Survey software: methods in comparison

Real Estate Agent with Daily Real Estate Update

The survey software world is full of possibilities and options. So, it is important to understand the survey methods available to you in order to choose the right one for your purposes. 


There are four different methodologies used to conduct research and surveys: CATI, CAWI, CAPI, and PAPI. To make it clear, let's find out how they work and which one is the best choice for your needs. 

CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews)

The acronym CATI stands for Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing.  


It is a telephone interview based on the use of software that supports the interviewer to manage questions. The interviewer must follow the order of questions provided by the software application.


The main advantages of telephone survey softwares are the following:

  • Cost-effective: it offers the best efficiency considering the high percentage of answers compared to web surveys.
  • High quality and accuracy data: this telephone interviewing process reduces the possibility to make mistakes because the answers are directly recorded on the computer instead of sending a paper questionnaire for a separate phase of data collection.
  • More efficient interaction: the telephone technique increases the engagement of the interviewees during the survey because they are encouraged to provide additional information.

CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing)

CAWI means Computer Assisted Web Interviewing.


This is a web survey methodology in which the interviewee fills out an online form that is sent by email or posted on a website as a link. Nowadays, it is considered one of the most common methods of collecting data, because of the increasing use of the Internet.


The questionnaire must be clear and well structured, it may contain single, multiple and open answers that at the end are automatically saved and processed by a survey software. Then, the interviewed proceed to complete the survey independently. It is also possible to share audio and video stimuli.


This method has multiple advantages: it allows to reach a large number of respondents in a very limited time interval; people are autonomous in completing the questionnaire; they can do it at any time, when they are not busy; there are not geographical limits of targets: anyone who has a computer and internet connection can take part in the survey. 


It is indeed very convenient in terms of costs and time savings.


The only disadvantage is the low response rate compared to the other methodologies. In other words, the absence of the interviewer as an intermediary figure could lead the user to drop the survey, especially if the user is not confident with mobile devices or computers.


On the other hand, you'll need targets that are familiar with technologies and computers to choose this kind of survey method, because everyone who does not have these skills is excluded from the games.

CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing)

The survey is made in person, the interviewed and the interviewer are face to face.


Usually, the interviewer is operating on a computer. This type of survey is also called TAPI when the interviewer is using a Tablet or SAPI when is using a Smartphone. There is also the WAPI method, which means Web Assisted Personal Interviewing and is developed by video call.


Also, there are PAPI surveys, that means Paper and Pencil Interviewing: in this case the survey is face to face and the answers are registered on a paper sheet. 


All these types of face to face surveys are indicated for complex investigations, with long and

structured questions: the interviewer can in this case explain the questions or help the interviewed who has lack of computer experience.


Now that you understand the survey methods and know exactly what the various acronyms mean, you are ready to select the perfect survey softwares for your needs.

Comments (1)

Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Feb 25, 2021 02:57 AM

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