Lifepanel achieves ISO 20252:2019 certifications as one of the first probability panels in Europe

In the fast-paced world of market research, obtaining accurate and reliable data is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions. One way to ensure the quality and integrity of market research probability panels is through ISO 20252 certification. This international standard provides a framework for conducting market research that adheres to best practices, ultimately enhancing the reliability and credibility of the data collected. In this article, we will explore the key reasons why ISO 20252 certification is essential for market research probability panels. Lifepanel has been certified as one of the first probability-based panels in Europe.

Why should you get certified for ISO 20252:2019?

Why should you get certified for ISO 20252:2019?

As a background, Sample Solutions has been ISO 20252 certified for the last 6 years. Nevertheless, each year brings some new changes to the company from a quality perspective. New during this years audit was the compliance check on our in-house built proability panel Lifepanel. We will dive into this at later stage to showcase which elements are relevant for probability panels from a quality perspective. But lets take a more general view on ISO 20252 and why you should certified. 

A small definition on the ISO 20252:2019 standard

Lifepanel works with the ISO 20252:2019 standard which was revised in 2019, providing guidance on how social and market research studies are conceptualized, enabled, supervised, and reported. In our case it covers the sampling aspects for the recruitment part as well as the entire panel management aspects. 

What aspects does the ISO 20252 standard cover?

The standard covers all of the core areas of the research and data collection process including:

  • Client quoting
  • Online and CATI data collection
  • Scripting and data processing
  • Survey management, sampling and QC processes
  • Advanced analytics
  • Qual and quant research
  • Coding
  • Panel management
  • IT, HR and data security

Of course not all items are relevant for any business.

Looking at Lifepanel, the items related to client quoting, cata data collection, sampling and QC processes, analytics, quantitative research, panel management and lastly IT, HR and data security are relevant. 


Why you should get certified for ISO 20252

Looking at Lifepanel, creating the processes for ISO 20252 has helped us to document and follow processes, clearly figure out where processes go wrong (and they do occasionally…), document flaws, deal with customer complaints and suggestions, work on a continuous improvement of our products and service and also articulate goals for quality improvements from year to year. 

  1. Ensuring Methodological Rigor:ISO 20252 certification sets forth a standardized approach to conducting market research. It outlines the necessary steps and methodologies required to collect, analyze, and report data accurately. By adhering to these guidelines, market research companies can ensure their probability panels follow a consistent and rigorous methodology, minimizing errors and bias in the data collection process. The same goes for the same process of sampling. 
  2. Enhancing Data Quality:With ISO 20252 certification, market research probability panels are held to a higher standard when it comes to data quality. The certification requires organizations to establish robust quality control measures, including regular audits and checks to validate the accuracy and reliability of the data collected. This ensures that the information gathered from probability panels is trustworthy and can be used with confidence by businesses for decision-making purposes.
  3. Protecting Participant Privacy:ISO 20252 certification emphasizes the importance of protecting participant privacy during market research studies. It requires organizations to obtain informed consent from participants and implement measures to safeguard their personal information. By complying with these privacy standards, market research companies build trust with participants, encouraging greater participation rates and ensuring the ethical treatment of individuals involved in the studies.
  4. Facilitating International Collaboration:ISO 20252 certification is an internationally recognized standard, enabling market research companies to collaborate seamlessly across borders. With this certification, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to following global best practices, making it easier to establish partnerships and exchange data with other certified market research firms. This facilitates the sharing of knowledge and expertise, ultimately benefiting the industry as a whole.
  5. Boosting Client Confidence:ISO 20252 certification serves as a mark of credibility for market research probability panels. When businesses work with certified organizations, they can have confidence in the reliability and accuracy of the data they receive. This certification demonstrates that the market research company has implemented robust processes and quality control measures, ensuring that the insights provided are based on sound methodology and rigorous data collection practices.

Conclusion:ISO 20252 certification plays a vital role in ensuring the quality, integrity, and credibility of market research probability panels. By adhering to this international standard, market research companies can enhance their methodologies, protect participant privacy, and provide clients with reliable and accurate data. As businesses continue to rely on market research to make informed decisions, ISO 20252 certification becomes increasingly important in maintaining the highest standards within the industry.

