India’s sole TV viewership measurement company, BARC India, which also operates the largest TV panel in the world, recently collaborated with India’s premier Institute for Management Education– The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to undertake a review of the current sample design and methodology.
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 presently, thereby validating the representativeness of the panel. The team also expressed its pleasure with the overall sample allocation mechanisms put in place by BARC India.
It may be recalled that in 2018, the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Kolkata had certified the representativeness of BARC India’s Panel design and methodology. More recently, in July 2019, IIM Calcutta had also presented a report on BARC India’s TV sample and appreciated the existing practices.
IIM-A in its report stated that no significant increase in the current sample size is required with the proviso that the current cost levels are being maintained. The team noted that a panel size of 50K TV homes is reasonable to move forward, with an additional 5K -7K 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.”
“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,” added Derrick Gray, Chief of Measurement Science, BARC India.