FCA brings in the Stats People to provide technical, statistical, and methodological management support with its Financial Lives Survey
The brief for FCA’s Financial Lives Survey and related projects
The FCA Research team, responsible for the Wave 2 of its Financial Lives Survey, a mixed methodology survey of just under 18,000 people, brought us in to provide ongoing technical, statistical, and methodological management support. The role was multifaceted and involved the provision of ongoing support for the client team and being a bridge with the statistical support teams of the appointed agencies. In summary, we took the role of a semi-client / semi-agency layer within the project management structure to facilitate speedier decision-making and more transparent communication.
The work we delivered
- Methodological reviews of previous waves.
- Supported Procurement and project teams when setting briefs or evaluating tenders.
- Acted as a bridge and liaison between the FCA and agency statistician teams, ensuring that all parties clearly communicated and understood statistical concepts.
- Contributed ideas and suggestions around the specific implementation of key activities, such as sampling plan, product module allocation rules, weighting, and other technical survey aspects; acted as a sounding board and provided independent views on technical issues for both agency statisticians and FCA.
- Oversaw activities of agency statisticians on specific project activities around sampling, module allocation rules, and weighting.
- Ensured that key technical processes are documented for the technical report.
- Undertook additional ad-hoc analysis during the project, such as logistic regression analysis, to estimate the changes in eligibility for optional modules between wave 1 and early wave 2 of the FLS.
The role initially involved working as an associate member of the FCA tender board when evaluating suppliers for wave 2 of the survey and technical aspects of bids.
Upon appointment of a contractor:
- Regular meetings with agency and client teams to plan changes to the project design.
- Liaison with suppliers of face-to-face fieldwork to discuss technical issues.
- Working with the project and agency team designing a practical method of survey module management.
- Approving sampling and weighting specs and signing off each stage of the work.
- Reviewing progress at each batch of fieldwork and recommending adjustments to survey module design where necessary.
- Regular team meetings to review progress.
- Ad-doc work undertaken to calculate and create non-response weights for spin-off surveys.
The role required people management and communication skills as well as strong technical skills: being an extra colleague and friendly sounding board for the agency technical teams and an additional colleague and technically oriented project manager for the FCA.
This role worked effectively for Wave 2 and got extended to cover Wave 3 and 4 of the survey.