Omnibus (survey)

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An omnibus survey is a method of quantitative marketing research where data on a wide variety of subjects is collected during the same interview. Usually, multiple research clients will provide proprietary content for the survey, while sharing the common demographic data collected from each respondent. Across different omnibus programs, one will find some variance in sampling quality, number of interviews completed, and cost of data collection. Some internationally capable research vendors offer omnibus data collection across multiple countries.[1] but typically an omnibus will focus on a single country.

Uses of an omnibus

  • sift or harvesting
  • test alternative wording for questions

The advantages to the research client include cost savings (because the sampling and screening costs are shared across multiple clients) and timeliness (because omnibus samples are large and interviewing is ongoing).

An omnibus survey generally uses a stratified sample and can be conducted either by mail, telephone, or Internet.


  1. ^ Research design: successful designs for social and economic research, Catherine Hakim, pg. 90,