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MRI-Simmons Catalyst: 1.0 Creating a Crosstab

A guide to using Simmons.

1.0 How to Create a Crosstab

Note: these instructions are for the old 1.0 version of MRI-Simmons.

Crossstab is the default Simmons module. Crosstab lets you find specific insights on a target (people that you want to study), or compare variables on multiple targets.

For this example, we're going to look at people who drink Mountain Dew by the following age groups: 18-24 years, 25-34 years, 35-49 years, and ages 50+.

1. Getting Started

  • Access the Dictionary Search. Open Simmons Insights, and click "Proceed."  Then click on Dictionary in the upper right corner.
  • Use the most recent 12-month study, to capture the largest sample size. The latest 12-month study SHOULD BE the default. If you need to/want to change it, use the drop-down menu at the top left of the page (Choose NHCS Adults, to look at other studies on adults 18+.)

2. Add the Target Audience to Columns

  • Find the variables you want to use by scrolling through the dictionary/variables window on the left and clicking on the triangles to expand the section. OR you can use the search box. Be sure to change the radio button to search "Questions and Answers."
  • To add Mountain Dew drinkers to the columns:
    • Click on Beverages - Non-Alcoholic Drinks.
    • Then Other Reg[ular] Carb[onated] (Non-Cola) Drinks.
    • Then ? Other Reg Carb Drinks - Brands Drink Mo (Mo = Most.)
    • When you click on an item with a ?, you will notice the possible answers appear in the answer box.
    • Click and drag Mountain Dew to the Columns box.

Crosstab Target Audience Mountain Dew

3. Add What You Want to Know About your Target Audience to Rows

  • We want to about customers in different age groups. (Since I did a keyword search on 'Mountain Dew,' I delete that to get all of the categories back.)
  • Click on Lifestyle (Demographics.)
  • Then Demographics (Personal Information.)
  • And then ? Age.
  • You'll see a list of options. Scroll through the list of ages/age ranges. Click on 18-24, 25-34, 35-49, and 50+, and drag them to the Rows box.

Crosstab Ages into Rows

4. Run Crosstab

  • To retrieve the data, you need to run the crosstab.
  • Click on the right-facing arrow at the top right of the page.
  • To save the report, look on the left for the Export button. It will export to Excel (export xls.)

5. Interpret Your Crosstab (see the handout, "Simmons Crosstab Example: Mountain Dew," in the right-hand column.)
The most significant data in the results is the index. This data tells you the product, brand, or media usage compared to the average. The base number for comparison is 100 (100 = average.)  A number above 100 is greater than average, and below 100 is less than average.

    < 80 less likely

    >120 more likely

Looking across the rows and columns in the example, notice that 25-34 year olds are (142-100) 42% more likely to drink Mountain Dew, compared to all adults that took the survey. Also, note that 50+ adults are (100-67) 33% less likely to drink Mountain Dew.

The other numbers:

Sample: Actual number of respondents in survey who meet criteria of both the row and column.

Weighted (000): Estimated total number of adults who meet criteria of both the row and column. Expressed in thousands.

Vertical %: The percentage of the column that fit the row definition (i.e., 24.9% of adults who drink Mountain Dew are 25-34 years old.)

Horizontal %: The percentage of the row that fits the column definition (i.e., 10.3% of adults 25-34 years old drink Mountain Dew.)

For more about understanding crosstab results, see the PDF document, "How to Interpret Crosstab Data", in the right-hand column.

Simmons (Crosstab): St. Thomas video tutorials


Sample: The number of people surveyed who meet both the column & row criteria.

Weighted: The projected number of adults (18+) in the US who meet both the column & row criteria. Expressed in thousands.

Vertical %: Percentage of the column category that matches/agrees with/uses the row category. NOTE: If you place brands in columns, use the Vert% to compare different brands on the % of their business coming from the categories shown in the rows.

Horizontal %: Percentage of the row category that matches/agrees with/uses the column category.

Index: The likelihood of a target to meet a specified criteria, expressed in relation to the base of 100. Used to show how likely a consumer is to use a product, agree with a statement, etc. Numbers above 100 show MORE likely to use, buy, eat or wear something. Less than 100 shows LESS likely to do something.

Asterisk Notations:
* means projections are from 31 - 60 respondents; they may be unstable and should be used with caution.
** means results are from fewer than 30 respondents; they are likely unstable and should be used with caution.