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Simmons: Crosstab

A guide to using Simmons.

How to Create a Crosstab

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.

We're going to set up the variables to produce a crosstab looking at brand/product preference. For this example, we want to know if certain fast food restaurants (Domino’s Pizza or Little Caesar’s) are visited the most 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 on Dictionary Search 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 Fast Food Restaurants to the columns:
    • Click on Dining.
    • Then Fast Food & Drive-In Restaurants.
    • Then ? Fast Food Restaurants - Visit 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 Domino's and Little Caesar's to the columns box.

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

  • We want to know if customers in different age groups go to these restaurants.
  • 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.

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.

5. Interpret Your Crosstab(see the handout, "Simmons Fast Food Restaurants," 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 18-24 year olds are 56% more likely to visit Domino’s Pizza, while 25-34 year olds are 41% more likely to visit Domino’s Pizza. Also, note that 50+ adults are 30% less likely to visit Domino’s Pizza.

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., 18.1% of adults who visited Domino’s Pizza were 18-24 years old.)

Horizontal %: The percentage of the row that fits the column definition (i.e., 8.6% of adults 18-24 years old visited Domino’s Pizza.)

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


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.

Vert%: 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.

Horz%: 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 relatively unstable and should be used with caution.
** means results are from fewer than 30 respondents and are not be considered authoritative.