The Technical Infrastructure Used in Panel Operations
Panel Structure
The elements that have an effect on the viewing level of panel are used as “panel control variables.” In order to make sure that the audience panel represents the viewing behaviors of the population, the panel is checked by using the elements having the highest effect on viewing. Analyses with multiple variables are used as standard in determining the demographic or TV-related variables that best explain the differences among viewing levels. It is ensured that the panel represents the different viewing preferences of various demographic groups, as required, by including the determined variables in the panel control procedures.
Selection of Panelists
The list of people interviewed in Establishment Survey is used while selecting the panelists. Multiple sets of sub-samples are selected from this list. It is ensured that the selected sub-sampling sets share similarities with one another and the sample in the general Establishment Survey in terms of their breakdown. Addresses selected from each set of sub samples are made available for use in selecting the panelists in a short period of time.
If an address is not included in the panel, an attempt is made to include, in the panel, the address corresponding to the said address in the subsequent sample set. It is ensured that this address shares demographic features that are similar, in terms of their definition, with the house located in the address it replaces. This process is repeated for potential panelist addresses. The addresses are randomly selected from a weighted potential panelist list. The weighting coefficients are determined in line with the relative significance level detected for different demographic groups and the rate of differentiation from target values.
Weighting fulfills three functions:
  • Correcting the differences between the sample and population forecasting,
  • Balancing the sample in case there is a non-proportional distribution (e.g. geographical),
  • Correcting the imbalance caused by failed communication.
This provides an equal chance of selection for each potential panelist, including the groups that are difficult to include in the panel in terms of their properties. The latest household and population forecasting of TurkStat, as well as the SES (Social Economic Status) rates obtained from ES are used in weighting.
To be updated every other year, ES makes it possible to continuously update the potential panelist data bank by following the dynamic properties within the population and renew the houses in panel annually with a minimum rate of fifteen percent in a manner that ensures that it is kept in the system for seven years maximum.
Panel Management
A field technician installs the device and provides training to the panel household. Written and phone communication is maintained by the central panel management team. Maintenance of the panel’s ability to represent the population in the best way is a fundamental element in the quality control process. The Panel and target values are compared to one another and such comparison is continuously tracked in order to keep the details of panel members up-to-date as much as possible. Therefore, the Panel’s ability to represent the population is maintained.
Appropriate actions are taken in order to eliminate any possible imbalance, where required, such as inclusion of additional houses with particular features in the panel and exclusion of redundant number of houses with particular features from the panel. A special software product, pertaining to the subject, is used to update the panel universe and panel targets corresponding to the values therein, as well as the details regarding the TV environment and data regarding the way of receiving broadcast.
Technological Infrastructure
The technology utilized for measurement is the TNS 5000 Series People meter, which uses the Enhanced Audio Matching technique — a technology that marks the state-of-the-art next-generation Audio Matching technology — as the channel identification method. A measurement device (People Meter) is attached to each television, in operating state, in the house, besides the battery-powered or portable TVs.
Audio Matching System
The samples are continuously retrieved and stored in people meter through the audio signal (the channel which is ON) listened to in the house with Enhanced Audio Matching System. A central Reference Site is available in the office of the research company and each audio sample associated with all channels to be reported is collected in this site. The samples taken to the Reference Site must always be high-frequency sounds.
A back-up Reference Site is made available in a different location in order to protect the samples against any failure caused by the wiring system that is used to collect the samples of each channel undergoing the survey or due to a power failure or broadcasting issue. Following the data collection stage, the Audio Matching data collected from houses are nightly sent to the Kantar Media data processing center where data is matched with the reference samples retrieved from the central Reference Site to determine which TV channel is viewed and at what time. Audio Matching can be utilized both at analog and digital broadcasts as a channel identification method.
TNS 5000 Series PeopleMeter
TNS 5000 Series PeopleMeter has GSM/GPRS communication features, which eliminate the need for data storage, indoors communication, data retrieval from houses and equipping the panel houses with extra cables.
Both the 5000 Series PeopleMeter and Audio Matching have currently proven themselves globally with a great number of services they provide and were chosen by BARB for the new Television Audience Measurement term that started in January 2010 in the UK.
The people meter used in houses where installation of a single device is sufficient are reinforced by the following modules:
  • Remote controlled screen receiver: It has a standalone processor. It carries out the entire interaction with panel members and guests.
  • Module(s) determining whether TV and other related devices are being used and which channels are viewed.
  • Central processor and memory: It is responsible for data storage and communication management.
  • Phone modem: It is a 9600 bps GSM modem that enables communication through GRPS technology path or a 2400 bps modem used with a conventional telephone line.
  • Power supply.
The Main people meter is used with an Auxiliary people meter in houses where multiple devices need to be installed. The main people meters feature network communications (carrier current), which retrieve data from the Auxiliary people meters attached to the other televisions in the same house, in addition to the modules used with Single people meters. On the other hand, Auxiliary people meters feature network communications (carrier current) for data transfer to the Main People meter located in a different spot in the same house, apart from the modem, with the Single People meters.
Atria Pro Quality Control and Panel Management System
Data files regarding viewing are collected by using the data processing system called Comtel, which enables panel and data management simultaneously. Atrio Pro system performs monitoring to make sure that the household enters the viewing information correctly and ensure utmost compliance of panel members with the panel requirements. Detailed technical information (e.g. the brand of TV devices, their location in the house, video recording devices, cable and satellite receiver (STB) information, etc.) regarding the entire television environment in the house are available at Atria Pro. Records regarding the brands of the entire equipment in the system, as well as their location in the house, are saved.
  • Utilized in the collection, organization and production of viewing data, Atria Pro system is also used for panel management, while performing all of the data processing stages, from data retrieval to data organization and weighting, as well as quality control thereof and database creation.
  • GPRS/GSM are used for data collection. Fixed lines are used in places where there is no GPRS/GSM coverage.
  • The viewing data is subject to quality control applications, by Comtel Quality Control and Panel Management System, and Comtel’s alert reports are used for technical and behavioral controls.
The numerous quality control applications performed include the following areas:
  • Compliance levels
  • Abnormal or untypical viewing behaviors that need to be reviewed
  • Data quality
  • The latest reported panel is subject to the rim weighting procedure to correct the minor demographic differences in order to ensure that the viewing forecasting published represents the total population properly.
  • Following the confirmation and processing of data with Comtel system, data is prepared to be uploaded on the Instar Analytics system, Kantar Media’s audience analysis system.
Atria Pro's alert reports are used for technical and behavioral controls to be applied immediately after the collection of people meter data.
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