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Synovate builds a case for technology-aided research

09-July-2004
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Synovate builds a case for technology-aided research

Taking a quantum leap from obsolete market research methodologies like manual data collection, face-to-face interviews and telephonic interviews, Synovate, the research wing of the $11-billion Aegis Group, has introduced its latest data capturing methodology, Computer Aided Telephonic Interviewing (CATI), in India.

The fully automated CATI methodology helps in more accurate data capturing, interpretation and quick output generation. The software is installed in computers that are linked to telephones. This enhances the accessibility to the target group and generates data with a drastically reduced error factor.

Alok Shanker, Managing Director, Synovate India, says in India obsolete methods of data collection like face-to-face interviews or telephonic interviews are still being used. These usually have a high degree of error. Use of CATI for data collection is not only cost-effective but also reduces the extent of manual work considerably. Categories like media, automobiles, consumer durables, finance, insurance, credit cards, banking, retail, telecom and premium FMCG products can benefit greatly from CATI, he said.

In India, Synovate has undertaken around 900 market research projects. Till date CATI was not used in any of these. However , from now onwards all market research conducted by Synovate will employ CATI. A cross-media study being conducted by Synovate for the Indian media is using the CATI technology. Studies for international clients in India are also being done with the help of CATI, Shanker said. The CATI market research methodology will be initially available in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, he said.

Chelsia To, DP Director, Asia Pacific, Synovate Hong Kong, said benefits like accuracy, flexibility, simplification of supervision, easy post-interview process, provision of preliminary top lines, etc., make CATI a highly advanced methodology for market research. All the parties involved in research, from client to researcher to interviewer to data processing stand to gain from it, she said.

Clare Lui, Senior Project Director (Media Research), Synovate Hong Kong, said that with a “telephone penetration of over 70 per cent in Indian urban households, CATI will certainly become popular here”. She observed that CATI was one of the most popular interviewing methodologies across the Asia Pacific region and its usage was growing by 37 per cent annually. “It has benefits over other interviewing methodologies in terms of quality control, easy scheduling of appointments, call backs and system control of data,” she added.

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