sufficiently experienced to be able to challenge analysis before it is finalised and published. Our QA processes are standardised, sophisticated and well documented.

  • A culture that’s open to challenge

    Our internal culture promotes healthy constructive challenge and non-hierarchical peer review. We are confident that teammates feel psychologically safe to question odd-looking data or approaches. 

  • Time devoted to quality work

    We build in time to project timescales for peer review comments on code, draft analysis plans and outputs.

  • Risk management

    Our project managers continuously assess risks and mitigations.

  • Debiased trial design

    Wherever possible we design our trials so that the individuals collecting the data are blinded to the differences between different trial arms. 

  • Active checks for data anomalies

    Wherever possible we use clearly defined protocols, data collection tools and undertake spot checks and monitoring of data as it gets collected to assess quality. We quality assure the code that we use in our analyses. We also check data collected by others, since we are aware that they could have the incentive to fabricate or manipulate data in order to avoid the effort of collecting it properly, hide any failure on their part or please their commissioners.

  • Full transparency with our partners

    We invite clients to engage throughout our projects to ensure objectives are aligned and to provide sign-off on key documents. 

  • Ethics review

    BIT’s research proposals are required to receive ethics review and sign off by teams which are separate from the project team and who follow the ethical review process used by the UK government’s Social Research Profession. We frequently also submit our research proposals to external ethics committees for review, whenever partner processes require this. This means that our projects are often scrutinised by academic committees or public sector ethics boards as well.