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Online Documents

Savant Surveys and Strategies can offer services that include the development, management and maintenance of a web-based HTML document, which provides:

  • ease of access and confidentiality for the respondent
  • speed and accuracy of data collection for the client

On-line questionnaires are an extremely cost effective way to conduct surveys, as there are:

  • no printing or paper costs
  • no postage or mail out collation costs
  • reduced data collection time

Also, the nature of online completed documents can:

  • eliminate data entry input errors
  • eliminate data omissions
  • significantly reduce the time and cost for producing data files ready for analysis


STAGES IN STANDARD ONLINE DOCUMENT DEVELOPMENT

  STAGE 1: CONSTRUCTION OF THE ONLINE DOCUMENT
  1. Savant Surveys and Strategies designs and constructs the online document in consultation with stakeholders and the client
  2. the document is created using HTML and generic scripts to ensure that the document is:
    1. both IBM and Macintosh compatible
    2. suitable for the various operating systems and browsers
  3. fonts, colours, and layout of the online document can be tailored to suit:
    1. the corporate image of the organisation
    2. the topic of the project
    3. target population for the survey
  4. graphics (eg. company logo or pictures ) can also be incorporated into the online document
  5. a script generating unique user name and password combinations can be built into the document to ensure that only authorised respondents are permitted access to the document
  6. a protective mechanism can prevent the survey document being left open longer than the specified time limit
  7. tracking mechanisms can be incorporated to:
    1. collect identification details of respondents
    2. ensure that respondents will be automatically blocked from re-entering the document
    3. remove any chance of duplicate responses
  8. scripting can also be applied so that an individual’s response to a “re-directional” question governs which subsequent questions will be presented
Additional Options:
  1. a computer scannable PDF version of the online document can be constructed to:
    1. allow dissemination amongst colleagues for the provision of a collective response
    2. to accommodate people who would prefer to respond using the traditional hard-copy paper method
  2. Savant’s technology enables an image of each individual online and scanned response to be captured as a PDF for archiving purposes
  STAGE 2: RESPONDENT NOTIFICATION FOR KNOWN POPULATIONS
  1. a list of the email addresses of the intended respondents is compiled and loaded into Savant’s administration module ready for distribution of the survey
  2. respondents are sent an email containing details such as:
    1. information about the purpose of the survey
    2. the URL link
    3. their individual username necessary to access the survey document
    4. the automatically generated password also necessary to access the survey document
    5. contact details of the person to contact for further information
  3. access to the document is obtained by the respondent:
    1. clicking on the given URL
    2. entering the respondent’s unique user name and password combination where indicated
    3. clicking “LOGIN”
  4. if requested, the username and password can already be inserted in the designated areas so that, after receiving the email, the respondent only needs to:
    1. click on the given URL
    2. click “LOGIN”
  5. if a hard copy is required, a computer scannable version of the same document can be:
    1. downloaded from the website
    2. emailed as an attachment
    3. posted to the responden

Administration system’s monitoring of known populations

  1. Savant’s online administration system has been established to allow the monitoring of submitted completed questionnaires
  2. this administration facility automatically creates and provides:
    1. an up-to-date list of the number of responses obtained
    2. identification details of the respondents
    3. the date and time for each response received against the identified respondent
    4. an up-to-date list of the non-respondents
  3. thus throughout the course of the survey, the system allows contact with non-respondents to ensure the maximum number of responses are obtained by:
    1. follow-up reminder e-mails at specified intervals
    2. notification of the close-off date
    3. phone contact if requested
  4. therefore statistics are readily available to the client at any time and can be provided at requested intervals, pertaining to:
    1. the responses received per day
    2. the cumulative total number of responses received since distribution
    3. the percentage of responses against number of intended respondents to receive the survey
    4. the names of respondents and non-respondents ( if the survey is non-confidential )
  5. contact with respondents, verbally or via e-mail is recorded for submission as required, including:
  6. out of office replies
  7. non-deliverable e-mails with survey access details
  8. requests for scannable hard copy documents
  9. miscellaneous requests or notification

