Mixing the right sample ingredients: A new source recipe

Jackie Lorch, Pete Cape and Kristin Cavallaro
Survey Sampling International

Identifying the business problem

What is the business problem we are trying to solve? It is a systematic problem with online access panels. Although these panels have performed well over the past decade, recently their shortcomings are becoming more apparent. Only a limited number of people are willing to join an Online Access Panel and that limit is quickly being reached. As a result, these panels tend to have an increasingly poorly defined and incomplete sample frame and, when being used to estimate the national population, large frame errors

It is becoming increasingly difficult (and expensive) to recruit and retain panelists. In the ten years that SSI had been offering online panels to the research industry, the number of internet users across the globe has grown by 444.8% (Internet World Stats). The growth is more marked in developing countries, starting as they did from a lower base, but is also spectacular in mature markets (Table 1).