Improving Data Quality In The Nielsen Media Research Diary And Meter Samples

Paul J. Lavrakas, Ph.D.1
Nielsen Media Research


In the past two years, NMR has engaged in a coordinated series of methodological research endeavors that have led to several important changes in its diary and meter methodologies. These changes have been implemented from a cost/benefit perspective with NMR's senior executives making decisions that they believed would benefit both the company and its customers.

The paper begins by discussing some key measures that NMR uses to track the quality of the data it gathers in its diary and meter samples and how these measures have changed over recent years. The paper then highlights select key methodological studies and operational changes that have contributed to these recent increases in data quality. Finally, the paper discusses a new national survey to help the company better understand how to motivate participation in its research samples among members of the 18–34 year old cohort, including an oversampling of Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics – key demographic groups for NMR and its customers.

Statistical Indicators of Quality