What is CAPI Research?

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The relevance of online platforms

Before, the realization of face-to-face interviews was much more common, however, with the advent of the Internet and, with this, with the improvement of digital media and platforms, the process of collecting and analyzing opinions and perceptions about a product and/or service was also modified.

Today, there are several tools that make a virtual interview take place as efficiently as a face-to-face interview. This type of approach makes the company have contact with various contexts, not just locations.

Many of the people who are part of this customer base do not have time to move to the company.

However, the CAPI research privileges the face-to-face context, because it is considered that from the moment you are face-to-face with the client, off a screen, it is easier to create a bond and make them feel motivated to be loyal to the brand.

What defines CAPI search?

Given the scenario presented, the purpose of this type of research must be understood. First, the CAPI survey comes from the English term "Computer Assisted Persona Interview".

This is a type of study applied in the face-to-face scheme with the interviewee via computer. This computer can be personal or a mobile computing device, such as a mobile phone, smartphone, or tablet.

Regarding the research format, it is a study that is based on structured interviews. It comes from the dialogue between two people, guided, in turn, by a pre-defined questionnaire, and the questions can be opened or closed.

Unlike online surveys, the CAPI survey is not self-applicable and, thus, it is necessary that the interviewer is trained to apply the proposal.

It usually occurs in a place agreed between the interviewee and the interviewer.

Where can CAPI research be performed?

As emphasized, this type of study is carried out in a physical space that is by common agreement between the applicator and the one that will be interviewed. Unnominated research can also take place in a public place, such as in auto-markets, parks, and other public spaces.

Regarding the way from which capi survey data will be collected, it should be stated that the device to be triggered varies from smartphones and tablets to laptops and notebooks.

Given this, there are some benefits that make the approach particularly useful. From a marketing perspective, it is worth stating that the CAPI research actually replaces the use of paper to collect after-sales feedback. The great advantage is that the validation and transcription of the data is done only at the moment the interview is taking place.

The field of action of the CAPI research

There are some significant benefits fostered by this type of approach. Among them, we highlight: it will not be necessary to transcribe the data after the interview; the data to be collected are of high quality, since validation and quality control are performed at the moment the research is being completed; you don't need to have an internet connection; there is the possibility of georeferencing the point of the interview, comprising the latitude and longitude coordinates from a GPS system; it is possible to take photos to complement the study; one can record the conversation in whole or in part through audio mechanisms, acting as a kind of quality control, validation and backup; the interviewee can sign; the response rate is higher; personal contact makes interviewing more intimate than through telephone (CATI research).

The limitations with which capi research

Although it is a very useful approach, this type of study deals with some limitations that restrict its field of activity.

Among them, there are expenses with people who will act as field interviewers; there are the costs of acquiring mobile computing devices; there should be a professional responsible for supervising the field; it will be necessary to training the applicators to know how to use such devices and ask the questions; there is the possibility of theft or loss of devices in slums, subways and crowded places; data may be lost due to problems of lack of memory of the equipment, battery, falls and shocks, incorrect use by the operator etc.; search may not perform well on certain brands; is much more invasive research; when using the device, the interviewee may feel threatened due to the recording, which limits him/ her.

CAPI search application issues

The efficiency of this type of study may be compromised if some care is not taken.

Some problems are recurring when approaching customers from this technique.

Among the most common errors when using this technique, there is the fact that many applicators and research companies spread throughout the market, when conducting the survey via CAPI, make use of online questionnaires, and this is not the objective of the research.

The tool is used to collect data in the field through a conventional online search.

Therefore, it is erroneously assumed that the internet connection will always be available at the point of the interview, which, in practice, does not occur. Another common mistake is to assume that, during the conduct of the study, there will not be any technical difficulties related to its application.

Assumptions that compromise the quality of CAPI research

In addition to the problems mentioned above, there are some assumptions that compromise the quality of the study.

In fact, in several developed countries, there is a good public telephone network infrastructure, but this is not the case for developing countries, especially in the Latin American context, since the availability of permanent and secure internet, via Wi-Fi or cable, or even with access to the public data network, in most cases, is not feasible.

Taking into account these limitations, it is of paramount importance that the team responsible for the application of the study relying on mobile devices is ready to deal with unforeseen events.

In this way, it is crucial that these teams can work disconnected, that is, totally offline, because otherwise the customer can leave without leaving their feedback.

