Survey Research Lab
The Institute conducts telephone surveys of citizens, government officials, and members of nonprofit and professional associations on a host of public issues. We conduct public opinion polls for newspapers, magazines and other media, on critical issues facing the citizens of Northwest Georgia, as well as supporting Kennesaw State University's outreach service centers in business, education and science with their survey research needs. The Institute has conducted numerous public opinion polls statewide and throughout the southeastern United States and the Nation.
The value and range of the work of the Institute is attested to by the diversity of funding it receives. Federal, state, regional, and county and city agencies as well as nonprofit and profit-making organizations have contracted services provided by the Burruss Institute.
The Burruss Institute has a state-of-the-art telephone survey lab with 23 networked stations. All stations are equipped with Dell PCs using Pentium Processors and a Windows 7 operating system connected to uninterruptible power supplies, and backup for data security and protection. Our interviewing software, WinCATI® 4.2 from Sawtooth Technologies, includes visual monitoring capabilities as well as the ability to handle complex interview schedules. During an interview, interviewers can back up to review and, if necessary, change answers. The system allows both verbatim open ended responses (long or short) and interviewer notes to be recorded by question. An interviewer must enter a response to move forward in the survey administration and cannot jump or skip over intervening questions. In addition the software incorporates features such as random ordering of large question sets, the ability of interviewers to access help/information screens, detailed record keeping of timing for each question, total interview time, and detailed disposition reports.
Our software allows for in-service project evaluation and in-house and off-site supervisory methods. All interviewing stations are connected to the Viking Service Observation Unit allowing supervisors to silently monitor employee phones without disturbing the activity at their workstations. In combination with the Super View feature, supervisors are also able to shadow the interviewer and the respondent on-screen during an interview to monitor data entry. Supervisors are always on-site while a survey is in progress and can access any interview in progress at any time. Training is customized for each project and includes pre-testing the instrument, continuous supervision, role-taking, and periodic review.
In addition, the WinCATI system provides excellent sample management, including the generation of detailed daily and cumulative productivity reports providing ongoing assessment of the survey administration. These reports indicate refusal rates, disposition of each call dialed, conversion rates, average time for asking/answering each question, verbatim input of respondent comments and other evaluative data. These features allow for assessment of specific interviewers and items on the survey.