Blaise is a powerful computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) system and survey processing tool for the Windows operating system and the internet. It’s developed by Statistics Netherlands and licensed and supported in North and South America by Westat.
Blaise includes many advanced capabilities that meet the high demands of today’s CAI surveys.
Adaptable and Affordable Tool
Blaise enables you to deploy your questionnaires in single or mixed modes depending on your research design. You can decide the modes for each survey and determine how you stage each mode in a mixed-mode design.
You can fill in Blaise 5 questionnaires on all common platforms. No matter which browser or operating system your respondents and interviewers use, your questionnaires will always appear the way you specified them.
Multidevice Allows for Hybrid Mode
Blaise 5’s powerful Layout Designer helps you create questionnaires that adapt to any device and screen size. This enables you to make use of hybrid mode when you deploy your questionnaires for multiple devices and saves you the time of creating many custom designs.
Built for Diversity
Create multilingual and multinational questionnaires with Blaise 5. The system supports all Western, right-to-left, and Asian interviewing languages and can switch between them during an interview. Blaise meets accessibility standards for people with disabilities
Blaise is scalable to meet the needs of large-scale surveys and is adaptable and affordable for small research projects. Blaise is used for a variety of research studies conducted by government statistical agencies, academic research, and contract research organizations.
Integrated Development Tools
Blaise 5 offers integrated development tools that you can configure to support your organization’s needs: Control Centre, Layout Designer, Resource Editor, and on-line help.
One Survey Platform
Blaise 5 supports all aspects of survey production, including data collection, data coding, data entry, and data editing. Investing in one system that handles all survey production tasks helps cut down your organization’s costs, work time, and resources.
Modular, Reusable Questionnaires
Blaise 5’s domain-specific language lets you design your questionnaires in blocks of code. This modular structure makes reusing parts of an instrument easy.
Flexible Questionnaire Design
Blaise 5’s layout and operational flexibility enable you to design a questionnaire once for different interview modes and devices. The details of your design adapt to their screen size and input method, making your questionnaires truly multi-hybrid mode.
Data Entry Programs
Blaise 5 instruments can be filled in anywhere. Blaise Data Entry Programs (DEP) give interviewers the freedom to collect data while being connected to or disconnected from the internet. Choosing your run mode preference lets you safeguard data, even when there are connectivity or power issues.
Multi-Type Questionnaires Designs
Blaise 5 can handle the most straightforward one-off survey all the way to multi-instrument, longitudinal studies. You decide the mode for each survey and determine how you stage each mode in a mixed-mode design.
Blaise 5’s highly advanced programming language, its server and survey management tools, and its open architecture offer full control over the survey process.
Call Scheduler for CATI
Specified calling schemes optimize your telephone interviews. Blaise 5 delivers a powerful Call Scheduler for computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) with which you can create specified calling plans based on interviewer groups, time zones, time slices, different types of appointments, and respondent reactions. Customize any detail of case delivery with an easy-to-use CATI specification program.
Case Management Application (CMA)
Blaise 5 provides intuitive, flexible, and fast interfaces that guarantee your specified appearance, be it in a browser, on a desktop, or a mobile device. You decide how your interviewers or respondents see and interact with your questionnaires. Blaise 5 includes a case management application (CMA) that allows your interviewers to view and update their workload across different surveys and collect data while connected to or disconnected from the internet.
The Blaise Server Manager is designed to handle typical enterprise deployment needs. The working copy of the survey might be installed on a desktop, on a test server in a test environment, on a production server in a production environment, or in the Cloud. In addition, the server manager offers options for collecting metrics to monitor server runtime and options to update the version of the Blaise runtime on a server or in the Cloud.
Latest on Blaise 5
Blaise 5 is the most current release of Blaise that provides full support for mixed-mode surveys, a completely integrated approach to survey layout, and a comprehensive development environment.
