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Glossary of Market Research Terms – D
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Data Mining:

This is a special capability to unearth and work with huge data configurations of different kinds. This ability is supported with many technologically advanced tools and gives an upper edge to the company.


Database is the maintained collection of secondary data for use as, and when required. Databases can be of different kinds. Marketing research companies and other organizations maintain databases as a valuable resource for reference and utility during studies.


Demographics are the statistical representations of the different quantifiable characteristics of a certain society. These may be based on gender, age, racial structure, education, occupations, marital status, household features, birth and mortality figures and more.

Dropout Rate:

This is a percentage representation of the respondents who attempt a survey but leave without completing it while the study is still on.

Data Collection:

Data collection is the process of collection of data for market research. Data collection can be through primary sources or secondary sources. Primary data collection is through various methodologies like focus groups, interviews, surveys and others. Secondary data collection is through archived material that is already available.

Data Entry:

Data entry is the procedure for arranging and organizing the data in such a way that it can easily be read and analysed for further applications of analytical research procedures in order to deduce the results. The process involves recording, classifying, sorting, summarizing, calculating, disseminating and storing the data.

Data Processing:

Data processing is application of analytical research procedures in order to deduce the results and establish the relationships between the different variables.

Data Protection:

Data protection refers to protecting the respondents’ private data and other research related responses, which may be specific to the respondent and may hold clues to his / her identity as well as may lead to them. There are national and international laws that cover the required and appropriate methods to be used in protecting the data for data privacy. There are organizations like ESOMAR, MRS, ARF and others which lay down guidelines to be followed by marketing research organizations for data privacy and data protection.

Day-After Recall:

This is a measurement technique used by advertisers, wherein they measure the number of people and also the degrees to which they can remember and recall an ad after 24 hours of its initial airing.

Daytime Population:

The daytime population of cities like the major metros increases many times during the day time because of the fleeting population that pours in during the day time for work-related and other purposes. This is called the daytime population of the city.

Deliberated Poll:

In the deliberated poll technique measurements in changes in opinions of the respondents are done by subjecting them to polling twice. The first poll measures their overall opinions. The respondents then are provided some more information relevant to the topic under study and then they are polled for a second time. Changes in opinion are then examined.

Delphi Technique:

Delphi Technique is a technique gathering expert judgements about a certain topic from a group of people having some expertise on the topic. It is a long-term forecasting technique in the absence of empirical data. Generally this technique involves three different stages of data gathering. In the first stage the experts are anonymously polled. Thereafter the results are distributed and they are polled again. This affects their initial response and certain changes are brought in, which can be attributed to the affect of their colleague’s responses. This process is repeated until the group arrives at a general consensus about the issue at hand.

Demand Bias:

Demand bias is the error that the research study data encounters when the respondents actually know the actual agenda of the research project or they assume that they do so. This happens generally when the research sponsor is revealed to the respondents or they come to know about it somehow.

Depth Interview:

Depth interviews are the research methodology where a respondent is thoroughly interviewed by an interviewer. The interviewer generally asks probing questions to the respondents in order to understand their perspective completely. Attempt is made to really understand the participants’ motivations by using nondirective techniques.

Descriptive Studies:

Descriptive studies are those that explore and cover the basic what, where, why, when and how questions.

Diary Panel:

Diary panels are the panel of respondents, who are asked to keep diaries or journals of their buying, watching or listening patterns over a period of time.

Digital Signatures:

Digital signatures are the e-signatures that are authenticated to legally endorse the online documents like contracts and agreements. Digital signatures are used because the documents appended by them can be submitted as evidence in courts of law in almost all the countries of the world.

Direct Computer Interviewing:

Direct Computer Interviewing is an interviewing technique, wherein a computer is used to ask questions and responses are submitted through the computer only. They are generally conducted at a central location after the respondents are recruited.

Discussion Guide:
Discussion guide is also known as the moderator guide. It is a document containing the outline of the discussion topics that are to be addressed during a focus group or discussion group. The purpose of this is to keep the discussion under check.

Discussion Question:

Discussion questions are the questions that are open-ended questions that do not necessarily have a set response, but initiate open discussions on the topic under question. These questions can have as many responses that may come to the mind of a respondent.

Disguised Observation:

A disguised observation is the observation that is done without the knowledge and awareness of the subjects, objects, events or occurrences. They are done so as to reduce the bias that invariably comes when the human subject under observation knows that he / she is being observed.

Disk-by-Mail (DBM):

Sometimes surveys are conducted which are put on disks and distributed to the recruited respondents. The respondents then complete them at their own computers, within a stipulated time period and send them back. The postal charges are pre-paid for such surveys.

Door-to-Door Interviewing:

Door-to-door interviewing is the methodology where the consumer interviews are conducted in the consumers’ homes.

Drop Off/Out:

Some respondents leave the survey during the period of the study only, before the termination of the study. They are called drop offs or drop outs.

Duplicate Number Validation:

Duplicate Number Validation is the procedure used during the focus groups. In this procedure the phone numbers and other contact details of the participants are collected. This is done to validate that the participants are not the people who actively participate in focus groups under false identities; and also that they have not participated in a focus group before the desired time lapse, which is necessary for the neutrality required in a study.


Dyad is a research methodology used in qualitative research. Here two respondents are interviewed by a single interviewer. This technique is extremely useful when the two respondents are equal in their calibre in taking buying decisions for a company or a household.

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