FAQ

TAU Systems

Q. Can we use our own standard questionnaires?

Yes. If you use up to 16 codes per question, nothing changes there
(can be traditional 1-9,0 plus &,- or x,y or a,b; or 1,-9,0,A-F for 16 codes).
But you can also use column-based tables of up to 64 closed responses,
with one to ten columns per response as long as they fit on a page.
Open and closed replies are limited to 256 final response codes for a single table.
If you normally use 2 or 3 digit codes, or the alphabet, you would be better to use our
Ascii data entry, validation, recoding and frequency analysis modules and continue working
in Ascii, or finally convert the data file to the more useful binary format (only seconds). If your
questionnaire is in MS Wordª, or RTF or text in a European language, it can be
automatically translated to a normal questionnaire with or without OMR capability, or to a
CATI or self-administered CAPI study, or even an e-mail HTML questionnaire - and all at once!

Q. Does the system require the use of Optical Mark Reader?

No. You can use any questionnaire and manually enter data in the normal way,
(in Ascii or binary formats) but it is cheaper to have one decent optical mark reader
at $3000-$6000 (1 to 3 pages/second) than several computers and data entry staff
and their overheads. Reducing staff requirements to three or four persons is a very
major economic advantage of this system. You also would read most surveys
in under one hour with zero errors, other than detectable omissions.
Your reports would be printed the same day so you get a very fast turn-around.
Field staff becomes the limiting factor in business capability. Without OMR you still
get automatic generation of all the data entry, validation and analysis programs
(and CATI, CAPI and Web-forms) from automatic processing of your questionnaire text.

Q. I have historic data files. Can I still process them?

Usually. Quantumª and IBMª column binary based files are read and written;
Dbaseª DBF and Excelª files are directly converted. Most Ascii files need a data
map (prepared on or off-screen) to control conversion. Ascii files can be
industry-standard 80 column records or 8000 byte long formats or fixed-length
records of up to 400 byte each, all of 1 to 99 types, with sequence fields of
3 to 6 positions and record types of 1 or 2 positions. We can always give you a conversion
module for your data type.We also generate Quantumª and CI3ª source code and HTML forms.

Q. How many people do I need to use the system?

Other than your field force, you need one account executive, whoever
prepares your questionnaires, and two more persons (total 3 or 4) for 150
large studies per year, two more for each 150 additional studies per year.
Some companies can use just one person with market research experience.

Q. What are the major advantages of TAU-SAP over other systems?

It uses the questionnaire to generate everything else and eliminates
programming. The Automated Coding System captures text replies
and eliminates coding. It is far cheaper overall than any other
system, is supposed to be the smartest and fastest, designs and
prints master OMR or normal questionnaires in black ink on normal paper with
laser or matrix printers, for photocopying and later optional OMR reading
(you wouldn't believe how many experts think this is impossible). It generates
all the SAP programs, can generate Sawtooth/CI3ª CATI and Quantumª source programs,
and understands most common data formats. It has total running time of about 500 reports/minute;
has been developed and used over 40 years and is quarterly updated, and no client has ever
changed to another system! The most recent advances were the generating of OMR questionnaires,
including logos or pictures, and report documents directly into WORD formats for
printer-independence (eliminating drivers) and report interchange.
We continue to provide additional facilities and all upgrades and advice are totally free,
and no client has ever switched! An interesting point is that any company who has tried it,
has wanted to go on using it!

Q. What is the difference between binary and Ascii systems?

Binary systems store up to 16 multiple replies (one
or many replies occupy the same space) or one value per word.
You do not need a data map because the data is always in the same place,
whereas Ascii needs variable length fields and data maps. Binary occupies one
eighth the disk space and is accessed eight times faster and processed
as 16-bit parallel; this is 128 times faster overall. IBMª SAP
and Quantumª are also binary systems in some respects, but are
processed in a different manner. OMR reading is essentially a
binary data process and is an excellent system match. Since binary fields
are fixed-length, all the data replies for a complete record can be shown on
one screen as position columns of reply values for data entry and validation.

Q. What does the TAU-SAP system cost?

It is licensed for one to twelve month periods and includes free
consulting services and free updates. The main system is under US$3000
per year per company (not per computer); the unique Automated Coding
System for processing text responses in any language (includes
CATI and CAPI and Web-based systems) costs under US$1000 per year. You
can try these full systems without a license (limited to the first
50 questionnaires); then get a license for as many months as
convenient. We simply e-mail you a 16-letter code for the
license term you need. Educational entities get free licenses.
Reduced prices in countries where we do not offer local support.

LIMITATIONS

Questionnaires for optical reading (a box is an OMR tick space):

  • Maximum 99 pages of optical-readable sheets per questionnaire.
  • Maximum 88 lines per side of paper.
  • Maximum of 64 reply texts in set for one closed question.
  • Maximum of 10 columns in multi-column questions.
  • Maximum of 256 replies in set for one open question.
  • Maximum size of input numerical value 32767.
  • Uses any WORD-supported printers.
  • Data:

  • Maximum 7722 questions per questionnaire.
  • Maximum 65533 questionnaires (1 Gigabyte worst case).
  • Sorting or updating data could require an equal file space on disc.
  • In practice, data is rarely above 1 Megabyte and limits have never been reached
    as far as we know.
  • Tables:

  • Maximum 32 variable width columns, plus optional row totals in tables.
  • Maximum 256 cells or sub-totals vertically, plus 3 totals.
  • Maximum 6 rows of text of 20 characters each per cell row.
  • Maximum 6 percentages per cell row (in text rows).
  • Maximum 20 character column-width within 192 characters total.
  • Minimum 4 characters in columns; row total is always 8 or 14.
  • Maximum totals over 4,000 million.
  • Maximum 10 lines of text in table description.
  • Maximum 9 lines of text in column headings
  • All counts and measures are scaleable

    This is for just one report. Reports can be made to be
    continuations of each other for unlimited vertical length.
    Reports can also be summed or windowed on a column basis to
    achieve desired structures as long as they originate from
    the same sample.

TECHNICAL

A menu-driven, mainly binary data system with normal manual data
entry, OMR or normal questionnaire design, printing and optional
OMR reading, and with parallel Ascii data entry, validation and
conversion between most commercial formats. Includes factor and
correlation analysis and perceptual mapping. Can produce reports
in many familiar formats.The IBM Survey Language, and some others
are accepted as alternatives as processing instructions. The CATI
system produces screen and HTML questionnaires for CATI, CAPI and
e-mail surveys, with automatic collection and processing, including
coding of text replies in any latin or greek alphabet languages.
Over 60 executable modules.

©Copyright 1977 - 2014 Sistemas TAU, A.C.