Overview of CATI Software as of July 2010

In our call center, we use Sawtooth WINCATI. Seemed expensive and clunky, but turns out that compared to alternatives, it's pretty attractive after all. We will probably be playing around with queXS this Fall. WinCATI is fine, and upon further investigation, the pricing isn't bad. But if we can do it for free, well, we'll do it for free, especially if we can save even more $ with VoIP.

The packages listed below are in no particular order. About 1/2 of them came from the list Quirks.com maintains, then I visited the websites of the vendors seeking additional information. The Quirks.com list seems somewhat out-of-date, and is lacking a lot of information. On the other hand, it's understandable that it is lacking information, since many vendors don't seem to want to give out basic information like platform or pricing!

I left out hosted vendors. We potentially deal with HIPPA/FERPA/name-your-acronym data, so we need to host it.

If you have additional information on any of these vendors: general impressions from actual usage, more information on pricing, etc. and would like to share, please email me at ben.earnhart@gmail.com.

Unless otherwise noted, the views expressed are mine and mine only, not those of my employer or anybody else. Take them with a grain of salt. If and when I get additional information from others, I'll attribute the sources of the information.


7/26/2010: added CASES

Name, link to vendor
General Impression and Notes
Open source/GNU?
Additional prerequisites (MySQL, IIS, etc)
WinCATI Awesome support, just wish we didn't need to use it for undocumented quirks. about $30k initial setup for 30 seats, then 20% ($6k) annually for support. They actually have a price calculator. Closed source yes no IIS for some functions yes. VoIP extra, charged by the minute. Yes, also will host it for you.
The Survey System For the $, support better be good. Really slick-sounding, But very expensive! Hideous, varies depending on options.  More than WinCATI! Closed source yes no IIS for web-based Yes, and integrates with Skype Yes, also will host for you
Voxco Must register to even learn more about the product, such as requirements or pricing.  I'm not ready to deal with salespeople yet! Request quote Closed source ? ? ? Presumably, see notes Yes
WinQuery Website uninformative about details, but I have heard good stuff, and integrating into an analytical suite might be nice for some people. Request quote Closed source Yes no ? Yes, and has VoIP, but no details Yes
Interactive Softworks/VoiceNet Seems geared more towards corporate customer support and marketing (selling) than academic or marketing research. ? Closed source ? ? ? Yes Yes, but dunno if it integrates with voice
QPSMR Looks like what WinCATI should have been five years ago.  Clean, simple CATI.  But that's it, and at this price, not worth considering. $7850 GBP annually for 30 seats Closed source yes no ? Yes no
ASKIA Hideous website, un-informative .pdf files.  But at least you don't need to give up your email address to read them. ? Looks expensive Closed source yes ? Mentions SQL Server, dunno what else Yes Yes
Survent/WebCATI Mentions a "windows" version, but based on various impressions, seems 'nix-based. ? Closed source maybe, see notes probably ? Yes Yes
Confirmit Looks geared towards big business, not academics. Request quote Closed source ? ? ? Yes Yes
Converso   Request quote Closed source ? ? ? Yes Yes
Dub Interviewer Nice that they make the .pdf files available to get details.  However, requiring Windows '95 and up doesn't give me confidence that the software is as slick as the website. ? Closed source yes ? Probably not SQL Server Yes Yes, and claims to integrate well with CATI
NIPO Fieldwork System for CATI Website is segmented to small, medium, large, and "global" businesses.  Well, I guess academic institutions don't count. n/a, see notes n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
SPSS It's SPSS.  No-go for me. Additonal features cost extra: "Want to use capital letters? That's another $3k." "Oh, odd integers as well as even? another $3k, please..." ad absurdum. Request quote Closed source yes ? ? Yes Probably not
queXS Community support seems active. Seems like a "live" project, most recent release was 1/15/2010.  Based on LimeSurvey.  Documentation looks good. FREE!!! Open, dunno GNU yes ? PHP, ADODB, MySQL.  Asterisk for advanced functions With Asterisk no
Interview Technology "IT Supervisor is especially developed for CATI applications in an MS-DOS/Windows NT network environment"  News last updated 2004.  Pretty website, though! Who cares? (see notes) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
YaaCS Looks interesting, still being developed, but documentation seems sketchy at first glance. FREE!!! Open, GNU yes ? Presumably some.  Looks like Perl, Apache, and presumably MySQL doesn't seem to, see notes not as far as I can tell, unless you extended it with mod_survey.
CATI-CAWI  Website in mixed Italian and English.  Hard to tell what it does, how to get it, or support, but for an Italian survey center, might be great. Probably free? "We have created a gnu-linux solution" probably no yes ? With Asterisk maybe

Developed at Berkely by the same folks who created SDA. Seems like a pretty complete package. Pricing scheme is a bit confusing, hard to tell actual cost, click here for more details. Hard to tell licensing issues. Yes not for most recent version. ? presumably some. With bolt-on programming. Not technically part of the system, but they'll provide code and examples. Yes


Note 1: CASES added to list: Thanks to Eric White, UWSC.

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