Daniëlle Remmerswaal

Utrecht University
Methodology and statistics

Push-to-app: Effective recruitment and retention in smart surveys

Official statistics has started integrating sensor measurement using smartphones into data collection. For example, the CBS travel app in the Netherlands (McCool et al. 2021), the IAB-SMART study in which app-based data informs labour market research in Germany (Kreuter et al. 2020), and other plans to incorporate app and sensor measurement exist (Salemnik et al. 2020). 

Integrating sensor data with survey data in smartphone apps has potential advantages for participation rates and data quality (Struminskaya et al., 2020). The reasons for both nonparticipation and noncompliance are not yet fully understood. The main research question of the PhD, therefore, is: How to obtain high and balanced completion rates in surveys employing smart features. The corresponding goals of this PhD are:

  1. to consolidate the existing knowledge about the novel data collection methods,
  2. to obtain an in-depth understanding of participation and retention 
  3. to provide usable recommendations that are ready to be implemented into the data production process of official statistics. 

The PhD project will build upon existing knowledge that has been obtained from the WIN (CBS and UU collaboration) and ESSnet projects, and has as key feature that it will provide an integral in-depth look at the sensor-and-app data collection lifecycle. In a first article experiments conducted in the CBS travel app will be analyzed. Experiments regarding the length of the survey, and the offering of an alternative web-survey mode in reminder letters are conducted in the travel diary study to understand participation in app surveys better. A second article will encompass a systematic review on participation and retention in a broader spectrum of smart surveys.

Prof. dr. J.G. Schouten
Dr. P. J. Lugtig
Dr. B. Struminskaya

Financed by
Waarneem-Innovatie Netwerk (CBS/UU)