What is a Random Sample?

Definition: A random sample is the result of implementing a statistical sampling method where each subject has the same probability to be chosen. In other words, it is a small portion of the whole population that is selected arbitrarily and independently or any predefined attributes.

What Does Random Sample Mean?

These samples are obtained from a lottery-like process where each individual subject from the population shares the same percentage of probability to be picked. It is a sample that doesn’t necessarily describes the population as a whole, since random sampling has as its main disadvantage that it doesn’t take into account the different segments of the population in order to pick the sample subjects. On the other hand, random samples serve as a great starting point for market research projects with a low level of resources since the researcher can draw some initial hypotheses that he can study further individually, in a more profound manner.

In business, random samples are often employed to gather information about work environment perception, customer satisfaction, opinions about a product’s quality or to determine the effect of the business’ advertisement efforts. Also, newly formed businesses employ random sampling as a method to collect primary information about the product or service they are currently developing in order to measure the size and potential profitability of the target segment.


Luke and his brother Samuel have an idea to start a new business to manufacture and sell protein bars in all the gyms located in their city. They branded the bars “Pro-Snack” and they have a patented recipe invented by Luke, who is a certified nutritionist. In order to determine if the business potential is big enough for them to start devoting time to it they randomly picked 20 gyms each from a population of around 350 that are located in the city. Luke took the east side of the city and Samuel went to the west side.

They designed a small survey that they will apply to each of the gym’s managers and these will help them identify the market’s potential and willingness to purchase the product and the gym’s enthusiasm to display them with a potential profit involved for being distributors.