Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI)

A CATI survey is administered through a form which contains all questionnaire text, entry fields and commands for logic controls. Form changes, including the addition, move or deletion of fields, can be made during ongoing interviewing because the file structure is flexible. Any number of surveys with any number of respondent cases may be active on the DASH system at any time.

Call management information is stored with each case as data. This expands reporting options beyond standard menu reports to include marginals and tables in which questionnaire data can be combined with call data in the same output.

The DASH Scheduler manages all new call and callback allocation based on a set of user-controlled parameters for call circulation.

CATI is one component of the DASH Core Licence, which also includes data entry and tables. Click here for Core Licence pricing.

CATI Questionnaire Components
Questions and Text
  • any number of questions per page, text per question
  • any world language, any number of languages concurrently
  • any choice of colour, fonts, highlighting, margins
  • interviewer instruction text anywhere needed; help page options
Fields for Entry
  • radio, check and list fields for precoded data
  • numeric, integer and decimal fields for raw data
  • alpha and text box fields for open-ends; no entry limits
  • display fields for form data, web site link, images
Fixed Option Lists
  • lists unique to one field or shared across many
  • text or images for list items
  • any item value including text, positive/negative number, decimal
  • presentation in single/multiple rows/columns
  • sequential order, randomized, rotated with optional fixed position items
Dynamic Option Lists
  • respondent-specific lists generated during interview
  • built from fixed and/or dynamic lists, specific items, external files
  • drill down to any number of levels in question series
  • presentation in the order assembled, randomized, rotated
CATI Questionnaire Features
Error Checking
  • missing data checks and commands for none, other-specify
  • range checks on raw data items, lists, ranges
  • consistency checks with previous entry or benchmark data
  • summation checks against another field or reference value
  • format checks or 'masks' for postal codes, custom needs
Page Order Controls
  • branching on any combination of conditions
  • rotation, randomization of list of pages anywhere in form
  • same random page order in parallel question series
  • page skips for non-qualifiers within randomized/rotated pages
  • rotation, randomization, chaining, nesting, filtering of page blocks
Data Manipulation During Interview
  • execution of math formulas, summations, incidence counting
  • dynamic conversion of data to alternate measurement base
  • insertion of dates, times, fixed data during interview
  • response consolidation, back-edits, incidence counting, recoding
Question Customization
  • sample/interview data recall ('piping'); survey personalization
  • respondent-specific 'fills' in question text
  • dynamic alteration of precoded option lists for only relevant items
  • inclusion of previous other-specifies in subsequent lists
  • prompting with date/time reminders based on current date/time
Sample Management
Sample Origin
  • any delimited text file; automatic name matching to field names anywhere
  • any length and content, with full or only partial loads
  • single or multiple different sources
  • pre-loaded and/or entered during interviewing
  • copy of incomplete cases from previous wave of tracking study
Sample Allocation
  • flexible load to Scheduler; limit sample loaded using any filter
  • options to unload any sample, add supplemental sample any time
  • default call queues; any number of user-defined queues
  • respondent selection patterns within households
Sample Disposition
  • any number of user-defined call status codes
  • any text or numeric values for status codes; duplicates allowed
  • interviewer selection of code when survey interrupted
  • automatic insertion of form-defined code for complete, quotas, terminations
Quota Controls
  • unlimited quota schemes, number of quotas
  • quota definitions of any complexity
  • independent and dependent quota options
  • 'active' limits (completes plus underway) to prevent overruns
  • user-controlled quota termination pages
Call Circulation
Date/Time Controls
  • user-controlled daily start and end times for outbound calls
  • standard call times for all cases or unique times for any/each queue
  • time zone controls for applying call times at respondent location
Call Priorities
  • application to queues and to calls within queues
  • up to 99,999 priority levels for each
  • priority level assigned or calculated dynamically
  • calls sorted by date/time, with oldest first in each priority level
Call Algorithms
  • generic algorithms in DASH template form
  • custom algorithm options using any respondent and/or call data
  • new call allocation: all or selected queue(s) only
  • callback allocation: user-defined selection of qualifying status codes
  • callback timing: user-defined time lag by status code, other criteria
Call Limits
  • choice of methods for curtailing contact efforts, including
  • a) automatic removal from Scheduler after user-specified call maximum
  • b) supervisor removal of cases from active queues, recovery as needed
  • c) automatic delegation of non-contact cases to lower priority or to 'park' queue
Field Operations
  • individual logins and passwords
  • controls for limiting interviewer access to specific forms
  • browser presentation of forms with mouse and/or keyboard entry
  • integrated messaging option for contacting supervisor
  • automatic generation database of interviewer activity
  • user management menu for assigning staff, viewing field activity
  • form management menu for setting calling parameters
  • live monitoring; any number of monitors per interviewer at a time
  • company-controlled allocation of additional supervisor functions
  • open-ends included in marginals or filtered separately
  • recode entry option for adding codes by question across case file
  • online recoding from code list by viewing open-ends in each case
  • filtered access to revise codes when code list changed
Data Repair
  • data cleaning to report cases not meeting current form specs
  • auto recode operation to apply new edit commands to all or subset of cases
  • special marker for problems noted by interviewers
  • 'dead storage' for putting flawed cases in temporary limbo
Data Reports
  • menu-initiated standard and custom listings, summaries
  • optional filters by page/case range, case status, case data
  • HTML marginals with optional bar charts
  • data inversion for faster execution on large data file
Field Reports
  • call reports for current survey snapshots
  • call history reports for longitudinal summaries of call data
  • quota status reports
  • flow rate calculations
Interviewer Reports
  • calls, contacts and completes
  • individual/overall flow rates
  • individual/overall mean interview length
  • individual/overall refusal rates
Respondent Reports
  • any mix of sample, questionnaire, call data
  • final call disposition or all call outcomes
  • number of contact attempts
  • outcome by date, time