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the selection of part of a total population of consumers or products whose behaviour or performance can be analysed, in order to make inferences about the behaviour or performance of the total population, without the difficulty and expense of undertaking a complete census of the whole population.

Samples may be chosen randomly, with every consumer or product in the population having an equal chance of being included. Random samples are most commonly used by firms in QUALITY CONTROL where they are used as a basis for selecting products, components or materials for quality testing.

Alternatively, samples may be chosen by dividing up the total population into a number of distinct sub-groups or strata, then selecting a proportionate number of consumers or products from each sub-group since this is quicker and cheaper than random sampling. In MARKETING RESEARCH and opinion polling, quota sampling is usually employed where interviewers select the particular consumers to be interviewed, choosing the numbers of these consumers in proportion to their occurrence in the total population.

Samples may be:

  1. cross-sectional, where sample observations are collected at a particular point in time, for example data on company sales and the incomes of consumers in the current year, embracing a wide range of different income groups, as a basis for investigating the relationship between sales and income;
  2. longitudinal, where sample observations are collected over a number of time periods, for example data on changes in company sales over a number of years and changes in consumer incomes over the same time periods, as a basis for investigating the relationship between sales and income. See STATISTICAL INFERENCES, QUESTIONNAIRE.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
The appeal of digital sampling is therefore easy to understand.
(71) Commentators viewed the court's stated reasoning--that digital sampling did not exist at the time the statute was enacted--as a deficient justification for its decision not to consider the legislative history.
(125) The applicability of this doctrine to digital sampling, however, was cast in doubt in a controversial 2005 case.
The sampling unit is connected to the Digital Sampling Converter by custom data cables, the digitized signal is then transferred to the PC running the data acquisition software (Marcha) using the LPT port.
Digital sampling began on a widespread basis when the digital MIDI synthesizer came on the market in 1981.
Digital sampling is the method by which musicians place "previously recorded portions of another artist's work in a new recording." (1) The legal ramifications of digital sampling have been said to add "another layer of complexity to copyright law." (2) This complexity has created a burden for the advancement of rap music, a genre that depends on sampling, almost entirely, for its distinctiveness.
Atmel Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) has launched a new interleavable Dual 8-bit analog-to-digital (ADC) converter for high speed, low power applications such as digital sampling oscilloscopes, ATE and direct RF I/Q down-conversion.
For example, the AN6420 includes the ability to capture the received eye at the receiver using an on-chip digital sampling scope.
The primary characteristic of the MA-2 is that it uses FM sound synthesis, which allows for stronger sounds with more "punch." In contrast, Rohm's competing chips incorporate PCM sound, which is based on digital sampling of actual instruments, giving them more of a real sound.
They will be using numerous percussive instruments including drums, keyboard, soundbeam and digital sampling, creating a live score of exceptional rhythms.
A 20 GHz digital sampling oscilloscope is used to acquire the data.

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