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Non-Sampling Error


Non-Sampling Error is a type of statistical error that occurs in a survey due to reasons other than the size of the sample. These errors can arise from multiple sources such as inaccuracies in data collection, processing, interpretation, or analysis. This type of error can impact any part of the research process and is not related to the act of choosing a sample from a population.


The phonetics of the keyword “Non-Sampling Error” are: /nɒn-ˈsæmplɪŋ ˈɛrər/.

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Non-Sampling Error occurs when the data is collected, recorded, or interpreted incorrectly</li><li>It’s present in all surveys, whether it’s a complete census or a simple random sample</li><li>Non-Sampling Error, unlike Sampling Error, cannot be reduced by increasing the sample size</li></ol>


Non-Sampling Error is an essential term in business and finance due to its potential to impact the accuracy and reliability of statistical data. This kind of error refers to discrepancies that are not related to the sample selection process, arising from various sources such as respondent errors, data collection errors, processing errors, or imperfect measurement tools. They are systematic errors that can be present in both sample surveys and censuses, hence potentially skewing the data and leading to biased results. Understanding and minimizing non-sampling errors is crucial for companies because decisions based on inaccurately interpreted data can lead to flawed strategies, wasted resources, and missed opportunities. Therefore, the comprehension of non-sampling errors helps in developing more precise forecasting models, making better financial decisions, and improving overall business performance.


Non-sampling error is used to refer to the other forms of inaccuracies that may occur in gathering and interpreting data other than those caused by random sample selection in surveys or research projects. One obvious purpose of recognizing non-sampling errors is to raise awareness of these irremovable mistakes so they can be minimized or counteracted whenever possible. Understanding non-sampling errors allows researchers or data analysts to fine-tune their methodologies, enhance their analytical techniques, and consistently strive for the highest degree of accuracy in their findings even when absolute precision isn’t achievable.Non-sampling errors can be utilized in a variety of ways in business or finance as they present opportunities for learning and refinement within studies and data collection efforts. For example, they can serve to identify weaknesses in survey design, data collection methods, or data entry processes, allowing businesses to improve future data gathering projects for more reliable results. This in turn results in more credible and valid decision making and forecasting which are indispensable in areas like strategic planning, budgeting, and trend analysis. Accurate data eliminates guesswork, shaves margin of error and delivers key insights that drive profitability and growth. Therefore, addressing the non-sampling errors, even though it’s challenging, is nonetheless an essential step in successful financial or business planning and strategy design.


Non-sampling error is a statistical error that arises from human error such as systematic bias, errors in collecting and processing data, non-response, and any other errors that can occur during a research study and that are not due to sampling. Three real-world examples of non-sampling error in business and finance could include:1. Data Entry Errors: For a financial firm providing wealth management services, they may collect a large amount of data about investment performance and personal financial metrics of clients. If a data entry professional incorrectly inputs the information into the database, say, mistyped a client’s income or wrongly recorded an investment’s returns, it’s a non-sampling error as it is not due to selection of sample but a human error.2. Survey Design: A marketing team of an e-commerce business launches a survey to understand customer preferences. If the survey questions are leading, unclear, or biased, the error resulting from this can be considered as a non-sampling error, as it can impact the responses irrespective of the sample chosen.3. Non-Response Error: For instance, a bank sends out a satisfaction survey to customers who have used their loan services. However, very few people respond, or perhaps those that had a negative experience are more likely to respond (withdrawal or survivorship bias). The data received does not accurately represent the bank’s customer base which leads to a non-sampling error. This non-response can skew the results and make them unrepresentative of the total population under study.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Non-Sampling error?

A non-sampling error is a statistical term representing any part of an experiment’s data that may distort the results, and that cannot be attributed to sampling variability. It arises from issues not related to the sampling process itself.

What are the common types of non-sampling errors?

The common types of non-sampling errors include reporting errors, nonresponse errors, processing errors, measurement errors and data issue-related errors. These are usually due to problems in data collection, processing, or sample design.

How does non-sampling error differ from sampling error?

While sampling error is related to the process of selecting a sample from a larger population, non-sampling error can occur at any point in a survey process and relates to all other errors that can impact the survey data outside of the sampling process.

Can non-sampling errors be eliminated from an experiment or study?

While it’s not usually possible to completely eliminate non-sampling errors, they can often be minimized by careful selection and formulation of survey questions, comprehensive training of interviewers, and diligent data processing.

What is the impact of non-sampling error on the reliability of a study?

Non-sampling errors can potentially distort the research findings and result in incorrect conclusions, which can affect the reliability and validity of the study. It’s crucial that researchers make efforts to minimize these errors as much as possible.

In which areas of finance or business is awareness of Non-Sampling Error essential?

Non-sampling error awareness is crucial in market research, opinion polling, financial analysis, and in any other areas where decisions are made based upon the interpretation of sampled data. This helps in ensuring the validity of the conclusion drawn.

Does non-sampling error affect the statistical significance of a sample?

Yes. Non-sampling error can introduce bias and inconsistency, both of which can impact the validity of the data, potentially leading to erroneous conclusions and affecting the statistical significance of a sample.

Related Finance Terms

  • Response Bias
  • Measurement Error
  • Survey Design Flaw
  • Data Collection Error
  • Non-Response Error

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