The ISPR is committed to staying abreast of emerging technologies and their application to social and policy research. Accordingly, we provide our staff with the latest computer hardware and software to facilitate their work.
Our facilities are located in the north wing of the Entrepreneurship Center (E-Center) of Purdue University Calumet and in the Behavioral Sciences Research Laboratory on the second floor of Porter Hall on the Purdue University Calumet campus. Each location is serviced by high-end network servers. Though physically separated, our two offices are able to communicate effectively and efficiently by taking full advantage of our integrated center Intranet.
The Porter Hall office is the home of the Survey Research Center, the location of the ISPR’s chief data collection unit. The Survey Research Center currently employs Voxco’s Virtual Call Center solution to support multi-mode survey projects. The Voxco Virtual Call Center is a very flexible application for use in telephone, Web-based, or personal interviewing modalities. The Virtual Call Center is deployable to any browser-equipped workstation. Internet surveys are supported up to 25 simultaneous connections.
At the core of the Survey Center’s technical infrastructure is a SQL database server running the Voxco SQL Interviewer software. The software contains several user-friendly modules to support the development and fielding of telephone and web-enabled surveys including modules that manage quotas and call-backs. The software uses a single common scripting engine, in a natural language that users can understand. Interviewer’s powerful scripting engine enables non-programmers to implement the most complex of questionnaires in a fraction of the time required by other systems. Thanks to the flexibility of Interviewer’s built-in tools, users can implement last minute changes on the fly.
The software supports multi-lingual questionnaires in both telephone (CATI) and web-enabled (CAWI) modes. For the survey end-user, the software supports real time productivity and reporting capabilities via a web-interface. The software supports seamless export of data to popular formats such as SPSS, SAS, StatXP, and others. For face-to-face interviewing needs, the Voxco Interviewer software is deployable in face-to-face computer assisted (CAPI) interview mode with seamless integration of field-based interviewer data with the Voxco SQL database engine. The CATI system currently in use is Interviewer by Voxco.
The E-Center location is the primary headquarters for our administrative, project management, and data management units. Focus group activities as well as conferencing capabilities are also able to be accommodated by the E-Center’s spacious facilities.
The Survey Research Center activities are located in two areas on the Purdue University Calumet campus. The Behavioral Sciences Research Laboratory supports the deployment of the web-based Virtual Call Center at 6 workstations equipped with Pentium IV computers and a T-100 Ethernet local area network. The laboratory is also equipped with soundproof rooms used for a variety of question testing activities. The Behavioral Sciences Research Laboratory is also equipped with fax and high speed color laser printers to support the needs of mail survey operations. The Survey Research Center’s Virtual Call Center software is also deployable across 7 stations within the offices of the Institute for Social and Policy Research (ISPR) facility. Deployment at the ISPR supports the needs to conduct interviews in private space along with additional fax, printing, and copying equipment needed to support mail survey operations.
The Voxco SQL database engine is installed on a dual-processor XEON server with RAID10 level fault tolerance. The Voxco SQL server is located behind the Purdue University Calumet network firewall and is accessible by only the Survey Center’s Director. The Voxco SQL Server is also integrated with the University’s data backup and restoration system which executes a full backup of all data on a nightly basis. The Survey Center’s web server is supported by Pentium IV 3.0 GHZ server positioned in front of the Purdue University Calumet network firewall.
The Survey Center’s data storage needs are provided through the Institute on Social and Policy Research high capacity storage device which is integrated into the Purdue University Calumet server array. Data backup and restoration processes occur on a daily basis. The server array is protected through limited access by Data storage is secured through use of sign-on and passwords assigned to graduate students, faculty, and staff working on the Institutes various research projects. All staff and faculty sign on ids are protected through the University’s automated password aging process. Virus protection of data is also provided through the University’s deployment of MacAfee Antivirus on all servers and workstations.