Telephone surveys and unwanted online pop-up surveys are often not the preferred way that the “surveyees” would preferred to be surveyed. They may feel cornered, chased, or inconvenienced, while not feeling that real effort and value are being put into the process on the surveyors side of the equation.

    But 100% manual surveying, done with little more than paper, pen, and a clipboard is far too slow, mistake-prone, and outdated in the 21st century. To collect, organize, and make “usable” a sufficient quantity of data at a reasonable cost, mobile devices paired with computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) software is an attractive solution.

    Businesses doing market research, as well as other entities that need to conduct relatively large and complex surveys should especially be pleased with the advantages offered by a Capi Survey approach.

    Here are 5 of the most important advantages to be gained by opting to use CAPI software for your data collection and survey needs:

    1. Heightened Participation

    People are much more likely to respond positively to a request for a personal interview than to the automated, mechanical surveys that pop up online. The same can be said of telephone interviews, since many are wary to answer a call from an unfamiliar number.

    CAPI gives you the personal, human touch of a “real” interview, while combining it with the safeguards and speed of a computerized interviewing system. You get the best of both worlds: greater efficiency and higher participation rates.

    2. Improved Data Quality

    There are a number of ways that high-end CAPI software programs can improve the overall quality of data collected in surveys. First, you can customize your survey questions as needed and there’s no risk of an interviewer reading the wrong question or missing one, if the interviewee is allowed to see the screen.

    Second, the software will automatically verify that answers are not erroneous or inconsistent. And third, there is no possibility of human error while transferring the data from paper to computer, because it is originally entered into the computer and is formatted to be readable on desktops and laptops just as much as on tablets and smartphones.

    3. Saves Valuable Time

    Getting your survey results back faster means you and/or your employees have more time to attend to other business tasks and keep up full productivity. It also means you’ll be able to more quickly utilize the results – and it makes it practical to conduct more surveys, more often without creating an unacceptable “time crunch.”

    How does CAPI save you time? You don’t have to create your survey format from scratch, but only customize it. You don’t have to print and distribute survey pages to interviewers. There is no tedious process of transferring survey answers from paper to computer to worry about. Data cleaning at survey’s end, if needed at all, is on a much smaller scale.

    4. Costs Less per Survey

    Surveys may be free to those interviewed, but they’re not to the business conducting the survey. Paper and ink cost quite a bit when you’re doing a large scale survey, and it doesn’t help the environment either.

    Since paper-only surveys take longer, they also require more man-hours and thus expense to the employer. And this also means an extra cost for data transfer and data cleaning. Telephone surveys avoid the transportation costs, but they add the cost of making a high volume of phone calls with most contacts refusing to take the survey. CAPI gets you a very low cost per finished survey.

    5. The CASI Option

    Finally, CAPI software can be used without an interviewer in many settings, such as at survey stations at malls, trade shows, or in-store. This is called “CASI” (computer assisted self-interviewing.) This means even lower costs since there’s no need to pay an interviewer, and it highlights the versatility of CAPI software.

    CAPI & CASI surveying techniques are growing in popularity with business owners and other organizations with every passing year. The reason isn’t hard to see: they cost less, take less time, secure better data quality, and maximize participation rates.

    Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.