What is a Panel Survey1

What is a Panel Survey?

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What is Panel Survey?

What is a Panel Survey2

In market research, a panel refers to a selection of participants that help researchers conduct market research by providing them with feedback. A “panel survey” is a kind of research method that involves using a consistent panel of participants/respondents and collecting feedback from them repeatedly over a long period of time. 

Panel surveys are a type of longitudinal study, meaning it is a correlational research study that examines the relationship between variables over an extended time period. It can take place over the span of weeks, months, years, or even decades. It involves the same target audience being surveyed at different points in time to get an idea of changing attitudes, behaviours, and sentiments.

Why do Researchers use Panel Surveys

Panel surveys are used for many different types of research, however, they are most commonly used by researchers for the following:

Tracking Changes over a Period of Time

Panel surveys are often used to collect information on the same question at different points in time. This allows brands to establish how certain metrics or sentiments change over time in regard to the same question(s)/topic(s).

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Customer satisfaction surveys are used to gauge overall customer sentiment in regard to their end-to-end journey with an organization. Brands can do so by using panel surveys comprising participants that are long-term customers of theirs. By tracking customer sentiment toward the organization over time, researchers can identify the reasons for negative and positive sentiment and can also acquire more knowledge on their customers.

User Experience Research

Panel surveys can also be used in usability testing (testing how a participant interacts with specific features of user experience). By keeping the participants the same, an important variable is kept constant, allowing the effect of different variables to be studied better.

How to Design a Panel Survey?

Use the following steps to design your panel survey effectively:

Outline Clear Goals

The first step in creating your panel survey is clearly defining the purpose and objective(s) of the study. Having a clear goal in mind will allow you to make decisive decisions throughout the whole survey creation process.

Select the Right Panel

To obtain useful insights, you must go to the right audience. You have to identify which panel will be most reflective of your target audience so that you can acquire valuable data that will be relevant to your study.

Create the Survey

The third step involves creating the survey. In this step, it is integral that you are very careful with selecting the questions you include. To acquire the data you want, you may have to ask a mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions. Asking the right questions is very important as the questions you ask will have a direct impact on the feedback collected, shaping the findings of your study.

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Structure the Survey

The next step, once you have your survey questions ready, is structuring your survey. You should structure your survey in a way that avoids confusion or frustration among respondents. For example, if too many open-ended, difficult, or personal questions are kept at the start of the survey, respondents may get confused or frustrated, resulting in them potentially dropping out of the survey.

Test the Survey

The final step is to test out your survey by deploying it to a group and collecting feedback on it. Consider any feedback provided by this group in regards to the types of questions, the length of the survey, and the structure of the survey. Make any changes you feel necessary before finally deploying it to the panel.

Advantages of Panel Surveys

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of panel surveys:


As it is much easier to get a hold of respondents when using a panel, not as many financial resources need to be invested in the acquiring of a sample group.

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Insights from panel research can be collected and analysed more efficiently as the research panel has already agreed to provide feedback.

High Response Rate:

As panels consist of a pre-recruited group of participants that have already agreed to provide the company with feedback, they allow you to achieve higher response rates.

Higher Quality Information:

Participants in a panel generally have a certain amount of knowledge on the subject being studied, hence they provide more detailed and more useful information.

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