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The Response Process Model as a Tool for Evaluating Business Surveys Deirdre Giesen Statistics Netherlands Montreal, June 20th 2007 ICES III.

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Presentation on theme: "The Response Process Model as a Tool for Evaluating Business Surveys Deirdre Giesen Statistics Netherlands Montreal, June 20th 2007 ICES III."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Response Process Model as a Tool for Evaluating Business Surveys Deirdre Giesen Statistics Netherlands Montreal, June 20th 2007 ICES III

2 Outline –Questionnaire testing at Stat Netherlands –Collecting data on the response process –Reviewing field visits to reflect on response process model –Data used –Preliminary results

3 Questionnaire testing – Recently more attention for establishment data collection (efficiency, response burden and quality) – One of the strategies: improving questionnaires –Focus of Question Lab: Response Burden and Data Quality – Preferably: multi method evaluation – Favorite method: company visits to collect data response process

4 Response process model for business surveys 1.Encoding of information in company records or memory 2.Selection and identification of the respondent(s). 3.Assessment of priority 4.Comprehension of the data request 5.Retrieval of relevant information from records or memory 6.Judgment of the adequacy of the response 7.Communication of the response 8.Release of the data Sudman, S., Willimack D.K., Nichols E. & Mesenbourg T. (2000), Willimack, D.K. & Nichols E. (2001)

5 Collecting data on the response process – on site – methodologist and field officer – mix of observing and reconstructing – if necessary: general interview – standard protocol with adaptations – detailed visit reports – video taping Pilot study by Hak & Van Sebille (2002)

6 Standard protocol 1.Introduction 2.General questions 3.Observation or reconstruction response process 4.Evaluating 5.Correcting data and answering questions

7 Review of field visits: 1.Which problems did we find that caused data error and/or response burden? 2.How are these problems linked to the different steps of the model ? 3.To what extent were the steps of the model useful for describing and understanding the process of responding to a business survey?

8 Evaluation studies reviewed NameMode# reports reviewed SBS2003Paper10 TransportElectronic3 Producer PricesElectronic5 International tradeElectronic7 SourcingElectronic5

9 Respondents and visitsreviewed – retrospective interviews (6), observations (15) and general interviews about response process (9) – respondents from size classes 0 to 9 – respondents from retail, wholesale, service, manufacturing, building, transport and external accountants

10 Encoding Problems found –Lack of available information important and source of response burden and data error –Important to distinguish lack of information and (ease of) accessibility of information Recommendations –Change information request if possible –Assist respondent with data collection

11 Selection and Identification of Respondents Problems found – electronic forms extra difficulties –distribution from SN to firm – characteristics of respondent – distribution within firm – change of respondents

12 Selection and Identification of Respondents Recommendations – information on who to contact – instrument design should allow for easy forwarding of (parts of) the exact questionnaire – data request and specific arrangements with firm should be documented in a way understandable for new respondent

13 Assessment of priorities Problems found – Timely and correct completion is generally not a high priority – Most respondents hardly see any reward or benefits for their effort – Some respondents may deliberately provide wrong data to prevent response burden

14 Assessment of priorities Recommendations – design questionnaires for quick readers and clickers – adapt data collecting strategies: reminders, quality control, incentives and penalties – improve general communication to stress importance of contribution to national statistics

15 Comprehension Many problems found at several levels – General design and goal of the study – Overall design of the instrument – Specific questions Recommendations – Improve communication ´around´ questionnaire – Develop tailored questionnaires for small businesses in lay language – Many suggestions to improve wording, order, layout of total instrument and specific questions

16 Retrieval Problems found – Using the wrong sources – Lack of access to or cooperation from sources – Lack of knowledge of sources – Compiling errors (also if automated) – Excessive response burden for certain tasks – Retrieval strategies vary

17 Retrieval Recommendations – ask less detailed information if possible – explicitly allow estimates for known difficult variables – design materials to make internal data collection easier and more accurate – stress more clearly about which unit respondents should be reporting on

18 Judgment Often difficult to distinguish retrieval and judgment problems Problems found – Checking the questionnaire can cause high response burden – Motivation to do so lacks – Instrument design can hinder easy checking and editing – Few confidentiality issues

19 Judgment Recommendations – Stimulate respondents to check their answers by automated checks in electronic instruments and quality control combined with feedback after submission of the data. – Design instruments to facilitate checking and editing the data by respondent

20 Communication Problems found – many usability issues in e-forms that made communicating a specific answer difficult – data error through obligatory fields – electronic sending of questionnaire important source of response burden en data error

21 Communication Recommendations – many specific technical and usability issues that need to be addressed – allow empty fields for known difficult variables – ideas for electronic questionnaire functionalities that will make communication of answer easier

22 Release of the data No problems with response burden or data error problems found in this step

23 Problems ´outside´ model – Filing of report for internal use – Lack of feedback after data has been submitted

24 Conclusions – response process model is helpful framework to find problems with data collection – some problems can only be discovered when studying the actual response process in detail – response process does not end with release of the data, model might be extended to take this into account

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