Using computer mice to enhance data capture

Date of publication: June 15, 1992

Author: Ray Poynter


This paper reviews the contribution that a computer mouse can offer with respect to enhancing Computer Aided Personal Interviewing (CAPI). The paper briefly refers to the new advantages and problems that CAPI has introduced, and goes on to discuss the role of analogue scales in particular. The benefits of the mouse are then illustrated via a controlled test example - showing that there can be both quality and cost benefits in using a mouse. The paper then reviews other uses of mice with CAPI, including simple selection type questions and for more advanced two-dimensional positioning work. The paper goes on to indicate the criteria which indicate when it can be beneficial to use a mouse and when not. In general the paper draws the conclusion that mice are more suitable for longer interviews and those which require greater sensitivity in the data. The mouse is less helpful in shorter studies or where sensitivity is not an issue. Finally the paper reviews the other common non-keyboard data entry devices and assesses their potential in a market research context. This section concentrates particularly upon the benefits that should accrue to the market research industry over the next decade arising out of the growth and development of stylus based systems.

Ray Poynter


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