Westat uses leading commercial survey software and custom survey software for more complex efforts that seamlessly integrate with powerful survey data management, dashboard reporting, and data delivery platforms to provide end-to-end solutions to our clients.
Our survey software tools and platforms easily scale to accommodate small- to large-scale data collection efforts and support:
- Multimode (web, paper, scannable paper, CATI, and CAVI) administration
- Accessible, 508-compliant surveys
- Mobile-friendly web surveys
- Disconnected web surveys
We have a mix of readily available commercial tools and customized applications built using widely accepted industry standard technologies.
For complex web surveys, we use Westat’s web survey software platform called SurveyBuilder, developed to meet federal security requirements and demanding custom features important to travel surveys. The platform is integrated with sophisticated survey authoring and survey management components that support the development of complex web surveys that require customized features and capabilities (complex looping and rostering, custom survey controls, integration with third-party APIs and other backend support systems). SurveyBuilder supports language translations and applies responsive web design principles to provide respondents with an optimal survey experience across devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
Our survey experts use Blaise, a highly sophisticated and powerful commercial survey platform, for complex multimode studies.
Research data collections are able to take advantage of the software’s capabilities to handle complicated integrations with other systems, create customizable interfaces, and manage complex data manipulation. Blaise supports all stages of the survey lifecycle with strong metadata and paradata capabilities, data editing, coding, and multimedia and multilingual support. It operates on a wide range of devices and platforms with responsive design for data collection. Developed by Statistics Netherlands, Blaise is renowned for its use by statistical data collection organizations throughout the world.
Learn more about Blaise Capabilities
No matter how simple or complex the survey administration protocol is, we implement a survey management system to support scheduling; communications with study participants via email and text/SMS messages; management of incentives with debit cards, checks, and gift cards; and monitoring and reporting. Such systems provide operations staff a means to monitor activities in real-time and make adjustments as needed, provides statisticians with a way to monitor sampling rates, and provides clients with real-time information on study progress.
Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) Program
Westat is conducting a mixed-method evaluation that includes teacher and student surveys delivered via tablets; conducting site visits to observe classrooms; conducting focus groups; interviewing key staff; and analyzing extant data, such as student achievement scores, attendance, and disciplinary referrals. We developed surveys for school district personnel, teachers, and students using our SurveyBuilder platform. Student surveys are available in multiple languages and are administered at the start of each semester.
Kansas City Regional Household Travel Survey
This survey collected detailed sociodemographic data and detailed travel behavior data for one 24-hour period from thousands of households. This effort used a multimode data collection approach (online, telephone, and Westat’s DailyTravel smartphone app). Passive GPS trace data were collected for 7 days from DailyTravel app users.
Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR)
This multimode survey includes web, paper, and telephone data collection. For each biennial cycle, Westat implements an adaptive design protocol that includes contact history information, sample bias characteristics, and specific protocol activities. The adaptive design techniques facilitate reducing nonresponse bias and increasing the representativeness of the survey respondents. A key focus is extending work to create a sustainable, fully longitudinal cohort component of the SDR with associated longitudinal weights.