Unknown populations

  1. the document can be loaded to the website of an organisation
  2. access is gained by clicking on the given area within the website
  3. the survey document opens automatically ready for completion and submission of data
  STAGE 3: COLLECTION OF DATA
  1. online documents designed and constructed by Savant can be completed under any type of circumstances, such as:
    1. independently by the respondent on their own computer
    2. by a researcher during a telephone interview
    3. by a researcher in the presence of the participant
  2. responses can be made in two ways:
    1. to closed questions by clicking on the circle representative of the chosen response
    2. providing written or numerical open responses by typing in the alphanumeric data in the designated area
  3. once the document has been completed, the respondent simply clicks on to the “submit” button located at the end of the document which:
    1. generates an individualised message thanking the respondent for their participation
    2. activates the return of the data to the Savant workstation

Architecture: Online data is transmitted and collected using the following architecture

System Architecture

Scannable hard copy version:

  1. where a respondent has chosen to use any of three alternate options of the scannable hard copies, these can be hand-completed and returned by mail for scanning
  2. Savant’s high speed scanning system allows:
    1. a maximum of 1200 double-sided A4 pages of data per hour to be processed
    2. the data is automatically entered into a merged file also containing the data collected from the online version or a separate file if required
  STAGE 4: COLLATION OF DATA
  1. upon reaching the Savant workstation, the data is decrypted using the client’s unique Private Key and imported into the respective data file
  2. returned data can be imported into a spreadsheet in any designated order, not merely in the order that the items appear on the document
  3. data may be collected:
    1. in many different forms ( e.g. csv, tab-delimited) to aid importation of the data into a variety of IBM and Macintosh compatible statistical packages
    2. in a specified file format ( e.g. SPSS, Excel, Access )
  4. the flexibility of the management system allows interim data sets to be provided to the client at any stage of the collection process
  SECURITY AND AVAILABILITY OF TRANSMITTED AND COLLECTED DATA
The following security features are implemented during the online data transmission and collection process to ensure:
    1. availability
    2. authenticity
    3. integrity
    4. confidentiality

Availability of access:

  1. all sites reside on a commercial grade web server (Fedora Core 1 Linux running Apache/MySQL) housed in a data centre equipped with:
    1. closed circuit security
    2. fire suppression systems
    3. backup power supply systems
    4. 24 hour monitoring
    5. a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  2. bandwidth in the data centre has primary bearers to both Telstra and Optus, and bandwidth utilization is low
Authenticity:
  1. user access to the online form is protected by username and password authentication using PHP/MySQL.
  2. scripting within the username/password authentication process also ensures that only one submission can be made for each username/password combination
  3. for documents not protected by the username/password authentication process:
    1. as each document’s data is submitted by the respondent, it is assigned an individual ID number
    2. this ensures that duplicate responses can be easily recognised and deleted.
  4. Integrity of data

Integrity of data:

  1. all data transfer is by one of two methods:
    1. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protected internet connection
    2. email encrypted and signed using a GNU Privacy guard, appropriate ID certificates and 2048bit public/private keys
  2. data collected is immediately encrypted and signed using a digital ID
  3. this enables the authenticity and integrity of the data to be verified on receipt by Savant Surveys and Strategies prior to analysis.
Confidentiality:
  1. all data transfer is encrypted and at no time is any data collected from the online documents stored on the server in an unencrypted format
  2. database and administrative access to documents and sites are limited to Savant Surveys and Strategies’ key personnel only
  3. only Savant Surveys and Strategies’ key personnel possess the required keys to decrypt and analyse data collected from the online document.
  EXAMPLE ONLINE DOCUMENTS
Provided below are details of how to access and view some examples of on-line surveys that have been designed and constructed by Savant Surveys and Strategies. The surveys remain on-line to demonstrate a cross-section of the design and construction components possible, plus showcase the simplicity of responding. Savant designs and constructs each survey based around the individual considerations for each client:
  1. logos to be incorporated
  2. specific colours to be used
  3. corporate image
  4. the target population
For demonstration purposes, an auto-fill function has been added to those online questionnaires that were security protected However, during the survey proper individual User Names and Passwords are automatically generated and allocated to each participant and incorporated within the body of an email message, which:
  1. allows confidentiality to be protected
  2. tracking of respondents - the submitted response registers against the username/password
To gain access to any of the example questionnaires listed below, simply click on the respective link. For those that are security protected, please simply click on “Login”. Once access is gained to the online survey, please feel free to:
  1. complete some or all of the survey by clicking on the response options
  2. write in the free comment areas
  3. click submit at the end of the survey

The data collection process for each of these surveys has concluded, therefore, your submitted response will not contaminate the data. For those who have dial-up internet access, please allow a few seconds for the survey to load.

