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What does the total of this EMBAC Program Survey question not sum to 100%?

We believe we found an issue with the reporting of question 20A in the 2013 Standard Report for the Executive MBA Council Membership Program Survey. The sum should be 100%, but the 2013 EMBA column sums to 118.2%. How is this possible?

This is possible because the response display is not normalized. The validation is per respondent. Here is an example of how this can occur:

In the simplest cases, normalization of ratings means adjusting values measured to a notionally common scale. In more complicated cases, normalization may refer to more sophisticated adjustments where the intention is to bring the entire probability distributions of adjusted values into alignment. The key is with normalization like this the findings don’t change, just the numbers slightly. Direction and order are identical.

What we are displaying in the Standard Report is the average response for each response category. For example, a normalization on B20A for the EMBA segment is:

This display is not necessary wrong, but a different perspective. We chose this perspective because it preserves order (i.e., relative frequency order for each response category) and direction. Like any data manipulation, normalization isn't perfect. If the absolute rating is meaningful or of psychological interest, it will be obscured by transforming it to a relative metric.