Research Methodology

VisionWatch Methodology

VisionWatch is the only large-scale continuous consumer measurement exclusively designed for the eyewear and eyecare industry.

Comprised of a statistically balanced sample of up to 110,000 U.S. adults, the structure of the sample is controlled to produce an unweighted composition that is as close as possible to the final mix. Both demographic weights and psychographic weights are applied to ensure that the final sample is statistically stable and representative. Each month, The Vision Council starts with an initial working sample of 10,500 American adults. We remove any disingenuous responses (e.g., people speeding through the survey, providing inconsistent data) and rebalance the sample to be representative of the U.S. adult population with regard to age, gender, annual household income, and region of residence based on the four main U.S. Census Bureau zones. We also run a series of edit and validation tests on all optical purchases to make sure consumers are providing us with accurate and reliable information about the eyewear they recently purchased. 

Safeguards have been instituted to ensure that respondents participate in the survey only once in order to eliminate bias that could result from multiple session participation. 

The sample is maintained and managed by Dynata, a company with more than 30 years of proven market research experience. 

The VisionWatch study has been in the field since October 2000. Over the past two decades, VisionWatch has become the main benchmarking and business planning tool for leading retailers and manufacturers in the eyewear and eyecare industry. The data is used to produce both syndicated and custom research products. 

By downloading any of the PDF files, you agree to the terms and conditions listed below: 

  • The Vision Council owns and retains the copyright to all the information provided in the VisionWatch reports, both in part and as a whole. 
  • The Subscriber may not reissue or sub-contract this report or data or interpretation of data from this report and may not accept any compensation either monetary or in the form of other considerations for communicating this report in part or in whole to any entity outside the legal and/or financial embodiment of the Subscriber. 
  • The Subscriber may not use the Report(s) or data from the Report(s) for media advertising or public relations purposes without prior written approval of The Vision Council. 
  • The Subscriber may not post the Report(s) or any data from the Report(s) on the Internet without prior written approval of The Vision Council. 
  • The Subscriber may use the data for internal presentations (to include all appointed agencies) without prior written approval by The Vision Council.
  • The Subscriber may also utilize VisionWatch data for presentations to clients and potential clients; however, the subscriber may not leave the data with clients or potential clients without written permission from The Vision Council. The Subscriber may not provide any other entity with such data that may be detrimental to Vision Council opportunities to sell such data to that entity or any other entity. 
  • The Subscriber may quote data to the press without prior written approval provided the source of the data is attributed to VisionWatch and the Subscriber specifies full details of the time period, unit of measurement and all other relevant restrictions applied and does not release such data that would be detrimental to Vision Council opportunities to sell such data to any entity. Subsequent to any press release containing data from these reports, the Subscriber must provide The Vision Council with a copy of the press release. 
  • The Vision Council will use all reasonable endeavors to assure accuracy of all reports and interpretation offered. However, no warranty as to the accuracy of the reports is given or implied. The Vision Council cannot be assigned any responsibility for losses incurred by the Subscriber in conjunction with the use of this report. 

Eyecare Provider (ECP) Panel Methodology 

The Vision Council conducts industry studies among our ECP Panel multiple times a year in order to address relevant issues and topics. This panel is an opt-in program in which participants have signed up to complete surveys in exchange for compensation. The list currently includes 1,400 participants, with more being recruited over time.

The majority of ECP surveys are on-going studies that are conducted on a yearly basis while other surveys are produced on a one-time basis to understand special circumstances and situations in the industry. Depending on the subject matter and the needs of each specific report, we develop respondent targets for each survey distribution. We generally survey ECPs and eyewear retailers on a wide variety of subjects. Some recent studies examined subjects such as: recent sales trends, buying group involvement, low vision products and services, prescription lens pricing, anticipated tradeshow behavior, opinion and adoption of new vision technology, equipment and software. 

While most Vision Council ECP Panel studies focus on the U.S. at a national level, we can focus individual research projects to a specific subset of the U.S. ECP community. This would include limiting the research to a specific region of the country (e.g., only practices located in California), a specific type of retailer or practice (e.g., independent optometry practices or multidisciplinary practices) or a specific audience of survey respondents (e.g., only those people involved in ordering and buying eyewear for a practice, only practices using practice management software, etc.). 

An online survey tool is used to collect data for time and cost efficiencies for administration and respondents alike.  Questionnaires are developed by The Vision Council research personnel with input from The Vision Council staff and industry professionals. The surveys are deployed using Qualtrics, an online survey hosting/programming company. 

Once responses are collected, there are submissions that are disqualified or excluded from the final analysis due to variances in their responses including submission from people not associated with vision care, people that randomly answered questions, and duplicate submissions. Data is then formatted into topline files that are unweighted counts and frequency percentages for all answers and questions.  A detailed cross tabulation is also developed to show the separate demographic and answer profiles for each question of the survey. Based on the specifications of the survey and the needs of report end users, The Vision Council will also analyze the results of various ECP surveys to create charts, detailed written summaries of results and findings, key note or executive summaries, trend comparisons to previous research, and suggested courses of action based on data findings.