What is CATI? A case study
CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview) is a quantitative research methodology, in which data collection is carried out through telephone interviews that are administered using a questionnaire programmed on a special software that automatically records the answers. The CATI questionnaires essentially include closed questions.
It is a methodology that can be used for any type of target, and that allows to reach a varied and well-distributed sample throughout the national territory. The interviews are quite short, on average 15-20 minutes, rarely 30 minutes
Depending on the size of the research, the CATI methodology involves the use of a different number of telephone workstations that can even reach 20-25 operators.
The interviewer uses a questionnaire that is displayed on the PC screen. The questionnaire not only represents the interview guideline, but it automatically gives the exact order of the questions. The interviewer cannot make any changes to the questions or their sequence, but they only provide some explanation to respondents if a question is difficult to understand, carrying out an important intermediary function between the respondent and the questionnaire.
The questions are displayed on the PC and asked via telephone in a sequential and programmed way, thanks to logic and consistency checks.
Practical and fast
This is a widely used methodology in the case of administered interviews where there are no materials to show to the respondent. The sample size depends on the target, but on average at least one hundred CATI interviews are carried out for each research.
This now classic method of data collection has numerous advantages of various orders:
- The quality of the interview: the presence of an interviewer who acts as an intermediary between the interviewee and the questionnaire guarantees the exact understanding of the questions.
- Control: at any time it is possible to monitor the progress of the research.
- Times: the data collection is fast because the data entry phase is immediate.
CATI or CAWI?
The difference between the two methodology is the presence or not of the interviewer.
CATI interviews are administered while CAWI interviews are self-completed.
The CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interview) methodology may be more cost-effective, but CATI can provide greater control.