Benefits of using CATI during a Pandemic

Move from CAPI and PAPI to the future of data collection CATI


As a technology ahead of its time, CATI promotes social distancing, ensuring that respondents and interviewers are not exposed to risks. CATI limit biases formed from physical contacts such as the interviewer's appearance, demeanor, as well as the respondent's perception of the interviewer. There is no doubt about the disastrous impact of biases in conducting surveys as it not only disrupts the research objective but wastes time and results in financial loss.


Why use CATI above other methodologies? Africans are becoming fast-paced and busier - always on the move, and there is a COVID-19 global pandemic lurking around. Therefore, reaching the ideal respondent can be tasking and frustrating because you hardly can find them waiting for you to call on them at home using a door to door approach. Having them glued for hours in front of a PC for a web-group discussion can also be frustrating. CATI solves this dilemma for researchers. Any respondent can be interviewed while they are on the move, at their preferred time and at their own most comfortable place.

As a technology ahead of its time, CATI promotes social distancing, ensuring that respondents and interviewers are not exposed to risks. CATI limit biases formed from physical contacts such as the interviewer's appearance, demeanor, as well as the respondent's perception of the interviewer. There is no doubt about the disastrous impact of biases in conducting surveys as it not only disrupts the research objective but wastes time and results in financial loss.

When working on a survey, the survey administrator can view progress in real-time and spot errors immediately for treatment. Project managers can easily identify challenges with fieldwork and proffer solutions when needed because of the immediate effect of seeing the field activities happening in.

Quality control is seamless

Data integrity, reliability, and validity are ensured in processes. Systems are in place so that quality is never compromised. Quality control measures are done instantly to avoid interviewers repeating the same error that is perhaps caused by humans or by the technical instruments and, if needed, the interviews can be replaced immediately without extra cost on manpower but just an extra cut on the over-budgeted telecommunication cost which must be a given for a CATI survey to be successful. While mitigating the problems that may arise, the project manager must anticipate problems and must have a set of planned actions to solve the problems before the campaign begins. Aside from human errors, there are errors in script and back-end server epilepsy that can occur due to virus attacks. It could also be internet interruption and hardware issues. On-the-ground IT support has proven to be a vital part of the human resource needed to resolve issues that are technically related. Data management and cleaning of the survey data are critical areas that ensure the client will receive accurate, error-free, data files for their analysis. Data storage is a key fundamental in CATI and integral to ensuring the high quality of the entire campaign.

Data quality is utmost with CATI

In a CATI survey, the questionnaire is displayed on the computer of the interviewer automatically and is already linked to the respondent being interviewed to avoid over quota, ensuring the respondent is the right respondent and personalizing the interview by calling the respondent’s name as shown on the CATI interface. Data are not stored elsewhere but are entered directly on the displayed questionnaire as the interview goes on. The Questionnaire must have been designed in such a way that gives way for no errors: no allowance of over-aged respondents or under-aged respondents, no allowance for disqualified respondents, and no allowance for screened-out respondents to continue the survey and of course, questions are scripted to allow for go-back on questions that contradicts themselves. These quality control measures on scripting the questionnaire and interview procedure enhances the overall quality of the survey further. One can randomize question order, either individually or in groups, and enable randomization of choices on a question to differ on display to different respondents.

Obtain Results in real-time

Survey results can be produced in a short time. CATI allows instant export of data for further data manipulation and analysis. Within the campaign, clients can receive a snip report, pending the final and whole, without undergoing the rigorousness of PAPI. After data collection is complete, we will provide our client with a codebook and a combined data set in SPSS or the desired data type. As results are in real-time, incentives are sent to respondents in real-time adding value to respondents who have given their time. Among all the available data collection methodologies, CATI wins, but one must be warned of the cost. CATI is still the most expensive data collection method, this is because of higher costs linked to the call center facility, the interviewers' cost, phone call rate, and phone traffic.

How we deliver on our promise.

Fully automated CATI center for surveys. We offer:

  • A fully integrated sample management solution to manage quotas and sub-quotas.
  • The Survey System can import a list of names, phone numbers, and other information. It can also combine answers with pre-existing information.
  • After the call, the interviewer selects a result (complete, no answer, busy, etc. They can make an appointment, call back, or leave a comment. The results are automated.
  • Backups are made daily onto a secure server on-site, as well as weekly backups by our IT team offsite.

CATI: Taking your Research Quality to the top

With CATI, we can produce all the details as well as the survey summary reports that you need to manage your project effectively. These include interviewers per-hour and total results, results per attempt, or per day, the number of active telephone numbers, rate of interview cooperation, and more. The CATI software is equipped to enforce quotas based on the interview questions or existing information automatically. You can also view the data as the interview progresses. Ultimately, you can expect more accurate results from your research efforts.  

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Our project managers are extremely flexible and responsive in meeting all your market research needs. REACH US FOR M&E via mail@fieldworkafrica.com

kelvin Robinson

A Research Consultant with Fieldwork Africa, Kelvin Robinson writes SEO-optimized articles for businesses desiring a surge to their Google rank. This digital marketing word-smith is ever-ready to explore the latest online trend. He doubles as a Copywriter and Web-designer and has begun training on graphic design as he targets being a Creative Sensei. You can find this self-starter on LinkedIn and many websites where his articles feature under his name or as a Ghost (Ha-ha-ha!). Asides that, he is often on his bed watching out for the next-digital-big-thing or with friends, playing Scrabble or Chess.

kelvin@fieldworkafrica.com


A field and data collection company operating in more than 20 countries in Africa. We have a high fieldwork standard, recruitment procedure and quality control measure that are unique and pace setting which enables client improve the lives of consumers in Africa

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