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Here’s what you need to know about KnowledgePanel Surveys

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What is Knowledge Panel?

Knowledge Panel is known as the largest online panel that makes use of probability-based sampling to generate fully representative samples. Playing a key role in streamlining the population study by producing statistically valid inferences, Knowledge Panel makes it easy to measure public behaviors, attitudes, and opinions. Being a subsidiary of the GfK (Growth from Knowledge) company, Knowledge Panel was discovered by two professors working at Stanford University in 1999. Its prime goal has always been to track trends on a national level in areas such as politics, entertainment, economy, healthcare, etc. There are numerous Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, news channels, and universities that rely on Knowledge Panel, leading to its popularity in more than 100 countries around the world.

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How does a Knowledge Panel survey work?

The selection of panel members is done randomly to ensure that survey results represent the population properly with an appropriate level of accuracy, which cannot be obtained from non-probability panels. Based on the Random Digit Dialing (RDD) method of sampling, Knowledge Panel streamlined its recruitment process by adopting Address Based Sampling (ABS) for selecting the right panel members. 

This probability-based sampling plays an effective role in improving the population coverage and offers a robust sampling infrastructure for recruiting individuals that are difficult to reach otherwise. This may involve individuals from minority groups as well as young adults. In fact with ABS recruitment, a web-enabled device along with free internet is provided to the households that do not have an internet connection.

Once the participants accept the invitation for joining the panel, they’re supposed to finish a short demographic survey. This survey is referred to as the core profile survey and the answers gathered here are crucial for efficient panel sampling in the future. The successful execution of the core profile survey enables participants to transform into active panel members. However, there are similar privacy terms & confidentiality protections offered to every respondent. 

A look inside ABS Recruitment 

The recruitment protocol makes use of probability-based sampling among the addresses from the Delivery Sequence File of the USPS. The main advantage of using ABS methodology is that it makes it easy to sample entire delivery points irrespective of their telephone status. In fact, by leveraging pre-identified auxiliary information related to addresses, it helps to create a stratification plan for representing the subgroups as per the rates of attrition:

  • Hispanic age range 18-30
  • Non-Hispanic age range 18-30
  • Hispanic age range 31+
  • Non-Hispanic age range 31+

From the randomly sampled addresses, the adults receive an invitation to join the Knowledge Panel during every quarter. This happens over a series of contact attempts, comprising of an invitation letter, a postcard for reminding, and a continuous follow-up letter. In order to join the panel, the invited households should: 

  • Complete and mail back the paper form via a postage-paid envelope
  • Call a toll-free phone number associated with GfK
  • Go to a specific GfK website and fill out the recruitment form

Recruiting household members 

The members of the entire household are enumerated at the time of the initial recruitment survey. Post enumeration, each household member equal to or above the age of 13 years can be recruited for participating in the Knowledge Panel survey. However, it’s important to take consent from the parents or guardians for the initial recruitment interview of the household members that are 13 -17 years old. 

Survey Sampling 

Once the panel members are successfully recruited as well as profiled, they are eligible to be selected for client surveys. Based on the study design, stratified random sampling is seamlessly carried out on the profile data.

The basic rule of sampling is not assigning individual members more than a single survey every week. In the case of certain exceptions, this confines the total assignments of a member to 4 or 6 surveys every month. If a survey sample requires prescreening, then members are usually drawn from a panel’s subsample (like females, window shoppers, republicans, etc.). 

Survey Administration 

After being assigned to a survey, the members get an email notification every time there comes a new survey for them. This email comprises a link that redirects the members to the specific survey questionnaire. There’s no requirement for login name or even password. Based on the client’s needs, the field period is likely to range between few hours to multiple weeks.

After a period of three days, there are automatic email reminders scheduled for all the panel members who do not respond. In case the email reminders are not able to generate the desired response, a reminder call through the telephone is initiated. The basic protocol tells that before making a call, it’s necessary to wait for a minimum of 3 to 4 days after the email reminders are sent. 

The common survey commitment among panel members is considered to be one survey in a week or four surveys every month. The duration of each survey should lie between 10 to 15 minutes.  

Survey response rates 

The response rate reporting for Knowledge Panel surveys is in accordance with the AAPOR standards. As the AAPOR standards were developed keeping the single survey administrations in mind, the response rates of Knowledge Panel surveys are calculated through algorithms created by Callegaro and DiSogra in 2008. Majorly, the completion rate for these surveys is estimated to be around 65% with slight variations caused due to characteristics like survey length, survey topic, etc.

What are the advantages of Knowledge Panel surveys?

Fairly nice compensations

In Knowledge Panel surveys, every survey session of 10-15 minutes is likely to help you earn approximately $1. If you earn $1 per week that means you can easily earn $60 per year. While the money isn’t too much but it is certainly a great incentive for an interesting activity!  

Turn points into cash 

You can easily transform your points into cash. It also lets you turn them into either gift cards or even sweepstakes entries!  

Open for all household members 

Every member of the family is free to join. So, every time that letter gets into your mailbox, it could be either for you or any other single member of the household.

What are the disadvantages of Knowledge Panel surveys?

Exclusive Panel 

Receiving the invitation isn’t an easy task. The panels are extremely exclusive and only limited households really get the invitation. Even the partners are not authorized to send invitations. 

High Checkout Threshold 

Knowledge Panel surveys require cash out of $25 due to which they do not stand out among the existing competitors.  

Increased Survey Length 

Many users say that the KnowledgePanel surveys keep on becoming lengthy with time. As the payment is not done on an hourly basis, the increasing length of surveys can lead to frictions.

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