Best Practice Recommendations for Measuring International Demographics
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Recommendations for Measuring International Demographics
a new ESOMAR series
The process of describing and defining populations is currently very varied. Methods differ from one research company to the next, measures go quickly out of data, and research respondents don’t always tell researchers the truth or give a proper answer to some demographic questions, resulting in misrepresentation and poor-quality data.
ESOMAR, through its Professional Standards Committee, is developing a series of recommendations on demographic standards to address inconsistencies that create barriers and inefficiencies in the exchange and evaluation of international data.
The series will cover international best practice recommendations for:
Working status measurement
Education level measures by country and inclusive method of assessing education levels
Job and industry definitions
Global wealth range/measures
Social class measurement
Who's working on it?
An expert project team from a range of international suppliers is working together to review best practices to describe demographic questions in as globally consistent a way as possible to develop best practice recommendations for key geographies worldwide. Growing international cross-market research levels will help researchers and clients everywhere to improve research standards. The team is chaired by Judith Passingham, chair of ESOMAR's Professional Standards Committee and Jon Puleston of Kantar, and a member of the Standards Committee.
The recommendations, founded on evidence-based best practices, are designed to improve quality standards and facilitate multi-country research projects and surveys. The proposals will help to produce more meaningful global/regional results that are more comparable from one project/region to another. All recommendations are sent to a Client Sounding Board for review and buy-in.
Where are we now?
The team is currently finalising how to 'ask the age question' in a way comparable from project to project and is also best practice from a privacy point of view and more considerate of participants. The question should lead to more accurate information, less participant drop-out and less privacy exposure for suppliers and clients.
For instance, the question about someone’s age can be asked in various ways. Some people might give the wrong answer (they forget how old they are or wish to appear younger), or they do not like being asked a question they have already been asked when signing up for a panel; or if they are older, they don't want to scroll down lots of years to come to their year of birth. Plus, many clients like to use different age bands, depending on the segment they are interested in. All this leads to inconsistencies and issues with the data. Next, we will tackle the gender and working status questions.
The Project Team
Recommendations have been prepared by a dedicated Project Team and are validated by the ESOMAR Professional Standards Committee and a Client Sounding Board.
Judith PassinghamESOMAR Committee Member, Chair of the Professional Standards Committee at ESOMAR
Judith Passingham has worked in the Market Research industry for over 35 years, in many different roles from General Management, Client Account Leadership, Service Development, to Sales and Operations – on a Global and European basis.
She started her career at the British Market Research Bureau working on the TGI and various media measurements, then working at AGB, subsequently TNS where she ran the UK and then global panel division as CEO of ‘Worldpanel ‘ and as Joint CEO of Europanel – a joint venture between TNS and GFK.
Judith was appointed CEO of TNS Europe and then following the WPP acquisition of TNS oversaw the integration of RI and TNS in Northern and Eastern Europe. In 2014 Judith joined Ipsos to run its Access Panel services where she drove service integration into one global entity, launched device agnostic interviewing and programmatic sampling.
In 2016 she took on responsibility for Ipsos’s Operational capability. She retired in 2019 and volunteers for Pilotlight and for the Maple Lodge Nature Reserve. In January 2020 she was appointed as Chair of the Professional Standards Committee for ESOMAR.
Jon PulestonESOMAR Corporate Member, Vice-President Innovation Profiles Division at Kantar
Jon Puleston serves as Vice President of Innovation for Kantar's Profiles Division. In this role, he heads QuestionArts, an international team specializing in the design of surveys and the development of specialist tools and technology for conducting research in the online and mobile arena. Additionally, he serves as a consultant on survey design best practice to companies around the world.
Over the last few years he and his team have won multiple awards for their ground breaking research on research exploring survey design methodology and in particular for their work in the field of gamification of research, survey optimization and prediction science.
The Project Team Members
Dr. Otto HellwigCorporate Integration Director at Bilendi
Otto holds a master's degree in sociology and psychology and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Cologne. He founded the respondi Group in 2005 and was its CEO and co-owner until its sale to the bilendi Group in 2021.
He currently works as Corporate Integration Director for the bilendi Group. Before founding respondi, he held several positions in online market research and can look back on over 20 years of experience in the online world.
