Gone are the days of a telephone interviewer flipping through the pages of a paper questionnaire and scribbling down answers. New techniques – like Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) – have made phone surveys easier, more repeatable, and more sophisticated, allowing researchers to provide you with better data than ever before.

So, how does it work? The interviewer follows a script provided by a computer, and uses a keyboard to record responses which correspond with a set of pre-coded answers. CATI research usually works best with shorter, structured interviews that have an exhaustive list of answers.

This technique has several benefits over the traditional method of conducting telephone interviews. Here are the top 3 advantages of using CATI:

1. High Quality Data

CATI helps avoid interviewer misinterpretations and ensures that questions are administered correctly, resulting in higher quality data. The interviewer can focus on interacting with the participant since the computer handles the technical aspects of the session. The standardization of research conditions with CATI also allows for more in-depth questions, giving you rich and insightful data.

2. Quick and Efficient

The entire research process is quick and efficient, since interviewers can enter the data as it’s gathered. Entering the responses immediately means that an analysis of results can be reviewed shortly after the last interview has been completed. There’s no need to transfer data from paper to digital formats, saving time and reducing the risk of error.

3. Higher Accuracy

Since the questionnaire is displayed on a computer and completely automated, there’s no risk of mistakes such as unclear compiling or asking incorrect questions. The data collection is highly accurate and computerized. Responses are pre-coded and entered directly, eliminating the need for manual data processing and reducing input errors.

CATI is a great example of how technology is improving the way we conduct research every day. With accurate and high quality data available in a fraction of the time, CATI is a smart addition to your research toolkit.


Decision Point provides comprehensive market research services, encompassing the full range of quantitative and qualitative capabilities in data collection. To discuss your market research needs, contact us today!

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Anton Nicolaides

About Anton Nicolaides

With over 25 years in the research industry, Anton has experience in all aspects of the research process. As a founding partner, his primary responsibilities are to manage the successful completion of all fieldwork in an accurate and timely manner and to head all sales. Anton has been involved with a number of research projects in a broad spectrum of fields including manufacturing, telecommunications, healthcare, real estate, and other private sector industries.