Problems arising after application of capi research

In addition to the problems that may manifest during the execution of the study, there are those that may manifest after data collection with the interviewees in the field. One of the most common errors is the fact that, due to the purpose of this type of study (automatic data collection), typing and transcription are underestimated after the interview.

It is common for multiple applicators to go to the field with word questionnaires or even in an Excel spreadsheet, making quick notes on either of these two applications.

Then, when they arrive at the company, transcribe the collected data into an Excel spreadsheet or directly to SPSS (or to any platform that allows the processing of the data from statistical mechanisms).

The error is manifested because the difficulty and time required to manually load the data and the technical and human errors are underestimated.

When is CAPI search usually applied?

The scope of the CAPI research is one of its main qualities. Its applications are recurrent in various contexts and moments, especially when it is necessary to conduct market research and public opinion on a given subject.

The use of the CAPI survey is recommended for studies that need an interviewer who knows how to conduct the interview properly to collect more assertive data. Studies of this type can be industrial or business research, in which managers are interviewed; store audit studies, known as store audits; home studies; studies of the type "hidden buyer" (or hidden customer), known as mistery shopper; observational studies conducted in public spaces; image audits and merchandising in stores; studies of a political nature; and, finally, electoral studies, such as voting intention surveys and ballot box.

What are capi search types?

As in cati research, there are two possibilities from which this type of study can be performed. Among them, there are the named and the anonymous. In relation to the first possibility, the nominees, an interview is held, with some advance advance, whose intention is to know the person to be interviewed in advance, in which the appointment is made to be applied.

Secondly, there are anonymous CAPI searches. From this perspective, the interviewer goes to the street and does not necessarily know the interviewee.

In relation to the named research, it is possible to feed the CAPI system from a network of participants. Because of this, data are collected and the information is pre-loaded, so that when the interview is performed, the individual researcher is known beforehand, as well as their characteristics, preferences and most urgent needs.

Practical application of CAPI research

In order to understand the field of action of the CAPI research, one can mention an example. In the case of a medical research, whose purpose is the investigation about the drugs being prescribed, it would be possible to know, in advance, the name of the doctor, the address of his office, the gender, age and other demographic data.

These data are usually preloaded in a questionnaire automatically, and it is even possible to validate these data with the interviewee at the time of the interview.

In the case of the second type of CAPI research, there is a study that is done in an anonymous way, so that there is no previous data on the person who will be interviewed. It is very common in the case of electoral studies that aim to measure voting intentions.

Demographic data such as age, gender, city, among others are carried and analyzed.

CAPI research methodology

There are a number of steps covered by this type of study. Among the initial stages of the approach, we have the definition, with the client, of the objective and scope of the research, which justifies the application of this method.

Next, the time to execute the study, the costs and possible limitations is defined, as well as a work schedule necessary for the good execution of the study is designed.

Then, the tools and software to be used in the field are evaluated and selected, giving preference for instruments that work 100% offline, due to the problems mentioned here.

The computer equipment and/or mobile devices from which the data collection process has been processed are evaluated and selected. It is also necessary to recruit and select a team to do, in the field, the data collection via CAPI.

Execution of capi research methodology

Among the mean and final stages of the CAPI research, training is conducted, since the chosen team should know how to employ the collection system, which are commonly offline questionnaires.

They should also understand how the device works, how to activate GPS, how to use voice recording mechanisms, take photos, etc. it is also essential to conduct a field pilot study with researchers and real devices, as well as the adjustment of the questionnaire and correction of errors that were detected in this pilot study is vitally important.

After these steps, the appointments are made with the interviewees, if necessary. Failures are detected and corrected, measuring team time and productivity, consolidating data and applying health tests; tabulates and analyzes the data; open questions are codified; and the final report is prepared, delivering the results.

The relevance of having a roadmap for the good implementation of the study

Finally, a last element should be considered in the process of articulating the CAPI research. It is of paramount importance to know, in detail, what needs to be extracted from the client who will be questioned by the study.

Every minute with the customer should be properly used, as it has a lot to say about what works and does not work in relation to the product / service purchased.

In the case of open questions, these make customers feel more comfortable answering, since there is greater freedom, which makes the conversation flow better, having a more pleasant climate. However, take into account that open questions imply more complete answers, because the interviewee relies on feelings and perceptions.

In the case of closed questions, the purpose is to obtain specific data, restricting the reach of the answers, which can cast the conversation.


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