NMC advances survey capabilities

TRAVERSE CITY – Northwestern Michigan College’s Training and Research Division recently took a major step in offering broader research capabilities to clients. Research Services upgraded its survey research facilities to include Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI).

CATI allows Research Services’ interviewers to conduct telephone surveys while simultaneously entering survey responses into a computer. Using the CATI method rather than the traditional paper-pencil survey method offers greater benefits to research clients. Survey results, including quotas of target populations, will be monitored in “real time,” allowing for interim results at any stage.

“This improved technology will allow us to provide immediate feedback, making it possible for clients to act immediately on high-priority issues or areas,” said Cathlyn Sommerfield, Research Services Director.

Research Services also administers surveys via the web and e-mail. The CATI software enhances web survey capabilities through improved formatting options. As with telephone surveys, results from web-based and e-mail surveys can be instantly accessed via a click of a button, providing preliminary data to clients.

According to Richard Wolin, Director of Training and Research, “This increased flexibility translates into quicker and more effective responses to our customers’ needs.î

Research Services currently serves an array of clients throughout the region and state. Current client organizations include local utilities, business and industry, government, health care, education and non-profit entities. Research Services will create a research plan to meet each client’s individual needs and objectives.

NMC’s Research Services offers a full range of quantitative and qualitative research activities including:

Questionnaire Development

Telephone Surveys

Web/E-mail Surveys

Mail Surveys

Data Analysis

Focus Groups

Personal Interviews

Cathlyn Sommerfield, Ph.D., Research Services Director, has been involved in organizational survey research and evaluation since 1989, with expertise in project planning, questionnaire design, statistical analysis, and development and implementation of attitude and opinion surveys. She also has extensive experience in job and task analysis.

Research Services employs approximately 20 professional telephone survey callers. All survey callers are highly trained in completing accurate, unbiased surveys.

In addition, Research Services has two full-time research professionals on staff. Colleen Unterbrink has been employed with Research Services since 2002; she has assisted in survey development, focus group research, and data analysis. As Research Services Specialist, she also supervises and assists in training of telephone survey callers. Colleen has over seven years of market and survey research experience. She is trained and experienced in the use of statistical analysis and survey design software packages.

Linda Racine, Training/Research Specialist, has been associated with Research Services since 1996, primarily in focus group research. She has worked with a wide variety of businesses and organizations including manufacturing, health care, educational, governmental, and service organizations.

For more information, call 995-2200. E-mail researchservices@nmc.edu or go to www.nmc.edu/trac/research.