Ensure your survey insights are valid and represent your researched population

This course is now delivered online as a series of live sessions which fully meet the learning objectives of face-to-face training.

Course overview/description

Good survey design will ensure that the results of your research and insights arising from it are valid and bias-free, and that the people being surveyed represents the population.  That said, it is almost impossible to ensure that samples mirror population in terms of composition.  This means that when coming to analyse the data, some respondents would need to be given more weight than others.  Straightforward in principle, weighting is an area where the more one knows, the more questions are asked and the more challenging it gets.  We explain terms such as “Rim Weighting”, “Design Effect”.

This practical course, filled with worked examples, shows delegates how the right weighting schemes may be achieved, which methods and principles to apply, what the common pitfalls are and how they may be avoided and what the knock-on effects are. Indeed, it even discussed whether weighting is appropriate in the first place.  Survey weighting is critical to get right and if not applied correctly, it can do work against the hard carried out by researchers in ensuring results are accurate and insights are valid. 

Learning outcomes/learning objectives

  • Evaluate whether weighting is appropriate a specific survey and determine an optimal scheme;
  • Know how to calculate respondent weights;
  • Understand and calculate the effect that weighting has on survey precision (ie the “Design Effect”);
  • Appreciate the difference between “Rim” and “Cell” weighting;
  • Be familiar with terms such as “Rim Weighting”, “Design Effect”, “Capping” and “Propensity Weighting”.
  • Understand what goes on “under the bonnet” of weighting programs;
  • Grasp the principles of weighting involving mixed survey modes (eg online v telephone);
  • Be aware of the pitfalls and risks of weighting;

Who will benefit?

Quantitative researchers at all grades / levels of experience who carry out large scale complex surveys where a high degree of measurement accuracy is needed.  This will be of particular interest to public-sector researchers, but would also be relevant to those carrying out general purpose MR work in FMCG, B2B and media / audience measurement.  Although limited in terms of mathematical content, a certain amount of comfort with basic calculation would be needed as a pre-requisite. 

Learning method

A certain amount of theory, but mostly worked examples / exercises, case studies and discussions.


Course delivery mode

Classroom or Online

Andrew Zelin is a Freelance Data Scientist, with 25 years’ experience as a professional statistician, running analytical projects in Market Research, Central Government, Health and the Telecomms Sectors.  This includes over a decade of leading Analytics teams at senior level at Ipsos.  He has given training in a range of statistical and survey-design related practices since 2001 within his organisations, the MRS and the Rod Laird Training Company.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) who has presented at RSS, AAPOR and SAS conferences, has published two award-winning methodology papers and is a Mentor for the MRS.

Additional Information

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