Computer-assisted telephone interviewing

Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI ) denotes the support of the telephone interviews with the help of the computer. This is done in the following technical areas:

Designing the questionnaire

The questionnaire, which mostly exists as text (file) will be implemented in a computer program. The interviewer then conduct the interviews on the screen through, and the questionnaire program (CATI ) program presented question by question on the screen. The interviewer enters the response. The entire flow logic of the questionnaire is run correctly by the computer program.

Management of all to call phone numbers (addresses )

If a lot of people to be interviewed in a short time, a stringent resubmission management of phone numbers is essential. Called numbers may be occupied, the person sought can not just be at home or one interviewee interrupts the interview and asks for continued two days later. All these events must always be accurately recorded and processed to call again at the right minute, this telephone number and an interviewer is brought to the screen. For international projects, is also the time difference to be observed. In CATI systems that management does a component of the overall system.

Replacement or operation of the telephone system

The CATI system implemented either by itself the necessary telephone technology, but at least it controls an existing telephone system and takes away from this receives the response messages and logs them. The Address Management (component 2) recognizes that a phone number is to call. The phone component performs the dial command from, sets the connection if necessary with the interview component produced and / or are the result of the Wählversuches to the address management back. If, for example, occupied, then this is immediately reported back to the address book feature and they can plan for the next call attempt in time.

Monitoring of telephone Studios by the supervisors ( phone bosses )

The Monitor component enables the supervisor ( supervisor, also called telephone boss) on his screen at any time to monitor the entire studio operation. In different windows will display who sit at which screen where that project is carried out, how many interviews have been carried out for each project. The supervisor can override a interviewer square and watch the interview in real time in sound and image, a vision - and hearing function. Not available an approval of the called party to listen to on telephone interviews, however, is regularly punishable because of an impermissible intrusion into the confidentiality of the spoken word or even illegal according to § 201 StGB.

Project statistics

The ratios of the status of the various projects are presented in tables and chart form. Thus, for example, the project manager prepare a daily count for the current address location, determine the distribution of interview times or calculate metrics for interviewer performance. The Project statistics does not deal with complaints in the project data of the survey. Rather, it evaluates only information about the project execution.

Supporting software development

This refers to the programming environment for the questionnaire developers (eg, editor, debugger, test driver, runtime environment ) and the software for processing the data acquired for the purpose of transfer to tabulating and analysis programs. To implement questionnaires usually specific programming languages ​​are used, which have been optimized for exactly this application.

Language Support

This component helps a questionnaire program to translate so that the natural language parts of the questionnaire are brought into the new target language without the syntax of the questionnaire program is affected. A program skeleton ( the syntax) is in a sense a new skin pulled over ( the language of the interview ).

Not all CATI systems have all of these components, and some have also additional modules. CATI is but in any case more than just a programmed questionnaire.


The determination of sampling can be done via the so-called RLD procedure at CATI. However, samples of purely listed ( in public directories ) telephone numbers or extended by a mobile phone numbers Boost - to enable households without a fixed network participation - are common. However, the representativeness of the sample suffers from the fact that only people with access to a telephone can be questioned.


  • Market research
  • Survey method