Web revolution has drastically changed data collection methods increasing the number of options compared to previous times.

Technology has caused several (and significant) modifications to survey techniques. In this post, we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of data collection methods.

Data collection methods: CATI – Phone surveys

CATI data collection method (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview) improved the telephone interviewing process. A software automatically supports and leads the interviewer during data collection. Thus, they see questions on the screen followed by possible answers.

For this reason, it has several advantages:

  1. high quality of collected data: you avoid any interviewer misinterpretation or incorrect question administering;
  2. time reduction: automatic callback managed by the system. The interviewer can also directly insert the data with no use of paper;
  3. more accuracy: being completely automated, there’s no room for mistakes or unclear compiling;
  4. complete control on interviews progress: you can check in real-time completed, incomplete, and dropped interviews.


Data collection methods: CAWI – Online surveys

We said that the web revolution has been crucial to market research evolution. This is particularly true for the CAWI methodology (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing).

Back in the days, with online surveys, you could reach just around 20% of the population. So it had limited purposes.

Today, you reach a wide and generic population (an entire country, a multinational corporation…). A link is sent to the respondents via email. They just follow the link to complete the questionnaire.

The main characteristics of the CAWI method are:

1. the software autonomously send the emails and takes care of their following classification. Finished questionnaires are marked as complete.

2. the respondent receives an invitation via email and clicks on the link to answer the questionnaire.

You need to have all the email addresses of your respondents to carry on a CAWI survey.


Data collection methods: CAPI – Offline personal surveys

CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) data collection method is the tech evolution of Face to Face research. An interviewer collects the data in a face to face meeting with the respondent.

Using a mobile device or PC even offline, the interviewer carries on the interview and send back the answers in real-time. Data are immediately sent to the main server.

The face-to-face interview is often part of the Mystery Client research. Mystery clients can discreetly complete their tasks on their smartphone or mobile device.


Observations on CATI CAWI CAPI data collection methodology

To sum up, we compared CATI CAWI CAPI data collection methods. And each one of them represented a step forward for market research.

Now it’s time for some observations on the actual effectiveness of these data collection methods.

CAWI data collectionmethodology has several advantages but requires all respondents to have an email account and a basic knowledge of computers to correctly complete the questionnaire.

CAPI data collectionmethodology’s biggest quality is the real face to face interaction between respondent and interviewer. In contrast, the average number of completed interviews in a working day is usually lower than CATI.

CATI data collectionmethodology guarantees the benefits of the other two techniques above. Specifically, a heterogeneous target and the call agent that can help the respondent during the interview. But CATI is still the most expensive method because of higher costs linked to the call center, the interviewers, and phone traffic.


Advantages and disadvantages of data collection methods: the winner is…

To resume, no data collection methodology can be considered better than the others. Every company has to carefully evaluate its goals. Then, after a careful analysis, you will be able to pick and use the best type of data collection to reach your goal. 

Using a software that can manage CATI CAWI CAPI Surveys like IdSurvey will always give you the best of each one.


Data collection methods FAQ

How do different response rates compare between CATI, CAWI, CAPI data collection methods?

Analyzing software response metrics across data collection methods and sectors can help researchers identify the most effective strategy and methodology for specific target demographics. For example, it may be easier to reach specialized professionals over the phone or to interview populations from more rural areas in person.

What are the specific challenges of the CATI method in the current market research context?

Today’s challenges of the CATI module are mainly in reaching respondents and managing the privacy issue. To manage them, it is essential to choose software that offers flexibility in handling calls and contacts and strict data security measures.

How can an organization maximize the response rate of participants in CAWI surveys?

It is critical for those who want to manage CAWI surveys to choose software that allows for customization of invitations and survey appearance and that helps design engaging and easy-to-answer surveys for contacts, optimizing project response rates.

How does the CAPI methodology facilitate direct interaction during data collection?

For CAPI surveys, it is essential that the software offers the ability to work offline and interactive tools to facilitate data collection on field by enhancing direct interaction with participants.

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