Since 2013, he has been the elected board member of the German Society for Online Research (DGOF) and in this function, among other things, Conference Chair of the annual international GOR conference.
In addition to his professional activities and his involvement in associations, he is a lecturer, speaker, writer, member of various juries within market research and on the advisory board of the largest German media for market research.
Tre RialsDirector of Partner Programs at Cint
Katy MalliosVice President, Programmatic Supply at Cint
Sonali KaushalSenior Manager, Trust and Safety Ops at Cint
Jimmy SnyderDirector, Platform Ops Support at Cint
Nancy Brigham, Ph.D.VP & Head of Research Science at Dynata
Pete CapeESOMAR Individual Member, Global Knowledge Director at Dynata
Pete has over 30 years experience in Market Research. Initially a specialist in international telephone research, he was a founder member of TNS Interactive in the late 90s and has concentrated on online research ever since.
Joining Survey Sampling in 2005 he oversaw the rapid development of their online business in the UK and became Global Knowledge Director in 2006. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, seminars and training workshops around the globe and a regular contributor to research and marketing publications.
Bob FawsonExecutive Vice President, Business Operations, USA at Dynata
Bob oversees Dynata’s data and research business running the largest first-party panel operation in the industry. Bob is an expert in ensuring global consistency and integrity of data, from its acquisition to its distribution, and has extensive experience managing panel partnerships, data quality, and survey programming.
Sandy CaseySVP of Global Supply at InnovateMR
Cecile CarreVP, Global Respondent Quality & Research at Ipsos
Leah McTiernanVP, Marketing and Communications at Ipsos
Sara WilkinsonDirector (Research on Research) at Ipsos
Eva WittmannResearch on Research Director at Ipsos
Joan GarrigaPanel Manager Specialist at Netquest
Salvador MasdeuAutomated Business Director at Netquest
Marie HenseVP of Online Data Quality at Toluna
Mathilde LelievreChief Operations Officer, COO at Toluna
Susan VidlerGlobal Chief Research Officer at Toluna
Kathy JoeESOMAR Staff, Research World Editorial Consultant at ESOMAR
Kathy Joe served for many years as Director of International Standards and Public Affairs at ESOMAR before retiring in 2016. She currently still works periodically for ESOMAR as its Editorial Consultant for Research World.
Prior to working for ESOMAR, Kathy worked at The Economist and Euromoney and gained a BSc Hons in Politics and Sociology from the University of Southampton in the UK.
With a passion for research and insights and long experience in working with global teams to formulate editorial content, privacy policies and professional standards, she has worked with research professionals from around the world on far-ranging topics including innovation and best practice in consumer insights, knowledge and strategy.
As ESOMAR Director of International Standards, Kathy led the development and promotion of global research codes and privacy guidelines.
She volunteers for projects with NGOs such as Amnesty International and is a Board Member and Secretary of Dance Connects.
Jules van VlokhovenGovernment Affairs & Professional Standards Intern at ESOMAR
The Client Sounding Board
We are sending all our recommendations to a Sounding Board for comment and possible implementation to ensure they fit their requirements. With the Board’s help, we can fine-tune the proposals and speed up adoption.
Kevin Cowan, Insight Manager, BBC
Begonia Fiafan, Insights Lead, Coca-Cola Latam
Nicola Dean, Shopper Insights Lead and Aileen Cabelly, Senior Sensory Scientist, Colgate Palmolive
Rachael Popoola, Consumer Planning (Insights) Manager for Africa Innovation, Diageo
Muhamad Masood Ali Khan, Etisalat
Mario Callegaro, Senior Staff User Experience Survey Research Scientist, Google
Barry Jennings, Director, Cloud and Commercial Business Planning Insights, Microsoft
Amy Lee, Big Data Insights & Analytics Lead, Greater China, Mondalez China
Naoki Takahashi, Senior Advisor, Nissan Global Headquarters
Vinay Ahuja, VP, Europe Analytics and Insights, P&G
Manish Makhijani, Global CMI PDC Director, Unilever and VP MRS of India
If you work in a client company and would like to participate in this Sounding Board, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.