During the design and process of a survey, different terms are used for the population of the survey depending on how the user needs can be realized. For this reason the population of interest, the target, frame, and survey populations can be differentiated. The more complete coverage of the target population we have, the better chances we get to meet user requirements and assure higher quality of survey data.
During the survey process the units of the target population, the observed units and the units being able to provide data can be different. The data collection phase has to manage the statistical units and data collection units of the given survey. They have roles in making contact with data suppliers, data providers, and controlling, monitoring and validating the expected and provided questionnaires.
The survey frame lists and identifies units of the frame population altogether with their contact information, economic and geographic classifications and size categories. For the selection of the sample, the sampling frame provides information for stratification. The survey frame is also the basis to get access to the data supplier and to personalize and mail the questionnaires. Furthermore, it helps to control and monitor the data collection phase, to register and validate responses and to urge and evaluate non-responses. The survey frame gives information for the weighting, analysing and micro-integration phases of the survey process as well.
The theme summarises the roles and concepts of the above terms.
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