The long term implications of COVID-19 on the market research industry are still unknown. Looking at the immediate term, the common perception is that research budgets are reduced and the market conditions or circumstances are changing fast. That requires market research companies to enable fast, shiftable, hybrid and inexpensive data collection practices while ensuring high quality data.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns or social distancing, Dooblo’s customers have transitioned their f ce-to-face data collection operation in several different ways in order to continue projects already at fieldwork or launch new projects with high data quality at focus. The transition each customer adapted largely depends on the unique challenges its projects are posing, such as complex questionnaires that require interviewer mediation, contextual location data collection, sampling challenges, connectivity limitations, multilingual surveys etc.
Here are some of the ways Dooblo’s customers continued their data collection work with SurveyToGo despite the lockdowns and social distancing:
Quick transition from CAPI to CAWI
SurveyToGo face-to-face (CAPI) surveys can be quickly and easily executed as web surveys (CAWI) following a few simple steps. The same survey can be conducted as a multi-method or shift between methods managing the same quotas and dataset.
Interact in real time with the respondents – virtually
In-person interviews are critical to ensure high data quality of surveys that require mediation due to long and complex questions or answering options. Conducting a face-to-face survey via video call while presenting the questionnaire by screen sharing to the respondent produces valid responses in a similar manner to the traditional method. The same approach can be leveraged to conduct a multiple respondent session or a Focus Group Interview (FGI) where each respondent self answers his own web questionnaire mediated, guided and engaged by the interviewer.
Offer a QR code for the respondents to load the survey on their own device
Face-to-face surveys which are bound with a contextual location such as retail stores or train stations were traditionally conducted on the interviewer device which required close interaction with the respondent.
During the pandemic research companies offered respondents to scan a QR code from a kiosk or a stand and take the survey by themselves, as a web survey, on their personal device, keeping a social distance.
Other customers prefer to have a surveyor in place to qualify the respondents and then generate a code for them to scan and continue the survey by themselves.
Geo-location capturing of web surveys is now available on SurveyToGo new version to ensure the contextual location of the responses.
Self administered surveys
Face-to-face surveys are widely used to collect data in geographic areas with no stable connectivity. As surveys become costly to administer over the phone using interviewers and telephony systems, researchers tend to employ Self-Administered Questionnaires (SAQ) approach.
This approach is mostly effective for use cases such as tracking researches known as ‘Trackers’, designed to identify changes over time among a predefined sampled population, or different researches that share a similar sample audience.
Once the sample recruited, the respondents can be shortly trained and instructed to download SurveyToGo app. The questionnaires can be answered in an offline mode and still include all media questions such as videos and sounds. The data will be automatically uploaded to the server once connectivity is available.
A major benefit of this method is the embedded quality control capabilities of SurveyToGo app allowing to detect the location and odd answering behaviors of the respondent that may indicate poor quality of the answers.
Quick and simple CATI setup
Some projects require interviewer mediation and administration and also needs to be conducted in geographic areas with limited connectivity. Some research companies prefer in this case to temporarily shift the data collection method to over the phone.
Shifting SurveyToGo surveys to CATI can be quick and simple to allow the company maintain a single data set as well as allow the interviewers to conduct their work from home.
Several optional setups to support different use cases can be employed; In case the research company already uses a preferred CATI solution, it is possible to use SurveyToGo dynamic links in the call area form and trigger it once the call is connected. Dialing solutions like simple Voip systems with quick setup can be used in combination with SurveyToGo web links or PC app to run the survey. In cases connectivity is not accessible to the interviewers as well, some companies choose to use regular phone calls in combination with running the survey on SurveyToGo mobile app.
Data collection method transition may be challenging on top of the project’s own challenges. Random sampling or rule based sampling commonly used for face-to-face survey vs. predefined sampled population typically used for virtual data collection methods, shifting and administering a multilingual project may also be cost and time consuming.
The selected method and transition needs to be considered per project to allow controlled time and cost as well as quick shift to the alternative method during the pandemic and pivot back to the preferred method when ‘back to normal’.