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Research Panel

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Table of Contents


What are Research Panels?

Panel research is a method of data collection that involves collecting data repeatedly from a pre-recruited set of people, known as a research panel. The individuals in your research panel generally provide household, demographic, or behavioral data. It provides many advantages to organizations conducting research as it is cost saving and has a faster turnaround. The data provided by research panels helps companies gain insights on pricing and sales projection of their products/brand.

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Managing your own Research Panel vs Buying a Sample

When organizations want responses for their market research studies, they can obtain information through their in-house research panel, or they can buy a sample. 

Managing your own research panel involves having access to people that can take your surveys when required. However, if you don’t have access to these people, then you may have to “buy a sample” to get responses for your survey instead.

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Benefits of managing your own Research Panel

Building a panel can be time consuming, and it may also be tedious to run. However, it also has a lot of benefits that make it worth the effort and investment. The following are some of the main benefits of managing your own research panel:

  • Facilitates Conducting more Research

When you have your own research panel, it is easier to field surveys to your respondents. This means you can conduct more research more often.

  • Richer Respondent Profiles

By having a research panel, you’re able to build deeper profiles of each panel member over time. This data can enhance future studies as you’ll have a plethora of information on each of your respondents.

  • Faster Insights

With your own research panel, you receive responses much quicker relative to any other method of research and data collection.

  • More Cost-Effective

In the long-term, owning and managing a research panel can be more cost-effective than buying a sample every time you conduct a research study. 

  • Higher Response Rates

Having your own research panel can ensure a higher rate of research response as panel members have already signed up to be a part of your research process.

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Benefits of Buying a Sample

The following are the main benefits of buying a sample:

  • Involves Short-Term Costs

If you only need responses for a small amount of studies over a short time frame, buying a sample can be more inexpensive then using a research panel. Research panels are more cost-effective in the long-term but are more suited to organizations that are conducting market research often or on an ongoing basis.

  • Quicker

Buying a sample is quicker than recruiting a research panel. Hence, this method of response collection tends to be quicker and more suited to research studies that have a limited time frame in which they have to be completed.

  • Less Effort

Buying a sample involves less effort than owning and managing a research panel. If your organization cannot invest the time required to manage a research panel, or if it isn’t the best use of your researchers’ time, then buying a sample may be more suited to your requirements.

  • Wider Demographic Selection

When you buy a sample from an external survey panel, you get to choose your demographic preferences. This ensures that you have an increased diversity in your respondent pool. It also allows you to get a research panel of respondents best suited to each study you conduct.

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FAQs on Research Panels

Answer: When an organization wants responses on the same measures over a period of time, it helps to have the same set of respondents evaluating these factors over a time-scale. This research can be conducted monthly, quarterly, or yearly, and can give the company insights on how the same consumer is evaluating the same performance indicator over time.

Answer: Different organizations may employ different methods in order to build their research panel depending on the kind of panel composition they require (demographic composition). However, the most effective channel for recruiting members is via the internet, through social media or email.

Answer: Overall, it is more beneficial to companies to have a research panel as it is cost-effective and facilitates sampling respondents with richer profiles. However, in cases where an organization may not conduct market research often, they may find it cheaper to buy a sample instead.

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