Decoding Market Research Jargon A-Z (Part 2, D-H)
By Helen Lester, Sagitta Market Research Ltd.
Following on from our previous introduction to research jargon, we continue our guide to demystifying research terminology, with terms beginning with D, E, F, G and H. If there is anything you would like explained or added, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Data analysis. The processing and subsequent evaluation of research data. This may include coding open-ended answers/‘other specify’ responses, inputting responses from paper questionnaires into electronic format, using statistical techniques to extract additional meaning from the data and producing data tabulations and a datafile. Sagitta MR has a highly experienced DP team, who will ensure your data are accurate and delivered on time.
Data cleaning The process of checking data for anomalies and/or unintentional empty data values (missing answers) and rectifying any issues where required.
Depth interview Usually conducted face-to-face, but sometimes by telephone, an interview of extended duration, which typically uses a semi-structured questionnaire or unstructured questionnaire (see topic guide/discussion guide) to explore the subject matter in detail with the respondent. The nature of this type of interview provides the interviewer with a certain degree of flexibility to explore additional aspects to those outlined, as appropriate.
Discussion guide Used by moderators and interviewers in focus groups and depth interviews respectively. A discussion guide outlines a path of discussion areas. It may include bullet points or generic questions with examples guiding the moderator/interviewer as to which aspects should be explored. Also called a ‘topic guide’.
Doorstop interview A face-to-face interview conducted ‘on the doorstop’ of the respondent’s own home. Sometimes also referred to as in-home interviewing.
Extrapolation When existing data or trends are used to estimate unknown values/future trends.
Field agencies Research agencies for which the main focus is conducting fieldwork (interviews). This may include face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews or self-completion surveys.
Fieldwork Historically used to reference face-to-face interviews ‘in the field’, fieldwork is a term now used to describe all types of interviewing (e.g. face-to-face, telephone, postal). Sagitta MR has a field force covering the whole of the UK.
Focus groups A form of qualitative research. A group of people (typically 6-8 but it may be fewer or sometimes more) are brought together to discuss a specific topic or product. The discussion is facilitated by a moderator, who guides the participants in discussion by probing key areas and asking their opinion about different aspects. The interactive nature of focus groups typically provides a more reflective discussion than a 1-2-1 depth interview can offer. Sagitta MR carries out focus groups across the UK on product development, new brand launches and public sector funded projects to name just a few areas.
Frequency distribution A term which derives from the historical, literal punching of data onto cards before electronic datafiles were developed (when holes were made into ‘punch cards’ to show respondents’ answers). A hole count is now produced electronically and provides a summary of the number of respondents who have given each individual answer to a question. Also called a hole count.
Full service agencies Unlike field agencies, full service market research agencies offer comprehensive research services from project design through to reporting and presentation. They also offer both qualitative and quantitative research services. Sagitta MR Ltd is a full service agency.
Group moderator A qualitative researcher who facilitates the discussion among focus group participants. A group moderator is responsible for encouraging all participants to share their opinions and guide the discussion as outlined on the topic guide. Also called a moderator.
Hall test Research conducted in a central venue (e.g. town hall, hotel conference room or event venue). Used to ascertain first reactions to a product, packaging or concept (for example a product or brand name). Respondents are recruited in the street according to specified criteria based on the characteristics of the target consumer (e.g. female, aged 18-24, who has a manicure at least once a month). See CLT (Central Location Testing or a Central Location Test). Sagitta MR is very experienced at conducting hall tests, particularly product tests and concept tests, and has become the preferred agency for many clients over recent years.
Hole count A term which comes from the historical, literal punching of data onto cards before electronic datafiles were developed (when holes were made into ‘punch cards’ to show respondents’ answers). A hole count is now produced electronically and provides a summary of the number of respondents who have given each individual answer to a question. Also called a frequency distribution.
HUT (also referred to as IHUT) stands for Home Use Test, whereby a product is tested in the participant’s own home.