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Transforming online surveys

British Social Attitudes (BSA): 2020 and 2021

The BSA survey is widely considered to be Britain’s most authoritative and robust measure of people’s attitudes. The BSA has been carried out annually since 1983 and is our longest running survey. Each year BSA asks around 3,000 people what it’s like to live in Britain and what they think about how Britain is run. The British Social Attitudes 2020 survey was redesigned from a large-scale face-to-face survey to a push-to-web survey. This method was repeated in 2021. The 2020 survey had a productive sample of 4,000 and the 2021 survey has a productive sample of 6,000.

For more information about BSA, see: bsa.natcen.ac.uk

Public Confidence in Official Statistics: 2021

UKSA regularly conducts research into public confidence in official statistics, with questions traditionally placed on BSA. In 2021 NatCen was commissioned to transition the questions to a push-to-web mode, with postal option for non-responding addresses. A productive sample of c.3,000 was achieved.

Survey of Londoners: 2018/19 and 2021/22

The Greater London Authority (GLA) commissioned this new survey to provide robust evidence on key issues to inform its social integration and wider policy agendas. NatCen designed and delivered a bespoke push-to-web survey of Londoners aged 16 and over, using an unclustered, stratified random probability sampling design. The survey was designed to encourage participants to complete the survey online but offered paper self-completion questionnaires to all non-responding households to maximise response and sample quality. The 2018/19 survey had a productive sample of 6,600 and the 2021/22 survey has a productive sample of 9,500.

More information on the Survey of Londoners.

Bike Life: 2019 and 2021

Bike Life is a survey series commissioned by Sustrans in partnership with 14 UK cities, which seeks to understand cycling behaviour and identify opportunities to increase the number of people cycling for everyday journeys. NatCen carried out the surveys using a push-to-web design for the first time in 2019 (the previous surveys had been conducted on the telephone). The research required a minimum of 1,100 responses per city, to include at least 250 cyclists.

More information about Bike Life.

Financial Lives: 2019

NatCen was commissioned by the Financial Conduct Authority to conduct the second wave of the online Financial Lives Survey, which was first carried out in 2017. This comprehensive push-to-web survey of 16,000 consumers provides valuable information on people’s financial situation and their needs and experiences with financial services. NatCen is responsible for sample design, design and administration of the web/postal survey, calculating survey weighting, and providing clean data.

More information on the Financial Lives survey.

National Travel Attitudes Survey: 2017 – ongoing

For many years the Department for Transport has conducted research on the attitudes of the adult population in Great Britain towards transport issues. Traditionally, these questions have been administered via NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey (BSA), which is a high-quality face-to-face survey utilising a random probability design. However, with the aim of enhancing the quality and usability of the data by appending detailed information on people’s travel behaviours to their attitudinal data, and to reduce costs, NatCen transitioned this survey from the face-to-face BSA to a new survey with a web-push design.

This new survey – the National Travel Attitudes Survey – follows-up participants to the National Travel Survey (a national statistic level face-to-face survey), first by asking participants to complete the survey online but with use of telephone interviews to follow-up non-responders. NatCen designed, tested, set-up and administered this new survey.

More information on the National Travel Attitudes Survey.

NatCen Panel: 2015 – ongoing

In 2015 NatCen set-up the country’s first random-probability online panel which provides high-quality mixed mode surveys with a fast turnaround time. The survey is sampled from the British Social Attitudes survey and employs an innovative mixed-mode design, utilising an online survey with telephone follow-up to cover the offline population. The NatCen Panel has won numerous awards for innovation.

More information about the NatCen Panel.