Marketing Research Glossary - F

Face Validity: A measurement that, on the surface, appears to measure what it is supposed to measure.

Fact: Data, results, or findings that are objectively true and can be independently verified by other data or other research.

Factor: A construct or dimension made up of multiple components (attitudes, ratings, etc.) identified by factor analysis techniques. All of the components that make up a factor are correlated with each other to some degree. That's why those variables belong to that factor. The term "factor" is also loosely used as another name for a Variable.

Factor Analysis: A statistical technique to simplify data by reducing a set of variables to a smaller set of Factors. Each factor is made up of variables that are highly correlated with each other. Factors can be thought of as hidden structures or hidden dimensions within a data set. Learn More

Factor Loadings: The correlation between the factor and each of the variables that make up the factor.

Factor Segmentation™: A proprietary segmentation methodology developed by Decision Analyst. Factor Segmentation™ begins with factor analysis (hence, the name). The model segments the respondents on a mutually exclusive basis (i.e., each respondent is assigned to one segment only) and may be followed by segmenting on a nonmutually exclusive basis to examine the overlap among segments. Learn More

False Accuracy: An illusion of accuracy provided by detailed statistics. For example, showing a percent as 42.56% would create an illusion of great accuracy, when the sample size might only be 100 (and actual standard error could be 10%).

Family: As defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, a family is two or more persons who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption and who live together as one household. Families do not include one-person households or those having two or more unrelated individuals.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG): Consumer packaged goods is the term used in the Europe . It refers to packaged groceries, packaged beverages, packaged health and beauty products, etc. Almost all packaged products sold in supermarkets, mass merchandisers, discount chains, etc., fall within the FMCG definition. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is the term used in the U.S. Both terms refer to packaged groceries, beverages, health and beauty products, household products, over-the-counter drugs, etc.

Feasibility: The likelihood that the sample request can be met using available sampling resources.

Fertility Rate: General fertility rate is the number of births a year per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. Total fertility rate is the number of live births per 1,000 women in their lifetime.

Field Experiments: Tests conducted outside the laboratory in an actual market environment under real-world conditions.

Field Management Companies: Also called Field Suppliers or Field Service Firms. Typically, these firms provide data collection services to full-service research companies or directly to corporate clients.

Field Service Firms: Research companies that specialize in data collection.

Field Suppliers: Research firms that specialize in data collection.

Filter: The rules and/or logic used to select a subset of total respondents. For example, a set of cross-tabulations might contain both men and women, but by placing a filter for "men only," a new set of cross-tabs could be run based totally on male respondents.

Final Report: The written report at the end of a research project. A final report generally includes a methodology section, an executive summary, general findings, conclusions, and recommendations. At Decision Analyst, all reports are reviewed and edited by senior executives and then by Decision Analyst's Quality Assurance Department.

Findings: The results from a survey or research project. The section of the final report that presents the results.

Finite Population Correction Factor: When a sample is greater than five percent of the population or universe, sampling variation is accordingly reduced. The Finite Population Correction Factor is a statistical adjustment to reduce sampling variation in these instances.

FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards): A five-digit code assigned by the Federal Government to every county in the U.S. The first two digits identify the state and the next three digits signify the county. For example: 48439; 48 = TX, 439 = Tarrant County.

Fixed Field or, Fixed Data Field: A data file that puts each piece of data in a specific location.

Fixed Personality Association: A projective qualitative technique. Respondents are shown pictures of people and settings and asked to interpret those pictures in relation to a topic. By using the same pictures over and over again, normative data can be created to enrich the analysis of responses.

Flash Report: A topline report of the frequencies of answers to a questionnaire (same as a "marginal report").

Flowchart: A chart used primarily in developing software systems and data processing systems. The chart documents the flow and storage of data and the decision points. Additionally, within Decision Analyst, flowcharts are used by the Sampling Department to design and create sampling plans.

FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods): A term used in Europe; Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is the term used in the U.S. Both terms refer to packaged groceries, beverages, health and beauty products, household products, over-the-counter drugs, etc.

Focus Group Facility: A facility with a discussion room to seat up to 10 to 12 respondents and an adjoining observation room with a one-way mirror. Most facilities also have audiovisual recording equipment.

Focus Group Moderator: The person who leads a focus group discussion. The moderator's role is to facilitate and encourage the discussion, while striving to eliminate the bias of dominant respondents.

Focus Groups: Groups of eight to twelve participants who are typically led by a moderator in the discussion of a topic. A group size of eight to ten is generally recommended. Learn More

Forced Exposure: A term used primarily in advertising research. It refers to "forcing" a respondent to view a commercial or ad, as contrasted with respondents being exposed to advertising in a natural environment.

Forced Rating Scale: A scale that does not allow a neutral or no-opinion answer choice.

Forecast: An estimate of future trends or events. Forecast, prediction, and projection are terms often used interchangeably.

Frame: Also called Sample Frame or Sampling Frame. A list of the target population for a survey. The list or frame is the database of potential respondents from which the sample is drawn. For example, the list of owners of horses would be the frame from which to pull a sample to survey horse owners.

Frame Error: Error resulting from an inaccurate or incomplete sample frame (or incomplete list).

Frequency: A measure of how often an event occurs; a count of the number of people or things falling into different categories.

Fresh Participants: Focus group participants who have never participated in a session, or who haven't participated for several years.

From-Home Telephone Interviewing: Interviewers use their own phones at home to call and interview respondents.

Frugging: Fundraising under the guise of research.

F-Test: Test of the probability that a particular calculated value could have been due to chance.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol; a method for transferring files across the web.

Full Focus Group: A focus group with eight to ten participants. A small group (two to five participants) is normally referred to as a minigroup. Learn More

Full-Text Database: Index containing the full text of source documents, such as articles.

Full-Text Search: The ability to search an entire database for a particular word or keyword.

Fuzzy-Front End: The messy (hence the term, "fuzzy") beginning to the new product development process (generating ideas, concept generation, etc.). Learn More

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