What does nationally representative mean in research?
Written by: Paul Stallard
Nationally representative is where research consists of a neutral, balanced and varied sample of people within national perimeters. This style of research brings ratios largely into play, as it requires the same amount of men as women, the same amount of people through the generations, and the same number of people from different ethnic backgrounds. It is imperative to ensure that you do not leave out any demographics as that would mean it is not a true representation of the nation. For best results, you must make sure that the questions asked can be understood by all participants.
The sample will tend to be small, hence the idea that it is representative of the national view. However, it can become somewhat expensive, as you are required to target several small audiences across the country and bring the information together.
It is generally worth doing, however. If you carry out strong research that represents the nation well, then it is the kind of research that works really well for PR campaigns, so could lead to a plethora of press coverage.