Digital analytics and web analyses for purposes of market, opinion and social research — Vocabulary and service requirements

ISO 19731:2017 specifies the terms and definitions, as well as the service requirements, for organizations and professionals that conduct digital analytics and web analyses for collecting, analysing and reporting of digital data for purposes of market, opinion and social research by various methods and techniques. It provides the criteria against which the quality of such services can be assessed and evaluated. ISO 19731:2017 applies to digital analytics and web analyses conducted by service providers on their own initiative, commissioned by clients or conducted by clients themselves. ISO 19731:2017 applies to digital and web analysis research activities such as: - understanding the usage of websites via the use of cookies, page impressions and other means, navigation across sites, time spent by visitors and their actions; - online metered panels, e.g. on-going measurement of web visitation via meters installed on panellists' desktop, mobile or tablet devices; - tag-based solutions to measure online usage at universe level, which can be integrated with metered panel data to provide a hybrid measurement; - social media analytics which collect, aggregate and analyse online comments, and user-generated content such as blogs, forums and comments on news sites or other sites. NOTE Universe can also be known as population. ISO 19731:2017 can be construed to cover all forms of digital data collection including from desktop computers, tablets, mobile devices and over the top (OTT) devices as well as internet of things (IoT) devices where applicable.

Analytique numérique et analyses web pour les besoins d'études de marché, études sociales et d'opinion — Vocabulaire et exigences de service

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Status
Published
Publication Date
22-May-2017
Current Stage
6060 - International Standard published
Start Date
30-Mar-2017
Completion Date
23-May-2017
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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 19731
First edition
2017-06
Digital analytics and web analyses
for purposes of market, opinion and
social research — Vocabulary and
service requirements
Analytique numérique et analyses web pour les besoins d’études de
marché, études sociales et d’opinion — Vocabulaire et exigences de
service
Reference number
ISO 19731:2017(E)
ISO 2017
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO 19731:2017(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2017, Published in Switzerland

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form

or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on the internet or an intranet, without prior

written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s member body in the country of

the requester.
ISO copyright office
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Tel. +41 22 749 01 11
Fax +41 22 749 09 47
copyright@iso.org
www.iso.org
ii © ISO 2017 – All rights reserved
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ISO 19731:2017(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Research project management requirements ....................................................................................................................... 6

4.1 Organization and responsibilities .......................................................................................................................................... 6

4.1.1 Management of the research process ............................................................................................................ 6

4.1.2 Project management responsibilities ............................................................................................................ 6

4.1.3 Appointment of a research quality manager ........................................................................................... 7

4.2 Confidentiality of information ................................................................................................................................................... 7

4.3 Documentation requirements.................................................................................................................................................... 7

4.3.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

4.3.2 Control of documents (other than project-related documents) ............................................. 7

4.3.3 Control of research project documents ........................................................................................................ 7

4.3.4 Control of records ........................................................................................................................................................... 7

4.4 Competence and training ............................................................................................................................................................... 7

4.5 Subcontracting/outsourcing ....................................................................................................................................................... 8

4.6 Reviewing the effectiveness of the research process requirements ......................................................... 8

4.6.1 Project management review .................................................................................................................................. 8

4.6.2 Problems and complaints management ...................................................................................................... 9

4.6.3 Internal audits .................................................................................................................................................................... 9

5 Proposals and tenders .................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

5.1 Proposals and tenders from service provider to clients ..................................................................................... 9

5.2 Other aspects to be established by service providers ........................................................................................10

5.2.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................10

5.2.2 Data cleaning and editing ......................................................................................................................................10

5.2.3 Sentiment and/or text analysis ........................................................................................................................11

5.2.4 Website usage and measurement analytics ...........................................................................................11

6 Execution of the project .............................................................................................................................................................................12

6.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................12

6.2 Digital analytics and web analysis data collection ................................................................................................12

6.2.1 Data collection methodology..............................................................................................................................12

6.2.2 Validation of data collection process ...........................................................................................................12

6.2.3 Participant safeguards .............................................................................................................................................13

6.2.4 Weighting ............................................................................................................................................................................13

6.3 Protection of individuals .............................................................................................................................................................13

6.4 Device monitoring .............................................................................................................................................................................13

6.5 Reporting ..................................................................................................................................................................................................14

6.6 Data retention .......................................................................................................................................................................................15

6.7 Data security ..........................................................................................................................................................................................15

6.8 Ownership and publication of results ..............................................................................................................................15

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................17

© ISO 2017 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO 19731:2017(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation on the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see the following

URL: w w w . i s o .org/ iso/ foreword .html
This document was prepared by ISO/TC 225, Market opinion and social research.
iv © ISO 2017 – All rights reserved
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ISO 19731:2017(E)
Introduction

Analyses of digital behaviour and online digital statements by persons and companies have rapidly

increased in importance. Examples are the measurement of the behaviour of website visitors, the

measurement of behaviour by means of cookies, and the registration and measurement of statements

and sentiments of users of social media.

