Tracking and Longitudinal Studies
A longitudinal study or longitudinal survey or tracking study is a research design that provides a series of pictures, which track the changes that take place over time. It involves repeated observations of the same variables over periods of time. In a longitudinal design, a fixed sample from the population is measured repeatedly on the same variables. The term panel is used interchangeably with the term longitudinal design. A panel consist of a sample of respondents that have agreed to provide information at specific intervals over an extended period. If there is any casualty, then the respondent within the sample is replaced by a respondent with same profile to maintain consistency. We often need to give incentives to maintain the panel. OrQuest has run several longitudinal studies in the past.
A tracking survey is a survey that asks the same questions across an interval of time, which allows you to “track” the changes from one deployment to the next and find trends over a certain period. Unlike longitudinal survey, respondent for tracking survey may not be the same, but the questions need to be same, otherwise will not be comparable. Tracking survey can be conducted annually, quarterly, or monthly. Each time the survey is conducted, it is called a “wave.” Comparing survey results across waves will show trends and changing attitudes that can either prove your decisions are solid or indicate it’s time to change course.
OrQuest have experience in conducting longitudinal studies for years. We have separate team to conduct longitudinal studies, and we retain the same team for longitudinal studies to keep consistency between the waves.