Sample planning refers to a detailed outline of measurements to be taken:
· At what time – Decide the time when a survey is to be conducted. For example, taking people views on newspaper outreach before launch of a new newspaper in the area.
· On Which material – Decide the material on which the survey is to be conducted. It could be a online poll or paper based checklist.
· In what manner – Decide the sampling methods which will be used to choose people on whom the survey is to be conducted.
· By whom – Decide the person(s) who has to collect the observations.
Sampling plans should be prepared in such a way that the result correctly represent the representative sample of interest and allows all questions to be answered.
Following are the steps involved in sample planning.
· Identification of parameters – Identify the attributes/ parameters to be measured. Identify the ranges, possible values and required resolution.
· Choose Sampling Method – Choose a sampling method with details like how and when samples are to be identified.
· Select Sample Size – Select an appropriate sample size to represent the population correctly. Large samples are generally proner to invalid conclusion.
· Select storage formats – Choose a data storage format in which the sampled data is to be kept.
· Assign Roles – Assign roles and responsibilities to each person involved in collecting, processing, statistically testing steps.
· Verify and execute – Sampling plan should be verifiable. Once verified, pass it to related parties to execute it.