Making Information Meaningful

Statistical services

Statistical services

ASR provides independent statistical services for clients using data sets derived from a variety of sources.

Sampling and weighting

Sampling is the statistical process to determine how many units of information are required to reliably represent the population being surveyed. ASR can determine sample size to produce statistically sound information. Statistical confidence in the survey results depends on how well the data represents the population surveyed. Too small a sample makes the results questionable. But equally, too large a sample is wasteful and unnecessarily expensive. The best balance can be achieved by good sample design. In addition to producing a statistically valid response sample, we can help you determine the most cost effective sample for your survey needs—whether they are simple, single population opinion surveys, or complex, multi-faceted surveys.

We can develop sample frames for complex research projects using a range of sampling techniques. ASR is experienced in drawing stratified samples. Once data has been collected, it can be compared with known population profiles to determine whether or not the sample results require weighting. Again, ASR can apply a range of weighting methods.

Advanced statistical analysis

ASR has the expertise and tools to produce sophisticated multivariate analysis and statistical modelling of data sets. These procedures include factor, cluster and regression analysis, as well as advanced multivariate analysis.

ASR can also provide on-line statistical reporting and graphical presentation of data. This service is particularly valuable if you are routinely collecting data from multiple sources and want to keep users up to date with results on-line rather than through expensive printed reports. Statistical analyses can be performed on-line into an existing database and the results presented in tabular or graphical format using a variety of presentation products.

Validation

ASR can provide various forms of validation: at question design stage, at data input stage or when manipulating collected data.

Initial validation can be a combination of face, content and expert validation. ASR can conduct instrument or item validation. Validation determines the degree to which a scale measures what it is supposed to measure. It is a critical requirement of most psychological testing, where ambiguously worded questions can lead to invalid interpretation. ASR can provide item validation procedures to test the validity and reliability of individual scale items.

Data input is usually controlled through software mechanisms. However, this may involve using different collection methods as well. Data output validation involves statistical tests to ensure that data falls within pre-defined limits or benchmarks. This may involve transformation of scores into benchmarks or other formats to meet reporting criteria.

Data cleansing and mining

With our data warehousing capability and our statistical expertise, we can cleanse, combine and analyse data to create new information that will provide your decision-makers with insights for improving your organization’s effectiveness and performance.

Before using data, it must be tested to ensure that it is valid, reliable and contains no spurious information. Web-collected data can be controlled within our SurveyManager software. But where automatic data validation is not possible, for example open ended questions, or text-based responses where a respondent can enter either a percentage value or a numerical value, it is important to clean data and provide a consistent set of responses. Given the sophisticated databases used to hold survey data and the volume of data that can be captured and held, manual data cleansing can be daunting.

Data mining techniques can be applied to complex data sets to automate the extraction of hidden predictive information contained in these data. Data mining is an extension of statistical analysis and provides solutions to business decision problems. For example, data mining is a particularly useful when applied to customer relationship management (CRM) data sets. It can efficiently uncover trends and allow users to build customer behaviour models. These, in turn, can be used to predict customer response to a new product.

ASR can help you design how to mine your data sets. This can be useful if successive sets of information are built over time such as through repeat surveys.

Quantitative web survey types

We support six types of web survey projects:

  1. Anonymous - where a questionnaire can be answered by anyone with access to the survey link. Respondents remain completely anonymous.
  2. Anonymous with return later password - a questionnaire that can be answered by anyone with access to the survey link. A respondent is given a password to allow questionnaire completion over multiple sessions. Respondents remain completely anonymous.
  3. Anonymous with unique login code - a questionnaire can be answered by anyone with access to the survey link accompanied by a unique login code which allows them to complete once. Respondents remain completely anonymous.
  4. Anonymous with common survey access code - a questionnaire can be answered by anyone with access to the survey link and who has been provided a common survey password—one password for all respondents. Respondents remain completely anonymous.
  5. Invitational - a questionnaire that is distributed to a pool of known respondents. Each invitee is provided with a unique ID/password to access the survey and which also serves as a respondent identifier.
  6. Multi-rater surveys - all variants of upward feedback, team, 180° and 360° surveys. Each respondent gets a personalised web menu of questionnaires showing all the people that they are answering about, together with their role in relation to the person (such as manager, peer, customer, etc). Our software allows for user-selected respondents. Questionnaires are bundled together for multiple recipients. Pre-survey messages and reminders are sent automatically and progress is tracked. Individual feedback reports can be returned by paper, email and the web.

Multiple languages supported

All survey types can be presented in any language including Arabic (right to left) and Chinese.

Panel management

Use ASR to create and/or manage a research panel for you. The panel is housed in SurveyManager and you can select all or particular respondents to participate. Panel features include:

  • Keep respondent attributes as well as answers to previous survey questions so that very detailed criteria can be used for selecting people for a future survey.
  • Track how many times and when particular panel members have participated in a survey.
  • Allow panel members access to their details through their personalised panel portal.
  • Extract panel member details for other non-research projects.