20 April 2017


 April 20, 2017
computer assisted personal interviewing - CAPI

Category BPO

What is Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI)?

Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing or “CAPI” is the new way to take surveys. In fact, it replaces traditional paper interviews because it introduces electronic devices in the process. 

In short, the respondent fills in a survey on a computer or mobile phone in the presence of the interviewer. So, there is always a guide to help the respondent to understand the questions in the right way.

When talking about CAPI surveys you can also hear the term “face to face interviews”. In fact, you do this kind of interviews in person, but you use a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Where to use Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI)?

Day by day, CAPI is growing in more and more sectors. Let’s find out what are the main fields where this technique is most popular.

  1. Surveys in shopping centres: Shopping centres need to do regular market research. Also, they need to target many different people from various backgrounds. So, Computer Assisted Personal Interviews are the easiest and most effective tool to get the job done. 
  2. Exit-polls: CAPI is the most popular technique for this kind of survey. This is because it can reach a large number of people without having the restrictions of an online questionnaire.
  3. Mystery shopping: When a market research firm needs to gather info, they send a mystery shopper to a company. With a CAPI survey, collecting data has never been easier. For example, the respondent can answer the questions directly on his or her phone as if they’re texting someone. 

Basically, in Computer-Assisted Interviewing, the interviewer and the respondent are equally important. In fact, both benefit from the presence of the other. On the one hand, the respondent can get some explanations about the questions. On the other hand, the concerns of the interviewed can be of great help to create more precise data collection.

Plus, all CAPI interviews are very precise. This means the results of the CAPI surveys on a large number of people are much more accurate. As a result, they produce representative results.

computer assisted personal interview CAPI
With CAPI, you can carry out surveys with the help of devices such as computers, tablets or even smartphones.

What are the advantages of Computer Assisted Personal Interviews?

Its many perks made it possible that CAPI surveys are more and more widespread. But what exactly are the advantages of CAPI? Let’s find them out. 

  1. Interview everybody: CAPI makes interviewing easier even for people who are not computer-friendly. In fact, with the help of the interviewer, the respondent can clear all their doubts right away.
  2. Fast Data Transfer: After the CAPI interview, you can directly send the data to a server. So, it is at hand if you need to export them or use them in reports. In other words, you can bypass one full step: that of data entry. This means that there is no need to insert data manually. And, as a result, there is minimal risk of making mistakes – and the work goes much faster.
  3. Quality data collection: One more advantage of Computer Assisted Personal Interviews is that the data are much clearer. In fact, in the CAPI survey, you can also add images and other multimedia to get to the point. So, you get complete and high-quality data.
  4. Capture verbal and non-verbal communication: A CAPI survey is way more effective than a regular one. In fact, it allows the interviewer to get the most out of the survey thanks to body language. This can, for instance, give an idea of how much discomfort the respondent is feeling during the interview.

 What are the disadvantages of Computer Assisted Personal Interviews?

If Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing has a lot of perks, it is not an infallible method by any means. Let’s now have a look at what is not so great about CAPI and how to work it through.

  1. The interviewer: for many of the qualities of CAPI to shine, the interviewer must be great at their job. This means that they need to have both interpersonal and analytical skills to gather all the useful information. In other words, CAPI relies a lot on the ability of the interviewer and this can sometimes be a disadvantage.
  2. Preparation time: if the CAPI interview goes relatively fast, its preparation can take quite a long time. In fact, this step involves programming, which can often be lengthy.
  3. The area: you can only cover so many areas as the size of your staff allows. That is if you don’t have enough interviewers, you need to restrict the area. As a consequence, this will take a toll on the quality of your data. So, make sure you have enough specialized interviewers for the area you want to cover.

Do you want to know more about CAPI surveys? Or would you like to collect better data? At Thakur International, we provide CAPI services on an international scale and much more. Get to know us better. You can give us a call at +977-1-4720270 or you can send us an email to info@thakurintl.com

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