This document provides insight into the working methods of service providers in the fields of digital

analytics and web analyses research and, in this way, provides clients with transparency regarding the

services they offer. This document is intended to supplement and be used in conjunction with ISO 20252.

Digital analytics and web analyses for the purpose of market, opinion and social research can be

separated from the equivalent analyses carried out for non-research purposes. In both cases, the

protection of privacy of the persons analysed is regulated by legal provisions that apply to the particular

project and, furthermore, by the relevant professional codes of conduct and other ethical guidelines.

© ISO 2017 – All rights reserved v
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 19731:2017(E)
Digital analytics and web analyses for purposes of market,
opinion and social research — Vocabulary and service
requirements
1 Scope

This document specifies the terms and definitions, as well as the service requirements, for organizations

and professionals that conduct digital analytics and web analyses for collecting, analysing and reporting

of digital data for purposes of market, opinion and social research by various methods and techniques.

It provides the criteria against which the quality of such services can be assessed and evaluated.

This document applies to digital analytics and web analyses conducted by service providers on their

own initiative, commissioned by clients or conducted by clients themselves.
This document applies to digital and web analysis research activities such as:

— understanding the usage of websites via the use of cookies, page impressions and other means,

navigation across sites, time spent by visitors and their actions;

— online metered panels, e.g. on-going measurement of web visitation via meters installed on

panellists’ desktop, mobile or tablet devices;

— tag-based solutions to measure online usage at universe level, which can be integrated with metered

panel data to provide a hybrid measurement;

— social media analytics which collect, aggregate and analyse online comments, and user-generated

content such as blogs, forums and comments on news sites or other sites.
NOTE Universe can also be known as population.

This document can be construed to cover all forms of digital data collection including from desktop

computers, tablets, mobile devices and over the top (OTT) devices as well as internet of things (IoT)

devices where applicable.
2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 20252, Market, opinion and social research — Vocabulary and service requirement

3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in ISO 20252 and the following apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at http:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1
ad impression
display of an advertisement on a device
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ISO 19731:2017(E)
3.2
algorithm

process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem solving operations

3.3
anonymization

process of removing, obscuring, aggregating, or altering identifiers with the aim of preventing the

identification of individuals to whom data originally related
3.4
application programming interface
API

set of definitions on the basis of which a computer programme can communicate with another

programme or component, and which can also support access/data exchange internally or externally

3.5
audit

systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining evidence and evaluating it objectively

to determine the extent to which audit criteria (3.6) are fulfilled
[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.5]
3.6
audit criteria
set of policies, procedures or requirements used as a reference
[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.6]
3.7
bot

autonomous software that operates as an agent for a user or a program or simulates a human activity

3.8
client

individual, organization, department or division, internal or external, that requests or commissions a

research project
[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.10]
3.9
code

numeric or alpha character or combination of characters associated with each response category

[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.11]
3.10
code frame

list of categories with associated codes (3.9) for classifying observations or statements

[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.12, modified]
3.11
consent

freely given agreement based on adequate information obtained prior to the collection of participant

(3.27) data

Note 1 to entry: When conducting research with children, additional consent requirements apply, e.g. permission

from a responsible adult.
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ISO 19731:2017(E)
3.12
cookie

small piece of information (i.e. programme code) that is stored on a browser for the purpose of

identifying that browser during audience activity and between visits or sessions
3.13
dashboard

software application with which a number of mini-applications can be reviewed or managed and

reported
EXAMPLE Offer data exports, allow API access.
3.14
data collection
process for gathering information by different means
Note 1 to entry: This includes activities such as web monitoring.
3.15
device ID

distinctive number or code (3.9) associated with a specific digital device which can be personally

identifiable

Note 1 to entry: Such devices can have multiple device IDs, each used for different purposes, for example to enable

services such as WiFi or Bluetooth, or to uniquely identify specific devices operating on a mobile carrier network.

