Analytics agencies like comScore and Nielsen rely on panel based data collection to provide disaggregate, individual level data, across devices, on an ongoing basis. Unlike cookies, panel user IDs are not “deleted”, so accuracy levels can greatly improve, provided the sample size is adequate.
Panels track users all the time across the internet. They capture information on a firm’s site as well as their competitors’ sites. And if the panel size is statistically significant, which is often not the case, these services can provide a rich source of behavioural data on competitors.
Unfortunately, because the internet is so vast and fragmented the effective panel sample size for the analysis of most sites is far too small. Panels are a viable option only for relatively big website.
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