As part of its commitment to encouraging the use of scientific method, the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS) recently commissioned Data Analysis Australia to develop the Society’s newest professional development resource, Sampling Design and Weighting for Australian Household/Consumer and Business Surveys - A Better Practice Guide. The Guide’s aim is to provide all members of the AMSRS with a comprehensive, practical and application focused Better Practice Guide to be used as a resource by market and social research practitioners of all levels in making methodologically and statistically rigorous choices at the research design and analysis phases of projects which require the sampling of Australian households, consumers or businesses.
Covering a suite of topics including formal sampling design concepts and terminology, sample sizes, methods of selecting a sample and weighting of sample data to reflect the full population, the Guide has a focus on practical implementation. Its practical nature encourages the researcher to understand the statistical concepts and implications of sampling and weighting, to enable them to apply informed understanding to their specific research projects. With thanks to the AMSRS, this Analytical Ideas article includes an edited excerpt from the Guide, discussing Representativity of a Sample, and Sampling and Non-Sampling Errors – considerations which are important in the design stage of any survey.