3.16
digital analytics

analysing and reporting of electronic data for the purpose of measuring and understanding humans

and their behaviour
3.17
digital fingerprint

technology that deploys algorithms (3.2) that analyse a large number of technical characteristics

and settings on devices to generate unique identifiers that can identify a specific computing device

producing a machine ID, and which can be personally identifiable

Note 1 to entry: This ID can change over time depending on actions taken on the device.

Note 2 to entry: Also known as device, machine, or browser fingerprint.
3.18
dongle

small piece of hardware, often a USB device, that can be connected to other electronic equipment, to

enable additional services such as access to the internet
3.19
incentive

gift, payment, or other considerations offered to potential participants (3.27) to increase cooperation

[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.31]
3.20
internal audit

periodic checks carried out by a company’s own trained employees as to whether projects within the

company have been carried out in accordance with the described procedures
3.21
internet of things
IoT

infrastructure of interconnected objects, people, systems, and information resources together with

intelligent services to allow them to process information of the physical and the virtual world and react

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ISO 19731:2017(E)
3.22
machine learning
technology of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed
EXAMPLE Speech recognition, effective web search.
3.23
malware

variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses,

ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware and other malicious programs
3.24
mobile device

portable electronic device which can collect data that can be uploaded to a third party either

immediately or upon syncing with appropriate software

Note 1 to entry: Mobile devices might include smartphones, smart watches, fitness or health tracking devices,

tablets, and geo-location devices.
3.25
nearfield communication
NFC

short-range wireless technology that enables communication between devices over a short distance

3.26
over the top
OTT

digital services delivered over the internet rather than via a service provider’s own dedicated, managed

internet protocol television (IPTV) network

Note 1 to entry: Examples of digital services include Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Netflix or

Slingbox .
3.27
participant
person from whom or about whom data are collected
3.28
quality manager

person who is responsible for the formulation of quality requirements within an organization and for

the procedures and measurements aimed at the implementation of quality controls
3.29
robot instruction file

file that defines how a search engine should interact with the pages and files of a web site and is often

used to define where automated systems are not allowed to go
3.30
sample
subset of the target population (3.36) from which data are to be collected
[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.58]
3.31
sentiment

mood associated with, for example, a sound, image, or statement, usually on a continuum from positive

to neutral to negative

1) This information is given for the convenience of users of this document and does not constitute an

endorsement by ISO of these products.
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ISO 19731:2017(E)
3.32
service provider

organization that conducts research projects or parts of research projects in market, opinion and social

research
[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.55, modified]
3.33
social media

online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences and

perspectives with each other, transforming traditional one-to-many interactions into many-to-many

interactions
[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.63]
3.34
spyware

devices or software that capture a participant’s (3.27) behaviour without obtaining consent (3.11)

3.35
subcontracting
outsourcing

passing responsibility for executing an element of the project to a third-party service provider

[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.64, modified]
3.36
target population

population of interest in the research project to which inferences are to be made

[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.66]
3.37
text analysis
method used to describe the characteristics of a message
Note 1 to entry: This may also be referred to as content analysis.
3.38
unique visitor
unique user

inferred measure that signifies a distinct, unduplicated, individual requesting page from the website

during a given period, regardless of how often they visit
3.39
validation

process of using objective evidence to confirm that the requirements which define an intended use,

application or outcome have been met

Note 1 to entry: Validation can be carried out under realistic use conditions or within a simulated use

environment.
3.40
web analysis

analysing and reporting of behaviour, statements and sentiments (3.31) from users/participants (3.27)

of online platforms
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ISO 19731:2017(E)
3.41
web beacon
pixel tracker
web bug

piece of code (3.9), often a 1 × 1 pixel, on a website used to track website activity

Note 1 to entry: This differs from beacon, which is a low-powered transmitter which notifies nearby devices of

its presence, and can be used to trigger an action.
3.42
weighting

calculation process in which different units or subgroups are recalculated by assigning numerical

values, as necessary, to correct and/or improve the representativeness of sample (3.30) estimates

[SOURCE: ISO 20252:2012, 2.69]
4 Research project management requirements
4.1 Organization and responsibilities
4.1.1 Management of the research process

Service providers in the field of digital analytics and web analyses shall use for research projects a

research process which covers all the requirements of this document.