URL LINKS FOR ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRES

Arlewood Winery: https://forms.savant.net.au/lfserver/arlewoodsurvey
City of Joondalup: https://forms.savant.net.au/lfserver/percydoyle
City of Subiaco: https://forms.savant.net.au/lfserver/lakejualbup
Savant Winery: https://forms.savant.net.au/lfserver/wineryexample
Savant example: https://forms.savant.net.au/lfserver/example

 

ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRES

ITEM ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRES
FEATURE BENEFIT
DESIGN FLEXIBILITY Savant’s advanced software is designed specifically for the construction of questionnaires Almost any layout and response option format is possible, thus providing a very flexible design medium
AESTHETICS AND RESPONSE RATES The aesthetics of the questionnaire is greatly improved due to Savant’s design flexibility and ability to construct online questionnaires in a variety of colours and shades It has long been recognised that increasing the aesthetics of a questionnaire increases the response rate achieved
RELIABLE QUESTIONNAIRE COMPLETION Specialised design features ensure the questionnaires are simple to complete, as usually only a circle needs to be clicked on, or text typed into well defined response areas The simplicity and flexibility of the layout of the questionnaires improves their ability to be completed reliably without any specialist supervision
MODIFICATIONS TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE Savant’s software system ensures that modifications to the wording or the structure of the questionnaire are simple to make and can be made at any time The questionnaire can be adapted (ie a question can be reworded, removed or added) at any time during the surveying process
COMPLEMENTARY MODES OF COMPLETION Once constructed using Savant’s software, the online questionnaire can easily be adapted to create a complementary scannable paper version of the questionnaire The addition of a paper mode of completion can allow for the dissemination of the questionnaire amongst colleagues for the provision of a collective response
REDUCED DATA COLLECTION COSTS Online questionnaires can be uploaded to a number of designated websites, allowing completion by anyone with Internet access Online questionnaire availability provides ease of access, and removes the need for hard copy, postage and data entry costs
SPEED OF DATA COLLECTION Data provided via online completion is collected from the server only a few seconds after the data is submitted by the respondent Due to the speed of the data collection process, data from a survey can be collected and returned to the client on as frequent a basis as required
FLEXIBILITY OF DATA FILE FORMAT Online questionnaires constructed by Savant allow for automated customised spreadsheets to be developed for flexibility of data collection The collected data of an online questionnaire can be dissected and simultaneously exported to any number of files of varying formats (e.g., SPSS, Excel, del, csv)
FLEXIBILITY OF DATA COLLATION Background scripting of computer scannable questionnaires allow for greater flexibility of data collation The order of the data in the resulting spreadsheet is not restricted to the order that questions appear on the questionnaire
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY Once a respondent has submitted their response, it is automatically encrypted and sent to the server were it is retrieved, decrypted and exported to the data file without anyone viewing the responses Therefore, data that is collected via an online approach has a much higher degree of confidentiality and privacy
ACCURACYOF DATA COLLECTION Scripting of online questionnaires enable acceptable value ranges to be applied to individual variables and automated exportation to the correct variable columns Data that is obtained from an online questionnaire contains zero input errors as it provides the data verbatim and the computer does not suffer fatigue like humans involved with manual entry
ACCURACY OF DATA COLLECTION An online questionnaire can be scripted so that a respondent only is permitted to answer selected questions Scripting can ensure that ‘skips’ (ie If Yes, Go to x) are obeyed by the respondent
INTEGRITY OF DATA An online questionnaire can be password protected Scripting can ensure that ‘skips’ (ie If Yes, Go to x) are obeyed by the respondent
PROVISION OF IMAGES FOR ARCHIVING A scanned image (e.g., PDF, TIFF) of each respondent’s completed questionnaire can be created at the time of submission for the purpose of archiving These images can be individually labeled with any variable code (e.g., surname) contained in the questionnaire for ease of file location
MONITORING OF RESPONSES Savant’s online administration system can at any time report an up-to-date list of the number of responses obtained, and a list of respondents & nonrespondents This allows an investigator to monitor response rates across the total study, and proportional response rates for different cohorts (e.g., gender, region)

 

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