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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 ?
In this technique, the digitizer continues to acquire data at the maximum sample rate of 100 MS/s, but now a low-pass digital filter is applied with cutoff at Nyquist frequency before decimation (Figure 2).
Tires need to be inspected with greater accuracy, better throughput and higher sample rates using equipment that has less downtime.
Increasing the sample rate may require a longer waveform memory if the number of symbols must be preserved.
"This naturally unleashes a wealth of possibilities for distributing audio across sources and destinations on highly complex setups that, for example, involve sending a feed to an OB truck while recording at a different sample rate and sending yet another feed to a FOH console or an in-ear monitoring system," the company says.
The average time to detection is directly related to the suspicious packet rate and the sample rate used by sFlow.
Nine models are available, in bandwidths ranging from 200 MHz to 1 GHz, featuring a sample rate of up to 2.5 GS/s with up to 25 Mpts/channel of memory.
It was also decided to vary the sample rate of the 4-path meter to see if there was any benefit in sampling at something other than the default sample rate of 10 samples per second (SPS) from the factory.
Sample rate: Andalucia: From pounds 611pp (five-star Don Carlos) Easter week in Italy includes magnificent religious processions and parades followed by festivals and concerts across the country.
Features include 80 GS/s of sample rate for 20 GHz to 30 GHz bandwidths, up to 512 Mpts of analysis memory and greater than 15 GHz edge triggering.
At the maximum sample rate of 250 MSPS, the ADS6149 consumes only 687 milliwatts (mW).
The Scan-A-Line small hole detection system uses the company's patented Scanned-LED Technology combined with a 400 kHz sample rate. The Model 10XSHD4000-Series sensor can readily detect holes down to 1.6 mm (0.062").