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Technology gets priority over physical research in new IRS survey

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Technology gets priority over physical research in new IRS survey

Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and Readership Studies Council of India (RSCI) had awarded the contract for the new avatar of the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) to the Nielsen Company last year. Now, they have have come up with a new version of the readership survey, which will be released in December 2013.

The pilot study has commenced in March 2013, while the IRS field work will commence from May 2013.

Talking to exchange4media about the new process of the survey, Lynn de Souza, Chairperson, RSCI and Vice Chairman, MRUC said, “We are going to do better and we have set a goal. This is one of the biggest departures of the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) and we have done our homework very well.”

Errors in non-sampling of data have been an issue earlier. “We took care of non-sampling errors and it will be accurate,” she added.

The new methodology is more monitor-based and user friendly. The new Computer Aided Personal Interview (CAPI) technology has been introduced. As sections are completed, movement to the next section is automatically programmed into the process. There is no need for show cards. Respondents are able to check that their answers are being accurately recorded.

In order to avoid fudging, a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system uses a ring of satellites around the planet to accurately pinpoint the location of the GPS device. This means that as interviews are completed, the GPS device is able to tag them with the exact place where they were conducted. When check backs are done, the supervisor can confirm that the respondent was actually found at the latitude-longitude specified in the interview.

Talking about the transparency of the survey, Paritosh Joshi, Chairman, IRS Technical Committee said, “Transparency is central to the quality of IRS. The new study puts in place a number of security systems that will ensure the highest standards of governance.”

When asked whether the new methodology will address the publishers’ concerns regarding the survey, Joshi replied, “While we can only say that ‘Time will tell’, I am confident that the innovations we have incorporated are going to resolve most of the big issues that have been identified over a period of time.”

Sharing highlights about the research procedure, Prashant Singh, Managing Director, Nielsen Media said, “CAPI will make life simpler and it will be an open source rather than being a black box.”

The new survey will consider a sample size of 235,000, which will cover 32 states and Union Territories covering 95 cities and 92 districts. It will also consider the Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi zones.

The districts have been considered based on their demographics and linked very well with the readership, besides representing the entire state.

Nielsen has appointed 700 people for this survey for the first year and will change the numbers according to the demand.

The study has also introduced a New Consumer Classification System (NCCS), which will take off soon.

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