Research is becoming increasingly automated, and new survey methodologies are evolving to satisfy the demands of today's ever-connected society.
Computer assisted Telephone Interviewing or CATI Surveys, though, have been around for some time now and offer a rare combination of new technology and old school human interaction. According to the research dimension, the CATI technique includes one or more telephone operators and a CATI survey program. The norm is a call center of 20-50 interviewers, but it's very normal to see a smaller reality.
Modern survey platforms providing CATI survey solutions take advantage of today's enhanced communication technologies to enable researchers to target a much wider population, including:
· those that are in remote areas with limited Internet access,
· those who haven't converted to laptops / smartphones,
· those who still use phones.
CATI surveys enable researchers to reach a large audience, as their demographic target merely requires access to the phone, whether it's smartphone or landline.
But how does CATI actually work?
The interviewer should make a phone call to the number displayed on the panel. If the respondent chooses to join the study, the interviewer must follow a script on the computer to pick the responses. The CATI survey method must immediately lead to the next query in the logical path. The interviewer will introduce a new respondent to the call at the end of the questionnaire.
The program handles the contacts according to the rules set by the administrators. For example, after 15 minutes, communications with a busy line will be shown again. When a person responds to a call but is not available for an interview, the caller can also arrange an appointment so that the CATI software can eventually display the person again at the specified date and time.
And who can take advantage of the mobile surveys?
The answer is pretty simple - as with most professional research methods - chain stores and organizations working to increase the quality of their customer service by keeping an eye on market preferences can benefit from telephone surveys, as well as firms involved in performing different forms of search studies.
If you haven’t checked our services yet, it is essential to acclaim that DataDiggers conducts CATI surveys in all the countries where we own strong and fast growing proprietary online panels across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas, as well as around the world via carefully chosen local partners.
We do CATI through local suppliers that own CATI stations in major cities of the region and are able to collect national representative samples across each country if needed so, or can focus on particular cities/regions only. The online link used to collect data can be either provided by client or our team can program it internally using specialized software.
This methodology has many advantages over the conventional method of performing telephone interviews. Here we will identify the top 3 benefits of using CATI surveys:
1. High quality results
CATI helps prevent misinterpretation by interviewers and guarantees that questions are properly answered, resulting in better quality results. The interviewer will concentrate on communicating with the client while the machine performs the technical elements of the session. Standardization of testing conditions with CATI also makes for more in-depth questions, offering you rich and informative data.
2. Fast and efficient
The entire research process is super quick and effective, as interviewers will enter the data as it is gathered. Entering the responses immediately means that an analysis of results can be reviewed shortly after the last interview has been completed There is no need to move data from paper to digital formats, so you can save time and reduce the chance of any mistakes.
3. High accuracy
Because the questionnaire is shown on a computer and is entirely automated, there is no chance of mistakes such as ambiguous compilation or asking wrong questions. The data collection is exceptionally reliable and computerized. Responses are pre-coded and entered directly, removing the need for manual analysis of data and reducing input errors.
It's not a surprise that the CATI technique has high maintenance costs. The CATI method covers just a small part of the cost: you need to consider the costs of interviewers, call traffic and the original investment in stations and programs just as much. Regardless, the CATI methodology (along with CAPI) is often known to be the most effective and efficient system.
Why bother and use it then? Well… You may have a lot of benefits that you're not going to get from other methodologies. The involvement of a real human – serving as a mediator between the interviewer and the respondent – has tremendous benefits such as:
· the respondent can better interpret the questions,
· a lot of respondents who do not know / don't answer can be eliminated,
· the drop-out rate is much smaller.
CATI is a perfect example of how technology changes the way we do work every day. With reliable and high-quality data accessible in a fraction of the time, CATI is a clever addition to our testing toolkit, which we are very glad to have.