Blog: Is It Déjà Vu or Is It a Tracking Study?

February 14, 2020 | Browse more articles -->

Sometimes you may feel like you're being asked similar questions that you've already answered in previous surveys, or it may even feel like you’re repeating an entire survey over again. We periodically re-ask certain profiling questions to capture a more up-to-date read on attributes that may change over time, but if a survey has a certain “Groundhog Day” feel to it, you’re likely participating in a tracking study.

What’s a tracking study?

Tracking studies are one type of research we conduct and, as you may have guessed from the name, it consists of fielding the same questions in multiple ‘waves’ over time to explore attitudinal and behavioural patterns. Things like values, perceptions, purchasing decisions, and brand awareness can be influenced by factors like news and current events, political or economic changes, society, advertising and communications, competitive landscape, and much more. Tracking studies allow researchers to examine these shifts, spot trends, and even anticipate or predict future changes or behaviours.How frequently a tracking study runs varies depending on the research, but what doesn’t change about these studies is their general design: they need to use consistent questions, measures, methodology, and sample design so that each study’s results can be compared to those from previous waves.

In short, these tracking studies may feel a bit like déjà vu but are extremely valuable (and interesting!) to researchers.

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