The ultimate market research glossary
June 5th, 2023, Lauren Nasiroglu

The ultimate market research glossary

When speaking about data a lot of market research terms get thrown around, here are some clear definitions for what the main ones mean, so you can learn more about the benefits market research can bring.

When looking to carry out a survey or use data, you may hear phrases bandied about that you have not heard before but want to understand.

Here is the ultimate market research glossary to help you navigate the maze of research terminology. This guide will help you through the phrases and concepts you are most likely to encounter when dealing with data.

Having a greater understanding of research vocabulary should help you to have more informed conversations with your data provider and lead to you getting more out of your research.

Brand tracking: A type of tracking study that continuously monitors a brand's performance and perception in the marketplace over time across a range of brand health, media/communication and purchase funnel metrics. YouGov BrandIndex is our flagship daily brand health tracker, and you can get started with our guide on how to track your brand health.

Connected data: Connected data refers to a data architecture where data is structured and linked together in a way that allows for efficient and effective data analysis and access. In connected data, different data elements are related to one another through meaningful relationships or associations, such as hierarchical, network, or relational structures.

Crossbreak: The analysis of a specific subcategory or segment of respondents of a survey. It allows researchers to examine and compare responses across different variables, such as age, gender, or location. In tables these would typically be columns to the right of the overall results.

Fieldwork: The process of collecting survey data from respondents.

Fieldwork date: The period of time during which data collection takes place.

First party data: Data generated from behavior on an owners’ platform which they can use for analytics, but not share it without additional permissions. YouGov Safe helps unlock fully permissioned consumer behavior data.

Focus group: A qualitative research method in which a small group of individuals, usually 6-10 people, are brought together to discuss and provide feedback on a particular product, service, or topic of interest. The group is typically led by a moderator who facilitates the discussion, asks open-ended questions, and encourages participants to share their opinions and experiences.

Gen Pop/General population sample: A sample that accurately represents the population of the country where the research is taking place.

Grid question: A survey question format that presents a series of related questions, statements or items in a table or grid format with the same answer options.

Incidence rate: The percentage of people in a population who meet the criteria for inclusion in a research study.

Living data: YouGov has unrivalled, quality data. An ever-growing source of constantly evolving, connected intelligence helps discover what your customers were thinking yesterday, 5 years ago, and today.

Margin of error/MOE: The statistical measure that describes the range of uncertainty around a survey or research result due to the sample size and variability.

Market research: The process of gathering and analysing information about a specific market, population, industry, or product to inform business decisions.

Marketing research: The process of gathering and analysing information about customers, competitors, and market trends to inform marketing strategies.

MRP: Multilevel Regression with Poststratification. This is a statistical modelling technique that picks out relationships between respondent profiles and backgrounds (such as where they live, their level of education etc) and some outcome of interest (such as how they intend to vote). The model then fits the relationships learned from the data over a 'post-stratification frame' to estimate the prevalence of these groups’ opinions/behaviours in small geographical areas (such as a state, region or electoral constituency).

Nat rep/nationally representative sample: A sample that accurately represents the population of the country where the research is taking place.

Online urban rep: A sample of respondents that accurately reflects that population in urban areas of a country who have access to the internet.

Open-ended question: A type of inquiry that allows for a wide range of possible responses and encourages participants to provide detailed, unrestricted answers. Unlike closed-ended questions that offer predefined response options, open-ended questions provide an opportunity for individuals to express their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives in their own words, enabling richer and more nuanced data collection.

Political rep: A sample of respondents who reflect the political make-up of a population as well as its demographic make-up. It is designed to ensure that the opinions and preferences of those with different political leanings along with those who do not engage in politics are also proportionately represented in the sample.

Public data: Not all YouGov data is created for commercial use – we also generate ‘public data’ that is there for use by society at large to inform, educate and advance our understanding of society, culture, economics, politics and policy. We also provide free commercial proprietary data that offers high-level insights.

Qualitative research: A type of research that involves the collection and analysis of discursive data collected in forms of conversation and analysed with contextual information. Qualitative research is used to explore an issue more, reporting the themes or narratives within it rather than numerical or statistical data. Methods include one on one conversations (known as ‘depths’), moderated conversations with groups of 6-8 people (known as ‘focus groups’), self-reflecting diaries and answering questions asynchronously – so, not immediately (known as ‘communities’. Our YouGov experts can help you conduct qualitative research.

Quantitative research: A type of research that involves the collection and analysis of numerical data to answer research questions or test hypotheses. For quantitative research, data is typically collected through structured survey.

Questionnaire/survey script: A questionnaire or survey script is a set of questions that are used to collect data from respondents in a research study.

Research panel: A research panel is a group of individuals who have agreed to participate in multiple research studies over time. YouGov has a proprietary panel of over 24 million registered members.

Response rates: Response rates refer to the percentage of individuals who participate in a research study or survey out of the total number of individuals who were invited to participate.

Routing: Routing refers to the process of directing respondents to different survey questions or sections based on their previous answers.

Sample: A sample refers to the overall pool of respondents answering a survey. This can be a subset of the population being studied that is selected for data collection in a research study.

Sample frame: A list or a description of the target population from which a sample is drawn. The sample frame is used to identify and select the individuals or units to be included in the study's sample. A sample frame should be representative of the target population and should include all the elements that the researcher wants to study.

Sample size: The number of individuals or units selected from the target population to be included in a study. The appropriate sample size for a study depends on several factors, including the research question, the level of precision desired, the variability of the population, and the available resources for data collection.

Self-service research: Self-service research refers to the use of online platforms or tools that enable individuals or organizations to conduct their own research studies without the assistance of a professional researcher. YouGov offers a Self-serve survey platform to let you easily build and launch your own surveys.

Split sample: A split sample is a research design technique that involves randomly dividing a sample into two or more groups to test different research hypotheses or interventions.

Syndicated data: Information collected and aggregated by a market research company and made available to multiple clients, providing insights into industry trends, consumer behavior, and market performance. It offers standardized, pre-packaged data sets that enable businesses to make informed decisions and benchmark their performance against competitors.

Tracking study: A tracking study is a longitudinal research design that involves repeatedly measuring the same variables over time to monitor changes and trends.

Urban rep: Urban rep refers to a sample of respondents recruited for surveys who reside in urban areas.

Wave: When you run the same questions over a period of time to see any changes in opinions, behaviors, or the market itself, each instance these questions are run is called a “wave”. Waves of research help researchers understand trends, patterns, and shifts in what consumers like and how the market is doing.

Weighting: Weighting is a statistical technique used to adjust the results of a research study to ensure that the sample accurately represents the population being studied

Zero party data: Data that people intentionally and purposefully share about themselves. For example: opinions, personal information, purchase intentions, bank use, preferred media, brands liked and online histories.

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