DASH was first implemented in 1982 for Direct Data Entry. Our approach differed from the usual heads-down rapid-entry simulation of past keypunch operations. Instead, we incorporated all edit checks into the data entry form, thus eliminating the need for manual proofreading of questionnaires as well as separate cleaning specifications for tables.
Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing came next. Because CATI forms were just variations on Direct Data Entry forms, with flexible "painting" of the display for both applications, the same form designers could handle the two applications without training on different modules.
The integration of all components within DASH continued with the introduction of cross-tabulation software in the mid 1980's. Table runs could be executed from anywhere on the network on live data files without any intervening steps.
With the decade of the 1990's came an entirely new software version, DASH 2. The major change initially was a new approach to call management for telephone interviewing. Recognizing that we would never be able to satisfy our clients' disparate wishes for call summaries and reports, we made a radical change; all call information became data and could thus be reported and tabulated in the same customizable way as survey data.
Also added in the mid 1990's was DASHX, which allows multiple windows to be viewed simultaneously and operations to be executed with point-and-click options in a graphical user interface.
Legacy DASH has continually been updated. A new telephony interface was added in 2002 and extended in 2008. This telephony interface now gives our clients the choice of two of the most powerful telephony systems that exist for surveys.
A major new version, DASH 3, was introduced in early 2000. Based on open source ideas and technologies, this new version added web interviewing to the mix of applications included in each DASH licence. The totally new file structure is flexible, allowing not only unlimited open-ends but also ending the problems of changing questionnaires during on-going interviewing.
DASH 3 was initially installed for web surveys only, but the transition has been made for CATI and mixed mode use also. Both versions of DASH, the Legacy (DASH 2) and New (DASH 3) are now fully integrated for simultaneous use of both versions.