In the autumn of 2013, leading social research agency TNS BMRB celebrated its 80th birthday by looking ahead at some of the key opportunities and threats facing research in the current environment. Across three seminar sessions, the TNS BMRB Methods Series explored a number of areas:

  • The important role that method can play both as the building block of high quality and robust results, and as a means of driving value
  • What new technologies can offer and what we can learn from our commercial and international counterparts to deliver great research
  • How we can deliver more powerful insights and persuasive interpretations of the data


Session One: Do response rates really matter?

At the first of our three seminars, we looked at the immediate issue of response rates, and explored the extent to which high response rates matter in delivering value from cross-sectional surveys. We also discussed how research commissioners can address the apparent trade-off between high quality research and constantly squeezed budgets.

During this breakfast seminar TNS BMRB looked at recent analysis of five large-scale surveys and the impact response rates had on key survey estimates. Our speaker, Joel Williams built on analysis he presented at the Royal Statistical Society, drawing out possible implications for how research can be commissioned more cost effectively in the future. This was also followed by a group discussion and panel questions.