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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 ?
Measurement Computing's Steve Radecky, product marketing specialist, discussed how bandwidth and sampling rate are related in some of his company's DAQ products.
The LA 1034 has a maximum asynchronous sampling rate of 500 MS/s.
For example, how does an MSO handle mixed sampling rates? If you are simultaneously displaying analog channels and digital channels, what happens when you increase the analog sampling rate to be greater than the maximum digital sampling rate?
These measurements must be made at very high sampling rates to acquire and quantify additional effects such as voltage peaks caused by line inductances, abrupt load alternation or capacitive coupling of fast switching processes in the power electronics.
The sampling rate of the coded aperture is used as a variable parameter in the experiment.
This ADC IP has outstanding silicon proven features, such as up to 2MSPS sampling rate, multilple channels, high precision and low power consumption, which is ideal for high-performance micro-controller units (MCUs), and can fulfill needs of various applications, including Internet of Things (IoT).
Breaking the limitation of Nyquist sampling rate, CS accurately recovers signals using partial transformations.
In addition, to accurately capture the load behavior, the ALCS sampling rate of power measurements must be higher than the switching frequency of the load.