The SRC has a custom built Survey Management System (SMS). The SMS operates in a client server windows environment, and has been approved by the University of Rhode Island as an invention suitable for development as a marketable product. The SMS services the more complex demands of longitudinal tracking of mixed mode (telephone and mail) data collection, as well as individualized mail survey production, CATI, computerized OCR data entry, and individualized intervention report production .
This system has been developed using POWERBUILDER and has a Microsoft SQL server database engine. It has all the capability of a fully functional CATI system, but also allows more direct access to the database, necessary for projects with complex tracking, interactive report production, and project monitoring requirements.This system is in its third generation. The SMS system integrates on-screen questionnaire viewing with direct key data entry of responses, quality control procedures (valid range checks, programmed control of acceptable entries, inconsistency checks, etc.). and sample management.
Direct key entry of data substantially reduces the likelihood of interviewer error in recording a respondent's answers. The sample management components of the CATI system allow up to the minute reporting capabilities of aggregated (and individual) sample dispositions and study progress for all waves of on-going data collection.
The data management components of the CATI system create analysis ready data files, requiring very little data cleaning, that are available for preliminary analysis at any time during the course of the study. The SMS is cost efficient because it eliminates cost of printing survey questionnaires and most subject tracking materials.
In addition, it does away with the costs of key punching the data. The SMS is operated on a dedicated LAN, which backs up all data sets to tape each evening. As an additional precautionary procedure copies of study data sets are electronically transferred daily to the URI mainframe for off-site storage.
The CPRC can also conduct surveys using traditional paper and pencil methods, and in addition, the CPRC is licensed for a 12 station CATI system, operated on CI3 CATI produced by Sawtooth Software.
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