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CAWI - Investigations on the Web

CAWI investigations - CAWI Fieldwork

Demetra Opinioni.net has been carrying out CAWI surveys for study centers and universities for more than 15 years. In recent years we have developed specific methodologies and techniques dedicated and optimized for data collection. We have been involved in online CAWI surveys since 2003, when internet penetration in Italy was around 30%.

Over time we have accumulated experience in data collection. First of all, we have developed techniques for the scheduling of the questionnaires specifically with a view to reducing distortions (Total error) related to data collection. Furthermore, we have collected an online panel well distributed throughout Italy, with more than 22.000 profiled consumers that we involve in CAWI surveys for our customers.

What is a CAWI survey or research?

CAWI stands for Computer Assisted Web Interviewing and refers to web surveys. They appear with the spread of the Internet and are done through the provision of an invitation link via email or online panel. CAWI research was born as one applied statistical survey methodology for some particular types of questionnaires or to reach particular population targets. They began to spread when web penetration was at most 20% of the population.

Today, with penetration higher than 90%, CAWI surveys have become a survey methodology also used for surveys on generic populations, such as the Italian population or the customers of a company.
This methodology it is also considered one of the cheapest as it does not involve any communication costs with the respondent.

The CAWI researches are therefore particular surveys via web in which:

  • the software takes care of sending the emails and classifying the unit as "Answered" after completing the questionnaire;
  • the respondent invited by email (normally) clicks on a link and completes the questionnaire.

Then a fundamental requirement to conduct CAWI surveys is to be in possession of the emails of potential respondents or of an Online panel.

The steps of a CAWI survey

CAWI surveys and research

Obviously, the most important part of any online or offline survey is the design of the questionnaire. From this stage depends the quality collected. However, while in the case of surveys with the CATI or CAPI methodologies there is the possibility of explaining, specifying or clarifying with the interviewee both the question (if it is not clear) and the answer, with the help of the interviewer who acts as guide, in the case of CAWI surveys this is not possible and must be anticipated, conceived and designed in the phase of creating the questionnaire.

A very important aspect to keep in mind when designing the questionnaire for CAWI surveys is the length of the questionnaire. The longer the questionnaire, the more the respondent's attention falls. This often leads him to abandon the survey or respond randomly to speed up completion.

1. Computerization of the questionnaire

Once the questionnaire for the CAWI survey has been designed and set up, the next phase is that ofcomputerization.. This is one of the most important steps in being able to effectively and efficiently collect builds.
A good computerization of the questionnaire allows to:

  • fill out the survey from different types of devices;
  • add multimedia and interactive contents to improve engagement and facilitate the exposure of some questions.
  • simplify filling in the questionnaire by adding checkboxes, sliders, ranking options menus, etc.
  • insert filters and questions that appear based on the answers provided by the respondent to the questionnaire.
  • facilitate the completion of the questionnaire by adding help messages and error messages.

A good design of the questionnaire accompanied by quality computerization allows you to manage the scrolling of the survey in an automatic and engaging way, guiding and supporting the respondent in compiling them. In addition, it ensures compatibility across various devices, allowing the participant to use their preferred (or comfortable) device.

2. Pilot test

Once the programming phase of the questionnaire has been completed and before launching the data collection for CAWI research, we move on to the control and testing phase. In this phase the necessary checks are carried out to ensure that there are no errors in the programming (bugs or malfunctions). Furthermore, it is verified that the questionnaire has been computerized in an adequate way in order to achieve the research objectives established in the design phase of the questionnaire.

The questionnaire is checked by the project manager and then submitted to the client for further verification.
Once the correct functioning has been verified, a pilot test is launched. The questionnaire is submitted to a small sample of 20-50 compilations to check if the survey is completed as desired. The test data is provided to the client for verification.

3. Collection of compilations - CAWI Fieldwork

If the data collected is of satisfactory quality, the survey is approved for launch (on database, on Online panels or on Social media platforms).

To conduct CAWI research we have a Online Panel (of our own) with more than 27.000 profiled people. We collected it mainly offline, inviting the interviewees with the CATI mode to join our panel.

We also offer a service of massive email send (invitation emails) to the database provided by the client through our servers.

4. Control, weight and data file supply

Once the compilation phase has been completed, the data is checked and weighed. The raw data file is then provided to the customer in the format he prefers. Appropriate labels are also provided which show the variables and response methods.

Survey on an international target

We have experience in carrying out both International CATI and Multicountry CAWI surveys.

Translation and computerization of questionnaires

In the case of international projects we offer to our clients the service of multilingual translation and computerization of the questionnaire.

In case of international projects, we have access to panels in more than 100 countries around the world with more than 80 million of participants.

Do you need to do a CAWI research or survey and do you need help with the computerization of the questionnaire and the collection of the forms?

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