The University of Southampton hosted an international conference on the future of online data collection in social surveys. The event was jointly organised by the University of Southampton and the Survey Transformation Programme of the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Professor Alex Neill – Vice President (Education) at the University of Southampton who opened this conference – said: “This international conference is yet another great example of the long standing and well established collaboration between the University and the ONS”. The conference took place at the University of Southampton on the 20th and the 21st of June 2019. The event was a part of the ESRC-funded Secondary Data Analysis Initiative project “Understanding Survey Response Behaviour in a Digital Age: Mixed-device Online Surveys and Mobile Device Use” (Principal Investigator – Dr Olga Maslovskaya) and the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) Work Package 1 “Data Collection for Data Quality”. This international conference brought together world leading experts in online data collection from academic institutions, national statistical offices, independent research institutes, market research companies, data collection agencies and commercial organisations from 13 countries to discuss the future as well as challenges, opportunities and best practice in social survey online data collection. The keynote speakers were Professor Mick Couper who is a Research Professor in the Survey Research Centre of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Frankie Kay who is the Head of Census and Data Collection Transformation at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Gerry Nicolaas who is the Director of Methods at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).
Dr Olga Maslovskaya said: “Data collection organisations across the world are undergoing a paradigm shift in data collection, and therefore, social surveys, including censuses, are experiencing major transformations. Globally, there is a big move in the direction of online data collection. For example, in the UK 2021 Census, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) plans to collect 75% of household responses online. Some social surveys have either already moved to mixed-mode data collection as a cost saving initiative or are in the process of testing for the upcoming transformation to online designs. It is very important to have cross-sector discussions about challenges, opportunities and best practices in online data collection in social surveys and this conference makes this happen.”
Submitted by Olga Maslovskaya on Tuesday, 18th June 2019