Summer Skills Building Series
End users of research often extrapolate from crosstab columns with small sample sizes, despite provided caveats. By adopting a technique that e-commerce companies use in product reviews, Bayesian averages, researchers can present crosstabs with greater predictive ability. Each column is blended with overall responses to calculate the Bayesian average. A 1,000-record subset of a survey of 6,000 U.S. adults was used to prove the validity of the technique: 60% of the Bayesian averages were closer to the final results, while only 34% of the traditional crosstabs were closer (6% tied). This simple technique can be applied in Excel and does not require any specialized software.