While purely Web surveys have an important place in modern surveying strategies used by businesses, the tablet survey used in CAPI (computer-assisted personal interviewing) surveys is fast becoming the dominant means of collecting high-quality data and customer/employee feedback.
There are many important advantages to using a tablet as opposed to a laptop or just pen and paper for your personal interviewing efforts, including these 10:
You can get a high quality tablet for only $150 to $200, which is significantly less than what a laptop would cost. And by going electronic, you save the cost, time, and effort of printing piles of survey papers (not to mention you will save a few trees!)
2. Longer Battery Life
Most laptops have batteries that only last 5 or 6 hours, and that really last less than that when you consider they underperform or shut down when you start to hit 20% or 30% of battery life left. And if you get a laptop with a long battery life, it generally is slower and less powerful. But high-power tablets can perform well for the whole day before needing recharging.
3. More Easily Portable
The smaller size and single-panel structure of tablets makes them much more portable than comparatively heavy, bulky, and fold-down laptops. Not only does this make them easier to carry and to stick in a bag or purse, but it’s also more convenient to hand the tablet back and forth between surveyor and survey taker.
4. Interactive Survey Formats
The ability to use drag and drop, click an icon, and other creative survey formats along with more traditional multiple choice, lists, or fill in the blank forms adds variety and has been shown to boost answering rates. Modern tablet software for surveys makes it fast, simple, and fun to participate.
5. Less Errors & Omissions
When you use top-tier tablet software systems for your CAPI surveys, you get the benefit of the program guiding the surveyors and alerting them of any entry mistakes or omissions while they can still be corrected. Plus, there is no transfer from paper to computer, which eliminates the main source of survey errors historically.
6. Metadata Automatically Collected
There’s no need to track things like survey location, date and time survey taken, or surveying time from start to finish per survey with tablet software – because it’s all collected automatically. And it’s simple to organize it in a way that is most useful to you!
7. Auto-tracking of Surveyors
With CAPI software for tablets, you get multiple means of keeping track of and checking upon your survey takers – without their even knowing it! First, there’s GPS tracking so you can see their present location and surveying route. Second, you can “spy” on surveyors via silent recordings whereby you listen in on surveys and/or by taking shots with the tablets camera to view their location.
8. You Can Work Offline
This is a big benefit – you are not forced to cease the surveying work as soon as you lose your Internet signal. You can continue to use the software offline when in non-connected areas. Then, your data can be automatically (or manually) uploaded once you again gain a connection.
9. Data Crunching Made Easy
Top of the line tablet software has built-in features to help you quickly analyze the results of your surveys. You can view them in charts and graphs or as raw data. And the programs are generally simple to use.
10. Doubles For Passive Surveys
Finally, you can easily set up a tablet at a check out desk or lobby, attach it to a stand, and let passers-by quickly click a few icons to take customer or employee feedback surveys. You can lock/unlock and manage the tablet remotely without bothering survey takers.
These are just a few of the most important reasons why tablets and accompanying software are taking CAPI by storm. The advantages are numerous and save you time, money, and effort compared to all other survey methods.