Our COP26 events

Data collection using mobile apps: How can we increase participation?

Data collection using mobile apps: How can we increase participation?

Social Sciences Hub
Date: Tuesday 18 June 2024
Time: 15:00 - 16:30
Venue: UBDC Conference Room, 7 Lilybank Gardens / Online (Zoom)
Category: Public lectures, Academic events
Website: www.ubdc.ac.uk/events/data-collection-using-mobile-apps-how-can-we-increase-participation

Abstract: There are limits to what can be measured with survey questions: we can only collect information about things our respondents know, can recall, are willing to tell us – and that fit within a time-constrained questionnaire. Increases in smartphone ownership and use, along with technological changes are creating new possibilities to collect data for surveys of the general population, for example, through linkage or donation of existing digital data, collection of bio-samples or -measures, or use of sensors and trackers. Surveys are therefore developing into systems of data collection: depending on the concept of interest, different methods are used to generate data of the required level of accuracy, granularity, and periodicity.

For example, Understanding Society: the UK Household Longitudinal Study supplements the annual questionnaire-based data with linked data and data derived from bio measures and bio samples. In addition, we are developing and testing protocols to collect data using mobile applications, activity and GPS trackers and in-home environment sensors. We have conducted a series of mobile app studies, collecting detailed information about household expenditure, daily data about relationships, stressors and wellbeing, detailed body measurements, and spatial cognition. However, in each case, only a sub-set of respondents invited to the mobile app study participated and provided data. In this talk I will present research from a series of experimental studies carried out on the Understanding Society Innovation Panel, that aim to identify the barriers faced by respondents in participating in mobile app studies, provide evidence on how best to design data collection protocols to maximise participation and reduce selectiveness of participants, and examine the quality of data collected with mobile apps.

Bio: Annette Jäckle is Professor of Survey Methodology at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex in the UK. She is Co-Investigator and Associate Director of Innovations for Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study. Current research projects include mixed mode surveys, respondent consent to data linkage, and data collection using mobile apps and sensors.

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