Survey Software Reporting of Telephone Sample Usage
When you are doing a telephone survey, it is essential to know how the phone numbers in your sample are being used. Most telephone interviewing projects start with importing a list of telephone numbers, which may include additional information you have been advance about the people in your sample, such names, ages, employee type and so on. Your CATI program should be able to produce a variety reports.
Understanding Your Survey Software & Reports
Your survey software should let you assign a variety of results to each attempt to reach each telephone number. These results will include completed the interview, busy, no answer, a nonworking number, a language problem, refused to cooperate, schedule an appointment to call the interviewee back at a particular date and time and so on. You should be able to edit and add to the list as needed.
One essential report is to compare your interviewers with each other in terms of the results of the calls they make. In particular, you will want to know if any interviewers are not completing as many interviews as most of the others. These reports should be able to show both the absolute number of calls they attempt broken down by how many calls had each result and how many of each of those results they achieved per hour. You need the per hour breakdown to most fairly compare your interviewers with each other.
Another report your tool should provide is to break down the call the results by attempt number. This way you can see the degree of diminishing returns on the effort to call the same numbers back multiple times.
Another report most researchers use is a report showing the results for each day’s calls. This report should be able to show both the response rate and cooperation rate. Typically, the response rate is the number of completes divided by the number of call attempts that called a valid phone number. These usually include all call results, except results like non-working number or government/business number (on a consumer study). The cooperation rate is typically the number of completes divided by the number of call attempts that reached an eligible person. These would include results like refused or language problem, but not results like busy or no answer.
Survey Statistics & Information
Another report you would find useful is a daily statistics report, which shows for each day information such as the number of interviewers working, the total number of hours they spent calling, the numbers of completed interviews, completes per hour, calls per complete and so on.
A particularly important report tells you how many telephone numbers are still available to call. If the number is low, and you still need a lot of completed interviews, you would need to add new telephone numbers to your sample. If you are using quotas that limit how many people you want from different groups or with different characteristics based on information you import along with the telephone numbers, the availability report should show how many telephone numbers are still available in each quota group.
If you are using quotas based on imported information, you should also be able to see a report showing you the call results broken down by each of the quota groups.
Sophisticated survey software gives you many ways to analyze how your telephone sample is being used.