Online survey software reviews: reliable or unreliable?
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If you need interviewers to collect data on a tablet or some other portable device, you will need the best software for online and offline CAPI. Even if your interviewers are working in areas where there is good internet connectivity, we all have experienced areas or times when an internet connection is unreliable.
You need online and offline
Surprisingly, there are a number of CAPI products that only work either offline or online. What you really want is data uploaded instantly if there is an internet connection, but to be stored on the tablet for uploading a later time if there is no connection. Fortunately, Snap software allows has this important functionality, but there are more important considerations which make Snap a good, reliable choice.
You need the interview to take place from the device
Relying on an internet connection can be a bigger problem if the questionnaire flow relies on there being an internet connection. Delays between questions can soon lead to impatient respondents and streaming of videos or other media can lead to frustration or abandoned interviews if a connection falters. It’s important that everything connected with the survey is downloaded on located on the CAPI device before an interview starts.
Uploads must be reliable
We have also heard stories of uploads failing sometimes and interviews being lost. This can be particularly problematic where interviews have been expensive to collect or have been carried out in remote areas which take time to re-interview. A client in Indonesia recently lost some interviews (not in our software, I might add!) from a remote area. This led to additional cost, delays and an unhappy client.
How about full mixed mode – for example, adding paper questionnaires
There are many online surveys where you still need to reach some respondents, who for some reason, wish to complete a paper questionnaire. Once this happens, you need mixed mode data collection software. Again, integrating data from paper questionnaires or from online self-completion surveys with CAPI interviews can be time-consuming or require data recodes to merge the different types of data together. This is not a problem with Snap. Snap stores all of its data in one file regardless of the method of data collection. Of course, it will code the data type so that you can separate CAPI from paper questionnaires, for example, if you need to.
Make the right choice for your CAPI software
All of the above can be important considerations when choosing the right CAPI software product. Product features are obviously important in your decision, but if the core functionality is inadequate for practical needs, bad decisions can prove expensive. Snap solves these problems for you and is a good choice for CAPI surveys.