There is often confusion between having a research panel and buying a sample from a third party panel provider. To help clear this confusion, we need to understand the difference between the two.


When you have access to people that can take your surveys (customers, employees, students, members, etc.), then you have the ability to recruit and manage your own research panel. If you build a survey but lack respondents to take it, then you can purchase a sample from a third party panel.


The key difference is access. You can build your own panel if you have access to those people, but if you don’t, then you can buy a sample to get responses for your surveys. Today, we will be focusing on the benefits of having your own research panel (meaning you have access to people in some way).


Having an in-house research panel has gained in popularity over the past decade because they provide an organization with a pre-qualified and willing group of respondents to participate in surveys on an as needed basis. A well-managed research panel allows the organization to quickly and easily get answers to key questions at a fraction of the cost of other research methods. Additionally, researchers are able to build rich, deep profiles about each panel member over time, which enables more targeted and personalized research.


What are the main benefits of managing your own research panel?

  • Do More Research: It’s easy and convenient to field surveys to your panel, allowing you to do more research.
  • Faster Insights: You’ll have responses back in less time than virtually any other method of research.
  • Higher Response Rates: Get higher response rates on your studies because these people have agreed to take your surveys.
  • Richer Profiles: Build rich, deep profiles about each panel member over time and use the data to enhance future studies.
  • Save Money: Owning and managing your own panel costs substantially less than purchasing sample from another source.


There are some frequent concerns that come up when people talk about building and managing their own panel. Some think it might take too much time, or they don’t feel qualified to run one. But in our experience working with different organizations and researchers of various amounts of experience, we’ve found that all of them have been able to become panel management experts with Qualtrics technology.


In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing tips and best practices to help you manage your own research panel. Watch for future posts where we’ll share expert advice about recruiting your own panel. You can also download the entire guide now.

The Panel Management Guide

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