How does the ISO certification help Lifepanel, its panel members and our clients?

Being ISO 20252 certified allows our panel members an improved panel experience. We communicate transparently about the way your data is processed, how to ensure your data is kept up-to-date, that we outline what kind of surveys you can expect, the amount of surveys, its inceptive and if you decide to stop being a member of our panel, that you can unsubscribe and all your data will be deleted. Elements like a direct chat system for support, a straightforward way to redeem incentives and a knowledge base are also part of the system.

Panel members benefit in such a way that all their questions can be answered in minutes via the lifechat or alternative a panel member can make use of the knowledge base for the most frequent questions such as update of profiles or opting-out from the panel.

Quality Considerations for Online Probability Panels in Market Research: Perspectives from Researchers 

Online probability panels have become increasingly popular in market research due to their cost-effectiveness, scalability, and ability to reach diverse populations. However, ensuring the quality of data collected from these panels is crucial for accurate and reliable insights. In this article, we will explore the key quality considerations from both the perspective of researchers and panel members. Quality Considerations from the Perspective of Researchers: 

  • Sampling Methodology: Researchers must ensure that the online probability panel they choose utilizes a rigorous sampling methodology. Probability-based sampling ensures that every member of the target population has an equal chance of being selected for participation. This helps to minimize bias and increase the representativeness of the sample. 
  • Panel Recruitment and Maintenance: The process of recruiting panel members should be transparent and well-documented. Researchers should look for panels that employ stringent recruitment criteria, such as age, gender, geographic location, and other relevant demographic factors. Regular panel maintenance, including updating contact information and removing inactive members, is essential to maintain data quality. 
How do our clients benefit from our ISO 20252:2019 certification?

How do our clients benefit from our ISO 20252:2019 certification?

  • Data Validation and Cleaning: To ensure data accuracy, researchers should implement robust validation techniques during data collection. This may include checks for inconsistent responses, response patterns indicative of speeding or straight-lining, or other suspicious behaviors. Additionally, cleaning procedures should be employed to remove duplicate or fraudulent responses. 
  • Panel Engagement: Panel engagement plays a vital role in data quality. Researchers should assess the level of engagement within the panel by monitoring response rates, survey completion rates, and panel attrition. Regular communication with panel members can help maintain their interest and motivation to participate.

Quality Considerations from the Perspective of Panel Members:

  • Informed Consent: Panel members should be provided with clear information about the purpose of the research, how their data will be used, and any potential risks or benefits associated with participation. Informed consent ensures transparency and builds trust between researchers and panel members.
  • Privacy and Data Security: Panel members have the right to expect that their personal information will be kept confidential and secure. Researchers should adopt robust data protection measures, including encryption, secure storage, and adherence to relevant data privacy laws. Clear privacy policies should be communicated to panel members. 
How do our panel members benefit from our ISO 20252:2019 certification?

How do our panel members benefit from our ISO 20252:2019 certification?

  • Survey Experience: Panel members should have a positive survey experience to encourage their continued participation. Surveys should be user-friendly, well-designed, and optimized for different devices. Lengthy or repetitive surveys may lead to survey fatigue and lower data quality. 
  • Incentives: Rewarding panel members for their participation can enhance engagement and data quality. Researchers should offer fair and appropriate incentives, such as cash rewards, gift cards, or sweepstakes entries. Incentives should be communicated clearly to panel members from the outset. 

Conclusion on ISO 20252:2019 certification

Ensuring the quality of data collected from online probability panels is crucial for market researchers and panel members alike. Researchers must focus on rigorous sampling methodologies, panel recruitment, data validation, and engaging with panel members effectively. On the other hand, panel members should receive clear information about the research, privacy protection, a positive survey experience, and fair incentives for their participation. By addressing these quality considerations, online probability panels can continue to provide valuable insights for market research while maintaining high standards of data quality.

For the next year we aim on a steep increase for projects which means we will further invest in optimization of our project lifecycles.

Carsten Broich
Carsten Broich
Carsten is the founder of Sample Solutions and Lifepanel with over a decade of sampling and social research experience. A trained aerospace engineer who discovered his love for random phone numbers.