Weighting: General Overview

  • 5 April 2021
  • 0 replies

Weighting is a method used to make survey results more representative of your entire community. We’ve found that the demographics of survey participants don’t always match the demographic makeup of the whole population; for example, we often hear from a higher proportion of older adults and homeowners, but see lower rates of participation from younger adults and renters. Weighting amplifies the voices of individuals that would otherwise be underrepresented and turns down the volume on overrepresented groups. This makes the resulting data more closely match the demographics of your community at large. 

Weighting is an important aspect of survey research, and a best practice for ensuring that your results are as representative of your community as possible. For survey assessments conducted by Polco’s research team, weighting is a standard part of the analysis process and will automatically be included in your Assess project. For surveys you conduct on Polco through the Engage module, an automatic weighting feature is available (reach out to us at success@polco.us for more information). 

While weighting is a valuable piece of the puzzle, we strongly recommend using it in combination with outreach targeting hard-to-reach populations. You can use Polco’s representivity graphs on Engage surveys to inform your outreach strategy. Bringing more diverse voices into the conversation will help increase representation and provide more accurate survey results. 

See this article for more detailed technical information about weighting.

0 replies

Be the first to reply!