The Blaise 5 development environment offers an advanced text editor (with features such as syntax highlighting, IntelliSense, and bracketing) and a WYSIWYG environment for specifying survey layout. It takes full advantage of industry standards, such as XML, Unicode, ADO.NET, MVC, and WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation).
Blaise 5 maintains as much compatibility as possible with source code and binary files from earlier versions of Blaise.
Blaise Frequently Asked Questions
A: Blaise is a powerful and flexible system. It can be used in any mode, including computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI), computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), computer-assisted self-interviewing (CASI), interactive editing, high-speed data entry, and data manipulation and also has survey management capabilities. With Blaise you can perform various activities in an easy and user-friendly way. Blaise has an excellent programming language for producing complex instruments and this is supported by programmed functionality. Blaise is explicitly multimode; within the source code of an application, you can condition edits and routes on the mode of data collection. For example, it is possible to make an edit soft in an interview but hard in post-collection data editing. Blaise has a CATI call scheduler and a module that can be used for CAPI laptop management, among other things. Other tools such as Manipula for data handling and Maniplus for survey management give you even more flexibility and power.
A: Blaise is used widely in Europe and North America. It is also used in countries of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Government statistical agencies, private research firms, and universities have all used Blaise. There are over 20 enterprise-level corporate licensees around the world and many noncorporate licensees. (See the Blaise Licensing and Ordering page for information on the types of Blaise licenses.)
A: The program was named after Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher and scientist in the 17th century who invented the first mechanical adding machine. The Blaise system was originally programmed in Pascal; hence the name Blaise.
A: CAPI stands for computer-assisted personal interviewing. CATI stands for computer-assisted telephone interviewing. CAWI stands for computer-assisted web interviewing. CASI stands for computer-assisted self-interviewing. A single Blaise survey instrument can be run in one or more of these modes, providing comprehensive support for multimode surveys.
A: Blaise is designed primarily for survey data collection and processing. Blaise is especially useful for surveys that are complicated and long with many routing conditions, calculations, and edits. Blaise is also well-suited for surveys that have complex data inter-relationships. Blaise handles these and other routing, screen presentation, and database issues. The Blaise language is well-suited for producing instruments for programs of surveys, where re-use and standardization are particularly important.
A: Yes, the web interviewing system in Blaise 5 provides advanced web features. And it integrates with the advanced Blaise CAPI, CATI, and CADE capabilities.
A: Blaise 5 screens are generated and display on desktops, laptops, and mobile platforms such as smartphones. You can implement flexible styles of screen display, and these can be changed during the interview to handle all types of questions.
A: Blaise has a state-of-the-art coding module with three methods of coding: hierarchical, alphabetical, and trigram. These allow interviewers or coders to quickly and easily inspect coding frames of thousands of lines of descriptions. The hierarchical approach allows point-and-shoot coding with the arrow keys, Enter key, or a pointing device. This is useful for coding frames that have a straight-forward structure. For example, coding automobile data might use the hierarchy of make, model, and body style. But when a coding frame does not have a straight-forward hierarchy, Blaise offers two text searching methods: the traditional, alphabetical search and the more powerful trigram search. The alphabetic search looks for exact matches starting with the left-most character of a description. The trigram is a kind of fuzzy matching algorithm that can search for near matches within a string, providing a robust search strategy that does not require an exact spelling. The trigram search works well for coding medicines, pesticides, and other hard-to-spell text strings.
A: Yes, the Blaise 5 interviewing system takes advantage of Cloud services. Services such as infrastructure, platform, and software. Blaise 5 supports Microsoft Azure, Amazon Cloud Services (AWS), and Docker Desktop.
A: There is an International Blaise User’s Group based in London. It publishes a newsletter and posts those newsletters on its web site. The user’s group, in conjunction with Statistics Netherlands and a host country, organizes a Blaise User’s Conference every 18 months.
