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Field management

Quota management

CallWeb supports completion quotas based on single-character stratification (e.g., gender) and multiple-character stratification (e.g., gender within age groups) as well as compound stratification (e.g., a set of quotas on gender and a set on age groups). Membership to a stratum can be based on pre-populated data as well as on data collected in the questionnaire itself and on a combination of such. Quota targets can be modified at any time during the data collection period. Once a quota is filled, respondents from that stratum are redirected within the questionnaire, for total control over the handling of the situation.

Strata and quotas are defined in a special type of question: the QUOTA type. A question is a QUOTA question if the keyword "QUOTA" is present on the question name instruction. The syntax of the question text is as follows (in this syntax, quotas, commas and equal signs are significant):

    Q1 QUOTA
    % Question text
    complete = name of the variable indicating a complete case,
    skip = name of the variable where to skip when a quota is filled,
    value = quota, value = quota, ...

The ingredients of the definition of quotas are as follows:

  • complete = name of the variable indicating a complete case,
    The question named as "complete" is used to determine whether a case has been completed for the purposes of quota calculation; any value greater than zero in the Complete question indicates a complete questionnaire. As long as the value of the Complete question is unassigned or equal or less than zero, the case is not used in totalling the number of questionnaires completed within the quota. This variable may be a question located late in the questionnaire or a value calculated specifically for this purpose. If it uses the open-end part of a numeric question, remember to refer to the "A" variable name.
  • skip = name of the variable where to skip when a quota is filled,
    Once a quota is complete, the flow of the interview is altered: the questionnaire continues with the question listed as the "skip" question. The "skip" question can be located anywhere in the questionnaire. Typically, it would be a CULDESAC question ending the questionnaire, but it could also be a BLANK or CALCUL question which could act as a flag to control the questionnaire flow, or any other valid CallWeb questionnaire structure.
  • stratum value = quota target, ...
    The "stratum value" part is the number of the stratum (and the value of the QUOTA variable); the "quota target" is the number of questionnaires expected in that stratum. Moreover, in the CATI version of CallWeb, a fixed variable called PRESTRATE may possess a numeric value corresponding to the maximum number of dossiers available to interviews at once. This second value is supplied in the same fashion as the quota target (i.e., stratum number = maximum number).

Stratum membership is determined by the value stored in the QUOTA variable. For example, if the QUOTA variable contains a 4 for a particular case, that case belong to quota number 4. Response categories may be defined (and labelled) for QUOTA questions but this is not mandatory. If they are defined, the labels are used by the report modules.

A particular quota is deemed complete when the number of cases with a value greater than zero in the "complete" variable is equal to or greater than the target stated in the QUOTA question for that stratum.

QUOTA questions are subject to display conditions: the quota criteria are activated only if the display condition is true.

Several QUOTA questions may be used in a questionnaire; they are used if and when the flow of the questionnaire reaches them. Therefore, a first set of quotas could be imposed on a first characteristic, early in the questionnaire or based on prepopulated data, and a second set of quotas could take effect later, maybe based on data collected as part of the interview or calculated data.

The following constraints apply to QUOTA questions:

  • if the QUOTA variable is unassigned or has a value that is not listed in the list of quotas, quotas are not enforced and the questionnaire continues;
  • a QUOTA question should always be located before the complete case variable within the questionnaire; if it isn't, partial questionnaires could erroneously be considered complete (unless the QUOTA question comes late in the questionnaire, in which case its usefulness is doubtful);
  • since QUOTA questions involve a skip, they cannot be placed within a multi-question page; they must be inserted between defined pages;
  • membership to a stratum and the number of completed questionnaires in a quota are verified only upon reaching and activating the QUOTA question;
  • the QUOTA question is never displayed on screen; it is an administrative question; its value must be determined by pre-populated data or via a calculation;
  • there can be an unlimited number of strata in a questionnaire.


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