How the quality of an online access panel can be assessed is explained below in accordance with the corresponding ESOMAR guideline and the AccessPanel standard ("ISO 26362: 2009").
The panel operator must ensure that the panelists have voluntarily and actively agreed to participate in online surveys. This can e.g. done by a double opt-in. Of course, the relevant data protection regulations must be adhered to. It makes sense for each participant of the panel to record how and when he has become a member of the panel. In addition, appropriate measures must be taken so that people can not log in twice. When recruiting a set of master data (i.d.R Soziodemographia) is usually collected, which is available in all surveys for quoting, the sample description etc. available. The master data should be updated at regular intervals.
The number of panel sizes should be based solely on the number of active panel participants at a given time. Panelists are considered active if they have participated in a survey within the past 12 months or if they have indicated their willingness to participate in surveys.
Within the framework of a serious panel documentation, it should be specified and documented how often a panelist participates in surveys and what content the surveys have. If panelists regularly participate in investigations, the panel operator should define when a person should be replaced by a new panelist. In addition, it should be documented how and when the panelists are incentivized. Of course, it must be prevented that panelists participate in the same investigation several times.
Part of the high quality project management is the detailed documentation of the field phase. This includes:
- Invitation text to the survey
- Date of first poll
- Date of reminder email
- Duration of the field phase
- Number of invited panelists
- Number of open questionnaires
- Number of completed questionnaires
- Comparison of the current response rate to the average response rate
In order to provide the customers of online panels with a good market overview, marktforschung.de has formulated central questions based on the corresponding ADM checklist, the ESOMAR guideline and ISO 26362: 2009. The panel providers thus have the opportunity to document that their online access panel is actively managed in accordance with the aforementioned guidelines. These quality criteria can be viewed for each panel on an appropriate site and are based on the information provided by the relevant provider.
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