What is CATI market research and its significance?

Before companies decide to spend loads of capital on the development of a product, it’s standard practice to first make sure that the product has demand.

Whether it will fill the needs of the targeted population or not.

Unless telepathy is invented somehow – the only way to know what the public wants is to ask them.

CATI market research

Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) is a data collection survey methodology used by companies for market research.

A certain sample of the population is selected to be surveyed and the data collection agency via random digit dialing calls up the respondents.

The interviewer will ask the respondents for their willingness to participate in the short survey.

The interviewer then proceeds to ask pre-set questions displayed on the computer screen and feeds the responses into the system.

CATI relies completely on a computer screen to set up the questionnaire.

The researcher cannot modify or alter the research questions and has to follow a specific script throughout the survey.

Other Examples of CATI market research

CATI Market Research: Collecting Consumer Insights through Phone Surveys


  • A start-up wanting to collect customer feedback can outsource CATI services instead of sending out survey emails that most customers won’t acknowledge.

  • The data collection company can call every customer of the start-up and have a meaningful discussion regarding satisfaction and expectations especially stressing on the open-ended questions to gather maximum data.

  • CATI market research can also be used to track brand awareness/image, to determine the effectiveness of an ad campaign, to understand customer preferences/perceptions, even gain insights into the competitor’s products.

advantages of CATI market research


  • The potential for human error is reduced significantly in CATI.

  • The need for paper is also reduced as the conversation is recorded and data can be revisited for revision if needed.

  • Saves time and cost of transferring data from paper to electronic since the responses are directly inputted in the computer system itself and automatically stored there.

  • Unlike email surveys, interviewing process in CATI is much quicker as data is stored as it is obtained and the responses can be viewed in real-time and are ready for analysis.

  • Participants can be reached via phone call anywhere around the world – hence it is viable for global research.

  • CATI provide a higher response rate than email/web surveys due to a human touch being involved making it more expressive

  • CATI surveys can handle survey routing automatically based on respondent input. This helps the interviewer focus on the respondent and their answers, instead of having their concentration split between the respondent and figuring out the next question.

  • A work from home model is possible for CATI interviewers to perform as call centres shut given the covid restrictions, also supervisors can monitor progress remotely and data can be accessed over the cloud.

  • Once the cloud-based CATI software is set up, larger studies can be conducted without much investment in infrastructure, this makes it very scalable, functional, and cost-effective.

disadvantages of CATI market research


  • CATI  being a telephonic survey, the interviewer needs to stick to the script and avoid certain sensitive subjects.

  • Setting up the CATI software and the questionnaire is time-consuming.

  • With regard to open-ended questions, interviewers should have fast typing skills to keep up with the respondent.

  • CATI cannot be used for target audiences with no phone connection.

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