Marketing Research Glossary - E

Econometrics: The modeling, simulation, and analysis of economic systems using advanced mathematics and statistics. Learn More

Economic Forecasting: An analysis using national and/or economic trends to better understand the future economic environment and its impact on businesses. Learn More

Economic Index: Decision Analyst’s monthly Internet survey designed to produce a snapshot of current economic activity, as seen through the eyes of representative consumers. Learn More

Economic Analysis: Resources are scarce, while human wants and needs tend to be unlimited. Economic analysis is the study of supply and demand, and the choices (decisions) and incentives (pricing, taxes, etc.), so that scarce resources are used efficiently. Economic analyses involve mathematics and statistics, modeling, simulation, and optimization methods. Economic analysis includes Economic Feasibility Analysis and Economic Impact Analysis. Learn More

Economic Feasibility Analysis: An analysis of long-term market demand and the projected costs associated with major investments (new manufacturing facilities, new products, new markets, new technologies, new programs, or acquiring other companies). The analysis provides facts and analytical rigor to improve strategic decision-making for businesses, governmental agencies, and other organizations. Learn More

Economic Forecasting: An analysis using national and/or economic trends to better understand the future economic environment and its impact on businesses. Learn More

Economic Impact Analysis: Rigorous surveys, research, and modeling to estimate the direct and indirect economic effects of an entity or event on the local, county, state, or U.S. economy, as measured by employment, tax revenue, income, or gross product (overall economic output). Learn More

Econometric Models: Statistical models of economic systems, that use mathematical formulae and algorithms to forecast changes to an economic system that result from specific economic inputs or changes. Economic Feasibility Analysis and Economic Impact Analysis both use econometric models. Learn More

EDA (Exploratory Data Analysis): See Exploratory Analysis of Data.

Editing: The process of ensuring that paper questionnaires are filled out properly and completely.

Editing Key: A written guide for editing paper questionnaires.

Efficiency: A measure of the precision with which a statistic estimates a population parameter. Can also be used as a measure of the ability of an experimental design to detect the variables of interest.

Elasticity: The unit or dollar sales shift in response to a change in price or other variables.

Electroencephalogram (EEG): A device that measures the fluctuations and patterns in electrical processes within the brain.

Electronic Data Processing (EDP) Systems: Information systems that store and process data such as sales, inventories, shipments, etc.

Element Sampling: A sampling plan or procedure that gives each unit of a population or universe an equal chance of inclusion.

Eligibility Criteria: Also called Respondent Qualifications. These are specified characteristics that potential participants must have to be invited to participate in a particular research project.

Eligible Respondent: Also called Qualified Respondent. A person who meets the respondent criteria set for a particular study.

Emergency Sample: Also called Backup Sample. The emergency sample is pulled at the same time as the original sample and to the same specifications. If the study cannot be completed with the original sample, then the emergency sample is released.

Employee Perception Research: Survey research conducted to measure the employees' perceptions of customer satisfaction. Learn More

Employee Satisfaction Research: Survey research conducted to measure employee satisfaction with the job/company and related variables. Learn More

Empty Nesters: Adults whose children have grown up and left the family home.

Enumeration Districts (EDs): Census enumeration areas, averaging around 500 inhabitants per ED.

Epsem Sample: An Epsem (equal probability of selection method) sample is one in which the population elements have equal and nonzero probabilities of selection.

Equivalent Form Reliability: The ability to produce similar results using two similar instruments to measure the same object.

Error Checking Routines: Computer programs that include procedures to check for logical errors in the data. Decision Analyst develops its own software and systems so that error checking routines and algorithms are built into every program to reduce the chances of error.

Error Sum Of Squares: Also called the residual sum of squares, the error sum of squares measures the variation not explained by regression predictors. More formally, it is the sum of the squared differences between the predicted and actual values of the response variable.

ESOMAR: A worldwide association for marketing research professionals. Founded in 1948 as the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (, the organization today is global and has members in more than 100 countries around the world.

E-Spread: The distance between the first and seventh sample eighths.

Estimate: A numerical value calculated from a statistical sample to predict the population or universe parameter.

Estimated Telephone Households: According to the 2000 U.S. Census, some 98% of U.S. households contained a telephone, either landline and/or wireless. In 2006 87% of households had a landline phone, almost 11% of households had a wireless telephone only, and 2% had no phone.

Ethics/Code Of Conduct: The rights and responsibilities of those involved in marketing and opinion research. Decision Analyst, as a Insights Association member, must follow a rigorous set of quality standards and ethical requirements.

