What is CATI: Advantages and disadvantages. How does CATI work?

What is CATI: Advantages and disadvantages. How does CATI work?Imagine a situation where your company is planning to launch a new product on the market. You want to know how potential customers will perceive this product, what their expectations and concerns are. Traditional survey methods such as questionnaires or focus groups may be too slow or expensive. This is where CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) comes in. This method allows you to collect the necessary information quickly and efficiently, ensuring high quality data and convenience for respondents. In this article, SaviLinx will tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of CATI, as well as explain how this method works.

What is a CATI survey?

A CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) survey is a data collection method that uses a computer to support and automate the telephone interview process. The interviewer conducts the survey with the help of a computer that displays questions on the screen and records the respondents’ answers. This method ensures high accuracy and efficiency of data collection. CATI is widely used in sociological research, marketing surveys, and other areas where it is necessary to collect a large amount of data quickly and efficiently.

How does CATI work?

How does CATI work?

CATI works according to the following principle. The interviewer makes a phone call to the respondent using specialized software. During the conversation, the interviewer sees the questionnaire on the computer screen and enters the respondent’s answers directly into the system. The software automatically controls the sequence of questions, checks the logical consistency of answers, and ensures that the data is saved in the database. This makes the survey process more structured and efficient. After the survey is completed, all data is automatically saved and can be analyzed to obtain the necessary information.

Examples of questions that can be used in CATI surveys and how everyone answered them:

  • How often do you use our product?
  • What features do you find most useful?
  • Are you satisfied with the quality of service?
  • What improvements would you like to see in the future?
  • Would you recommend our product to your friends or colleagues?

CATI research methods offer two types of questions that allow you to obtain more in-depth and comprehensive information:

  1. Open-ended questions: respondents are free to express their opinions without being limited by rigid boundaries. This allows researchers to obtain detailed descriptions, detailed arguments, and personal experiences that cannot be captured by closed questions.
  2. Rating questions: Respondents rate certain statements, phenomena, or characteristics using a scale, such as 1 to 10. This format allows for quantitative measurement of opinions and attitudes, which facilitates statistical analysis and comparison of results.

Tasks that are solved with the help of telephone surveys (CATI)

Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) is a common data collection method used in a variety of fields, including sociology, marketing, political science, and market research. They allow researchers to collect information from a large number of respondents quickly and efficiently, making them a valuable tool for studying the opinions, behaviors, and characteristics of a population.

Here are some of the key tasks that can be accomplished with CATI:

  1. Public opinion research: CATI surveys are used to study people’s opinions and attitudes on various social, political and economic issues. Researchers can use CATI to learn about people’s opinions on topics such as health, education, crime, environment, and politics.
  2. Market research: CATI surveys are widely used by companies to study consumer needs, preferences, and behavior. This data can help companies develop new products and services, improve existing products and services, and optimize marketing strategies.
  3. Measuring customer satisfaction: CATI surveys can be used to collect customer feedback on products, services, and overall experience with a company. This information can help companies improve the quality of customer service and increase customer loyalty.
  4. Tracking changes over time: CATI surveys can be used to track changes in the opinions, behaviors, and characteristics of a population over time. This can be useful for evaluating the effectiveness of programs and policies, as well as for understanding new trends and developments.


  1. Surveys of hard-to-reach populations: CATI surveys can be a useful tool for interviewing people who live in remote areas or have limited access to the Internet. This can help researchers obtain more representative data about the population.

Using both types of questions in CATI surveys allows researchers to:

  • Get a more comprehensive view of the problem under study.
  • Understand the nuances and motivations of respondents.
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
  • Increase the representativeness and reliability of the study.

Thus, CATI surveys with advanced questioning capabilities are becoming a valuable tool for conducting sociological, marketing, and other research where it is important to get not only a clear picture of respondents’ opinions, but also to understand the underlying reasons for their judgments.

Pros and cons of CATI

Pros and cons of CATI

The CATI method offers a number of advantages, such as speed of data collection, high accuracy, and convenience for respondents. However, it also has some disadvantages.

In this section, we’ll look at both the advantages and disadvantages of CATI surveys to help you determine if they are right for your research project.

It is important to note that the choice of data collection method depends on your research objectives, budget, and available resources.

Advantages of CATI 

Speed of data collection: CATI surveys allow researchers to collect information from a large number of respondents in a short period of time. This is done by automating the data collection process, which saves time and resources.

High accuracy: CATI surveys provide a high level of data accuracy because they minimize the risk of human error. The computer system automatically checks respondents’ answers for errors and logical inconsistencies.

Convenience for respondents: CATI surveys are conducted over the phone, which makes them convenient for respondents who can participate in the survey from any location and at a time convenient for them. This can lead to higher participation and better data quality.

Cost-effectiveness: CATI surveys are a cost-effective method of data collection because they do not require the expense of traveling, printing paper questionnaires, or hiring interviewers. This makes them affordable for researchers with limited budgets.

Flexibility: CATI surveys allow researchers to use a variety of question types, including open-ended, closed-ended, multiple-choice, and rating questions. This allows you to get more in-depth and diverse information from respondents.

Data storage: CATI surveys automatically record and store data in a digital format. This makes them easily accessible for analysis and processing, and guarantees their safety for a long time.

Disadvantages of CATI 

High cost of implementation: The initial investment in software, hardware, and staff training can be significant.

Possibility of technical failures: Technical problems with the hardware or software can lead to business interruptions and data loss.

Lack of personal contact: Certain types of information, such as non-verbal cues and emotions, can be lost when conducting surveys over the phone.

Frequently asked questions about CATI surveys

Frequently asked questions about CATI surveys

How is data confidentiality ensured in CATI?

Data confidentiality in CATI is ensured through several measures. First, all interviewers are trained in ethical standards and are required to adhere to the privacy policy. Secondly, CATI software uses data encryption to protect information during transmission and storage. Thirdly, access to databases is limited to authorized personnel only, which minimizes the risk of unauthorized access.

What is the duration of a typical CATI survey?

The duration of a typical CATI survey can vary depending on the complexity and number of questions, but usually ranges from 15 to 30 minutes. Shorter surveys that take less than 10 minutes can be more effective in engaging respondents, while longer surveys can provide more detailed information but risk losing respondents’ attention.

What kind of data can be collected with CATI?

CATI can be used to collect a variety of data, including demographic information, respondents’ opinions and attitudes, consumer habits, product or service satisfaction, and other specific data that meet the research objectives. This method allows you to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data, which makes it a versatile tool for various types of research.

Can CATI be used for international surveys?

Yes, CATI can be used for international surveys. This method allows you to easily adapt questions for different languages and cultural contexts, making it an effective tool for collecting data in different countries. It is important to take into account the difference in time zones and ensure that interviewers are properly trained to work with international respondents.

How to adapt the CATI for different languages?

Adapting CATI for different languages includes translating questions and answers, as well as customizing the software to support multilingual interfaces. It is important to engage professional translators and linguists to ensure translation accuracy and cultural sensitivity. In addition, interviewers should be trained to conduct surveys in different languages to ensure high quality of the data collected.


To summarize, CATI

To summarize, CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) is a powerful tool for data collection in research and surveys, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages. CATI also remains an important tool for sociological and marketing research, but its effectiveness depends on the ability of researchers to adapt the method to specific requirements and contexts of the study.

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