Data Fusion and Single Source Surveys

James Rothman

Media planners are often frustrated to find that they are not able to obtain the joint research information they require. They want to know the readership of a publication amongst a particular target group, they would like to compare the performance of media on two different surveys, they want to plan or evaluate mixed schedules or they want to relate a special study, probably done by a media owner, to conventional audience estimates.

There are two ways of overcoming this problem. One is to make sure that both types of information are obtained on the same survey, in other words, to use single source, and the other is to use a statistical technique known as 'data fusion'.

Data fusion, then, is a process for combining two or more surveys, probably on different subjects, to form a database that can be analysed as if it came from a single survey.