Ethnographic Research: Study of human behavior in its natural context, involving observation of behavior and physical setting. Learn More

Evaluative Research: Marketing research to determine the effectiveness of specific marketing programs and initiatives.

Event (Simple): Any subset of outcomes drawn from a sample is called an event. Those subsets containing a single outcome are called simple events. In rolling a die, there are six simple events: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Evoked Set: The brands that spontaneously come to mind during a series of open-ended awareness and usage questions. The notion of a "consideration set" is very similar in meaning to evoked set.

Exception Systems: Systems that enable the identification of problems that may occur in an organization by encouraging customers to give input when they feel dissatisfied. The goal is to identify areas of weakness that should be addressed to improve customer satisfaction.

Exchange: Also called a Prefix. The first three digits of a seven-digit phone number. It represents (or attempts to represent) the town, community, or neighborhood where a telephone number is located.

Executive Advisory Board®: Decision Analyst's proprietary global panel of 100,000 senior officers of major corporations, including presidents, chairmen, members of boards of directors, and other high-level executives. Learn More

Executive Interviewing: The interviewing of business or governmental executives by telephone, Internet, or other methods. Decision Analyst's Executive Advisory Board® is one of the largest online executive panels in the world. Executives are recruited by many different methods, and this online panel is managed by rigorous standards. Learn More

Executive Summary: The portion of a research report that highlights and summarizes the major findings from a research study, along with recommendations for the future. (Also see Conclusions and Recommendations).

Exhibit: Sometimes referred to as Show Card or External Stimuli. Any stimulus (ad, product, rating scale, etc.) shown to respondents during an interview. Examples: a print advertisement or a card listing income categories.

Expected Value: The mean of a probability distribution. If a six-sided die is rolled, six discrete outcomes are possible: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. If the die was rolled many times, the expected value would be 3.5 (the sum of the six numbers divided by six). It is assumed that each outcome would occur an equal number of times.

Experience Surveys: Discussions with knowledgeable individuals, both inside and outside the organization, who may provide insights into the problem.

Experimental Design: A research design in which the researcher controls one or more independent variables, so that the effects of the variables can be isolated and measured. Often the number of variables and levels is so great that every possible combination cannot be tested. In this case, an experimental design is used to select a subset of combinations to test, which guarantees that all parameters of interest can be estimated efficiently. Learn More

Experimental Effect: The effect of the treatment variable on the dependent variable.

Experimental Unit: The basic element on which the experiment is conducted. Also called a Subject, Sample Unit, Respondent, Participant, or Unit of Analysis.

Experiments: Research studies to measure "cause and effect." Generally, experiments include a control group to account for exogenous variables that might affect the results of the experiment, and some experimental designs include "before and after" measures to control for external variables. An experiment involves changing one or more independent variables, to see how those changes affect a dependent variable.

Exploratory Analysis of Data: Also known as Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA). In data mining, the process of identifying the behavior of the variables which make up each record in the database. That is, the parameters of the variables (summary statistics such as min, max, mean, standard deviation, etc.), what each variable represents in the real world, which variables are potentially useful dependent variables, and how variables in the database relate to each other.

Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA): Also called Exploratory Analysis of Data or Data Analysis.

Exploratory Focus Groups: Focus groups conducted very early in the process of addressing a marketing problem or attempting to create new marketing opportunities. These groups tend to be very nondirective and spontaneous. That is, the discussion is more open, more free-ranging, than the typical focus group. Learn More

Exploratory Research: Preliminary research or pilot studies to clarify the exact nature of the problem to be solved (e.g., focus groups to help plan a follow-up survey).

Exponential Smoothing: A type of weighted average in which more recent data are given greater weight than older data. Exponential smoothing is often used in inventory control and sales forecasting systems.

Expressive Drawing: A projective technique used by moderators in depth interviews and focus groups. Respondents are asked to draw pictures to express their feelings and emotions or to express how they feel about an ad or product.

External Stimuli: Stimuli introduced into a focus group, depth interview, or survey to evoke reactions from the participants. Examples include concept boards, product prototypes, and rough ads. Also known as Exhibits.

External Validity: The degree to which causal relationships measured in an experiment can be generalized to the population.

Extreme Value: The extreme value distribution is used to model extreme events, such as 100-year floods, hurricane wind velocities, or stock market peaks.

Eye Tracking Research: The use of special cameras and electronic devices to record consumers' eye movements as they look at some form of stimulus (concepts, ads, displays, products).

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