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Navigation Arrow What is QDS™?
What's New in Version 5.0?
System Requirements
Free Trial Version
Archived Versions

Technical Support
Online QDS™ 5.0 Help System 
QDS 5.0 New Features (PDF|1.7MB)
QDS™ Video Tutorials
Maintenance Upgrades
QDS Sample Files

Related Services
QDS™ Trainings
Questionnaire Development

Brochures Adobe PDF documents
QDS™ Fact Sheet (2MB)
QDS™ ACASI Case Study (84KB)
Custom Data Management Solutions (158KB)

For support or technical information, please contact:

QDS Support

For sales-related information,
please contact:

QDS Sales
NOVA Research Company
801 Roeder Road
Suite 700
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-986-1891
Fax: 301-986-4931


What is QDS™?

Design Studio
Data Collection Modules
       Data Entry
Warehouse Manager
Process Overview


The QDS™ Questionnaire Development System is a complete system for developing and administering data collection applications. QDS™ enables you to: produce all materials needed to administer a questionnaire or complete a form from a single set of specifications and easily reuse field-tested questions by copying specifications between questionnaires.

The QDS™ system consists of several components, or Modules. A module is one of the components, or executable programs (*.EXE), that make up the Questionnaire Development System.

QDS Overview Diagram

Design Studio

The first step in creating a QDS™ application is to define questionnaire specifications in the Design Studio. Your specifications include all content and settings for your questionnaire—e.g., question text, instructions, branching instructions, consistency checks.

These specifications make up the Specifications File used by the Design Studio to build a QDS™ Control File. The control file is used by the Data Collection Modules to administer your data collection application.

The Design Studio is also used to build instrument documentation, including hard-copy questionnaires (self- or interviewer-administered), an Analytical Codebook, and a log of all changes made to your Specifications File (Change History).

Data Collection Modules

QDS™ supports both manual and computer-administered data collection. Each type of data collection—Data Entry, ACASI, CAPI, and QDS-Web™—is associated with its own data collection module.

The data collection modules use the QDS™ Control File created by the Design Studio to administer your questionnaire.

The Data Collection modules create data files in a binary file format that may be converted to a flat ASCII file using the Questionnaire Data to ASCII conversion utility (QDA.EXE) or exported to SAS, SPSS, Stata, or MS Access using the QDS™ Warehouse Manager.
Data Entry Module
The QDS™ Data Entry module is used to key data originally collected on a paper form. The Data Entry module supports double entry (also called key verification or double keying) for increased quality assurance.

CAPI (Computer Administered Personal Interview)
The QDS™ CAPI module allows interviewers to conduct face-to-face interview using the computer. The computer displays one question at a time and allows the interviewer to enter responses in real time using the keyboard, mouse, and/or touch screen. Entering the data into the computer at the time of data collection eliminates the need for a separate data entry step. The CAPI module allows you to include information/probes for the interviewer.

ACASI (Audio Computer Administered Self Interview)
The QDS™ ACASI module allows the respondent to be "interviewed" by computer. The computer displays one question at a time and allows the respondent to enter responses using the keyboard, mouse, and/or touch screen. You may choose to have the computer read the questions and responses to the respondent using a computer text-to-speech engine or recorded WAV files. Entering the data into the computer at the time of data collection eliminates the need for a separate data entry step. Because no interviewer is required to conduct an ACASI interview, use of ACASI allows a single staff member to supervise multiple interviews. ACASI is also useful for providing a private setting for sensitive information.

With the QDS™ ACASI module, you have several options for generating audio. You can use AT&T Natural Voices®, any SAPI-5 compliant text-to-speech engine, or WAV file recordings of human voice. AT&T Natural Voices® comes bundled with the ACASI program and supports English (2 male and 1 female voice) and Spanish (1 female voice).

QDS-Web™, the newest data collection module within the QDS™ suite, was developed to allow researchers to design, develop, and deploy complex research survey instruments on the Internet. To learn more about QDS-Web™ please visit the QDS-Web™ website.

Warehouse Manager

Once data are collected/recorded using one or more of the Data Collection modules, you may import the data into the Warehouse Manager for data management and export data for analysis.

The Warehouse Manager allows you to track the status of collected data and, for multisite studies, whether each completed questionnaire has been shipped to and received by the data Coordinating Center. The Warehouse Manager also allows export of QDS™ questionnaire data to SPSS, SAS, Stata, or MS Access database formats for analysis and reporting.

Process Overview

In short, the general process is to:
  • Create a Specifications File using the Design Studio.

  • Build a Control File from Design Studio.

  • Collect data using Control File(s) and Data Collection Module(s).

  • Export data for analysis using the Warehouse Manager.

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