Tablets vs. Clipboards? Which is Better for Intercept Surveys

tablets or clipboards intercept survey company syracuse nyIn a technology-driven world, using paper surveys may seem a little outdated right? Not always the case when it comes to intercept interviews. Although one may assume using a tablet is always the best option, several factors should be taken into consideration. Debating on using tablets or paper copies on clipboards for your next intercept survey project?

Consider the following 5 questions first:

  • What's quicker for your customer? This is often the most undervalued and overlooked factor when deciding between a clipboard and a tablet. If your survey contains several open-ends, in many cases administering the survey via paper and clipboard will be faster than tablet. Imagine trying to peck away on the tablet to record a lengthy open-end, versus quickly scribbling down the response in your handwriting. Chances are you can write those notes faster and capture more, resulting in a quicker survey and less of a burden on your respondents.

  • How can you manage data quality? reviewing the data after it has been entered. The data entry step can eliminate many grammar mistakes and spelling errors as recorded by the interviewer, easing the workload on the analyst. The tablet allows for quicker review while the paper clipboard adds a second layer of review.If you complete the survey on a tablet, the data may be immediately updated to an online reporting system. The analyst will need to review the data file or run a few frequencies to ensure the skip patterns and data quality checks meet his or her requirements. However, the data your analyst reviews will come directly as chosen and typed by the interviewer. Having the survey completed on paper the data entry person(s) become the middle-man to review data quality in addition to the analyst 

  • How important is real-time data? Obviously with the tablet the data can be immediately uploaded for dashboard and reporting purposes. With paper data entry there will be some lag time in real-time results. If you're not looking for immediate results, this may not be an issue.

  • Which is a higher cost? Depending on the number of survey completes, data entry may be a significant additional cost for the project. At the same time the purchase of tablets, a survey software, WiFi or mobile hotspots also have to be taken into account. Couple that with saved time for the respondent through paper administration, and the cost difference may not be as drastic as you think.

  • Do you have a good location? The last thing you want to happen with your tablet intercepts is for you to lose a WiFi connection or have technical difficulties. It interrupts the interview process and throws a wrench into your fieldwork. Some locations are more of a problem than others. The great thing about paper and clipboard is the ability to take it anywhere with low risk of anything terrible happening.

Drive Research is an intercept survey company in Syracuse NY. Questions about your next mall intercept survey, event survey, or exit interviews as attendees leave your conference? Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 315-303-2040.

Intercept Surveys