The research process shall be documented. It can differ from one organization to another due to the

following:
— the size of the organization and type of research activities;

— complexity of and risks associated with research projects and their interactions;

— the competence of personnel.

Procedures, instructions and methods required for completing the different tasks in accordance with

the requirements of this document shall be documented, implemented, monitored, maintained and

auditable.

Documents may address the requirements for one or more procedures. A requirement for a documented

procedure may be covered by more than one document. The documentation can be in any form or type

of media.
4.1.2 Project management responsibilities

The service provider, as part of its project management, shall take responsibility for:

— committing to quality of client service (including a statement of quality policy) appropriate to the

purpose of research projects;

— documenting the organizational structure of the service provider, including the responsibilities of

the people involved in the delivery of research services;
— reviewing and improving the research project;

— ensuring the provision of adequate and appropriate resources and information for the process,

including the appointment of a research quality manager;

— ensuring that everyone involved in the provision of the research service is familiar with the

applicable national and international ethical and professional codes, requirements of relevant

legislation and documented procedures and methods which specifically affect their work.

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ISO 19731:2017(E)
4.1.3 Appointment of a research quality manager

A research quality manager shall be appointed who has enough authority to be responsible for the

administration of the whole research process management and who is responsible for organizing

internal audits in order to ensure that this document is applied.

NOTE In some circumstances, the research quality manager can be a part-time role, and in other

circumstances, it can be more effective to appoint more than one research quality manager (i.e. share the role).

4.2 Confidentiality of information

All information supplied to the service provider by the client in order to conduct a research project

shall be treated in the strictest confidence. It shall only be used in this context and shall not be made

available to third parties without the client’s authorization. Confidential information shall be stored

securely. See also 6.7.

The research findings relating to a specific client that are obtained by a service provider shall not be

used for other clients without authorization of the original client and shall be treated in the strictest

confidence.

Participants’ data, as well as their identity, shall be treated in the strictest confidence. All assurances

given to participants, either directly or indirectly, shall be fulfilled.
EXAMPLE Assurances made by social media suppliers to their users.
4.3 Documentation requirements
4.3.1 General

Research records and documents (which can be paper based and/or electronic) shall be established

and maintained to provide evidence of traceability. Service providers shall specify to what extent a

research project deals with specific privacy legislation.

All electronic files shall be checked for malware by up-to-date malware detection software.

4.3.2 Control of documents (other than project-related documents)

Documents required as part of the research process shall be controlled. Documents shall be subject to a

version control procedure that allows the current version to be clearly identified.

4.3.3 Control of research project documents

Each research project shall have a project file (which can be in electronic format) that contains or

references the location of a project specification showing the basic requirements of the project.

In addition to the requirements of 4.3.2 and unique project identification, documents shall be uniquely

identified to allow traceability and to ensure they can be located.
4.3.4 Control of records

Records established to provide evidence of conformity to this document and project requirements shall

be kept secure from unauthorized access, useable and retained for defined periods (e.g. back-up).

4.4 Competence and training
The service provider shall:

— detail and document the required skills and competencies for each position in the research process;

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ISO 19731:2017(E)

— provide appropriate training, including easy access to suitable training materials, for all personnel

involved in the collection and processing of research data;

— ensure that the training adequately covers all technological, ethical and legal considerations for the

processing and collecting of personal data;

— ensure that all staff and subcontractors involved in the processing and collecting of personal data

are subject to appropriate management supervision.
4.5 Subcontracting/outsourcing

The service provider shall remain entirely responsible for all services carried out in connection with

a research project, including any part of the work relating to this document which is subcontracted

and/or outsourced, except where the choice of the subcontractor is beyond the control of the service

provider.

The service provider shall define procedures to select subcontractors in the field of research, establish

contractual relations and control the quality of the service provided.

The service provider shall ensure that subcontractors understand the requirements of this document

in relation to the processes subcontracted to them by providing a written specification of such

requirements.

NOTE The level of detail of the specification considered appropriate can depend on whether the

subcontractor has carried out similar work before for the service provider, and whether or not the subcontractor

is able to provide evidence of conformity to this document, where necessary.

The service provider shall obtain confirmation from the subcontractor that research-related work is

undertaken in conformi
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