A: An evaluation copy of Blaise is available from Westat. This license allows only evaluation and testing. No production data collection is permitted. To request a limited-use, limited-term evaluation copy of Blaise, contact Blaise Services at Westat. Westat also offers training classes, providing another good way to learn about Blaise. Also see the Blaise capabilities page to download the Developer’s Guide and other Blaise documentation.
Blaise 5 developmental priorities are set by Statistics Netherlands in consultation with members of the Blaise Corporate License User Board (BCLUB). Ongoing information about Blaise 5 is available from Statistics Netherlands.
Blaise 5 Training – New Remote Classes
Blaise 5 training classes are available for remote attendance. Please see Blaise Training Courses for class schedule and registration information.
Blaise Tools for Questionnaire Documentation and CAI Testing
Two tools are available for Blaise users for questionnaire documentation and computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) testing: the Michigan Questionnaire Documentation System (MQDS) and the CAI Testing Tool (CTT). Information about how to access these tools is available from Statistics Netherlands.
Blaise 5 Product Support and Training
Included Product Support
Blaise® License Plans include product support by email for questions concerning installation, software upgrades, syntax, functionality, appropriate use, and technical questions as stated in the Blaise License Agreement.
In addition to the support included with a Blaise License, Westat offers additional fee-based training and consultation. Learn more about the Blaise Support Policy.
Additional Product Support
For license holders, other types of support may be offered on a fee basis, including on-site training courses and other consultation or training on the Blaise product. Contact Blaise Services at Westat to discuss additional support requirements.
Westat offers standard training courses for Blaise for remote attendance and at its training facility in Rockville, Maryland. See Blaise Training Courses for a calendar of scheduled courses and prices.
Contact Blaise Services at Westat to discuss on-site training requirements.
Blaise Resources and User Groups
Resources Available at Statistics Netherlands
Blaise Online Documentation 5.X. This online help is designed both as a course in using Blaise and as an ongoing reference while you are working with the program.
Blaise Online Documentation 4.X. The online assistant includes a full technical reference and a developer’s guide.
Blaise Tools for Questionnaire Documentation and CAI Testing. Two tools are available for Blaise users for questionnaire documentation and CAI testing: the Michigan Questionnaire Documentation System (MQDS) and the CAI Testing Tool (CTT). Information about how to access these tools is available from Statistics Netherlands.
A Blaise licensee has 2 formal vehicles for interacting both with other Blaise users and with Statistics Netherlands: (1) IBUG, and (2) BCLUB.
The International Blaise Users Group (IBUG) is an independent organization open to all Blaise users from around the world. The group maintains the IBUG web site, publishes a periodic newsletter, and hosts a users’ conference about every 18 months. During the 3-day conference, Blaise users present papers and conduct sessions covering a wide range of issues. Blaise developers from Statistics Netherlands also present Blaise development plans. Users may provide suggestions or comments directly to the Blaise development team. IBUG publishes the conference proceedings.
Organizations that have purchased a corporate-level Blaise license are eligible to become a member of the Blaise Corporate License User Board (BCLUB). Members include large government statistical agencies in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia, as well as other research organizations. BCLUB meets annually to discuss usage and plans for Blaise as these relate to Statistics Netherlands’ development plans and priorities.
Statistics Netherlands organizes and oversees the BCLUB. It also schedules meetings and conducts BCLUB communications with users.
Blaise licensing is designed for those with ongoing computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) work. Blaise 5 evaluation licenses are offered for limited-use, limited-term testing purposes to enable organizations to explore the capabilities of Blaise.
To request a limited-use, limited-term evaluation copy of Blaise, contact Blaise Services at Westat.
License Fee Quotes
Westat is the authorized licensor of Blaise Software in North, Central, and South America under authorized terms and prices. Actual license fees are provided in license fee quotes. To request a quote, complete the Blaise Software Quote Request (PDF) form and email it to Blaise Services at Westat.
For Blaise license purchases, Westat accepts payment by check, purchase order, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. If you have questions, contact Blaise Services at Westat.
Blaise® is a registered trademark of Statistics Netherlands. Windows® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation