The current sample design and methodology of BARC India, the nation’s sole TV viewership measurement company which also operates the largest TV panel in the world, has received yet another strong endorsement – this time round, it has been validated by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), India’s premier Institute for Management Education. BARC India had collaborated with IIM-A to undertake a review of the current sample design and methodology.
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The statistical review team at IIM-A led by Professor Tathagata Bandyopadhyay suggested the implementation of a new design which takes into account the cost of data collection and heterogeneity across markets.
However, no significant deviation was found in the sample size arrived at through the new design and the one being implemented by BARC India at present, thereby validating the representativeness of the panel.
The IIM-A team also expressed its pleasure with the overall sample allocation mechanisms put in place by BARC India.
The IIM-A validation follows two earlier prestigious certifications of BARC India’s Panel design and methodology – the first from the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Kolkata, and the second, more recently, in June 2019, from the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata (IIM-C), which had also presented a report on BARC India’s TV sample and appreciated the existing practices.
In its report, IIM-A has observed that no significant increase in the current sample size is required, with the proviso that the current cost levels are maintained. The team noted that a panel size of 50000 TV homes is reasonable to move forward, with an additional 5000-7000 TV homes to help capture detailed insights from TV viewership data.
The review teams of both, IIM-C and IIM-A, were of the opinion that an ideal sample size is subjective and based on factors such as sample design, cost of sampling, overall budget, and population characteristics. There is therefore, ‘no unique or ideal solution’. They also maintain that sample sizes should be reviewed periodically.
Tathagata Bandyopadhyay, Professor of Statistics at IIM Ahmedabad, said, “The entire review process has been an enriching experience and full of learnings for both teams. BARC India utilizes an efficient sample design and sampling procedure for the management of their television viewing panel in a large and diverse market like India. The interaction with the BARC India team was extremely seamless and they extended their full support to us during the project.”
Dr Derrick Gray, Chief of Measurement Science, BARC India, said, “IIM-A’s endorsement of our sample design and methodology is yet another affirmation of our ability to accurately measure and report ‘What India Watches’ 365 days a year. We work round the clock to deliver accurate and credible data to a dynamic TV industry and will take into consideration the recommendations made by the review teams to make our systems more robust.”