Additional Information on QDS™

Questionnaire Development System

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.QDS™ software suite includes several components, or Modules. A module is one of the components, or executable programs, that make up the Questionnaire Development System.


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.

Data Collection

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

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. QDS™ software users have had the ability to design and develop survey instruments from a single set of specifications, but previously have only been able to collect data using paper forms, interviewing the respondent and entering their responses (CAPI/HAPI), or having the respondent sit at a laptop or desktop computer and respond to the automated survey (ACASI). The addition of QDS-Web™ to the QDS™ suite allows researchers to deploy new or existing QDS™ surveys to the Internet, allowing for data collection from a broad group of potential respondents — essentially anyone with an Internet connection and Web browser.As part of the QDS™ system, QDS-Web™ does not require researchers to learn new software in order to generate Web-based data collection instruments. Researchers will find the Design Studio has not changed and that all previously developed QDS™ surveys are immediately compatible with QDS-Web™ and can be deployed to the QDS-Web™ server without making a single change to the survey specifications. QDS-Web™ is also compatible with the QDS™ Warehouse Manager software, so all data collected via Web-based survey can be combined with data collected for the same survey instrument regardless of mode of survey administration.

All QDS-Web™ surveys are hosted within NOVA Research Company's server environment, with response data stored within our secure database servers. All question and response data is transmitted between your survey respondents and our servers over a secure, encrypted HTTPS connection.

For more information about other QDS™ Data Collection Modules, visit the QDS™ Web site.

Data Management

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.

Data collected using QDS-Web™ are downloaded via secure HTTPS connection into your Warehouse Manager software and merged with data collected using CAPI, ACASI, HAPI, or Data Entry.

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 SAS, SPSS, Stata, or MS Access database formats for analysis and reporting.