Starting A New Research Week

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As you begin a new week of research, there are several steps that must be taken to prepare the system.  Follow this checklist each week, and you should have no problems with data collection.


HandYou can run all these procedures... and more... from one place: the Weekly Wizard under the Data Management menu.


Here's a brief checklist of the procedures that must be changed:


       1. Set Recruitment Quotas


       2. Update Song Test List


       3. Update Question List


       4. Record Songs/Questions on Fileserver


Of course, before you prepare a new research cycle, you will probably want to close-out the current week/cycle.  You can do all this and more, using the Weekly Wizard.


Here is a detailed explanation of all data entry and changes that must be made to the system before beginning a new research week:


1. Set Recruitment Quotas.  From the Main Menu, select Data Management, then Set Recruitment Quotas (or click on the red magnifying glass icon in the center of the screen icon11, and select the Quotas tab).


Change the start date for the new research week.  Generally, this would be today or tomorrow's date.  Whenever you change the Start Date, all the Incidence counters (Attempts, Completes, Terminates, etc.) are automatically reset to 0 (zero), and a new cycle is created.  You may not "roll back" the Start Date to a date before the displayed date.  If you inadvertently enter a Start Date that is in the future, and you need to roll it back, you must call ComQuest Technical Support to assist you. To help minimize date-entry errors, use the pop-up calendar to choose your start date.  Launch the calendar by clicking the button to the right of the research date box.



ComQuest Calendar button


HandYou will not be able to make calls before a defined research cycle begins.  For example, if today is Friday, and you set the research week to begin next Monday, you will not be able to make any calls until Monday!


If you want to start a new research cycle today, and you already have some scores for the current (previous) research cycle from today, you should probably roll the system date of all computers forward one day, and begin the new test cycle on tomorrow's date.  This way, song score results from your last cycle (which were collected earlier today), will not be co-mingled with score results from your new cycle (which will be collected later today). Of course, remember to roll back the date on all computers tomorrow, before you begin making calls.


All song scores and history/respondent records utilize datestamps to determine when they were collected or updated.  Although timestamps are used on some records, they are not utilized at all in pulling results or song scores from your system.  Thus, if you have two sets of data with the same date in your system, you will not be able to differentiate between the two datasets in any song report or incidence screen. Please call ComQuest for a further explanation and demonstration of this issue.


Make sure the Maximum Completes target number is still correct.  The demos shouldn't need to be changed, but make sure there are check marks in the appropriate cells and the Quota for each cell is correct.  If you want to test a cell, but don't want to place a cap on it, there should be a CheckMark check mark for that cell and 0 in the cap box for that cell.  If you have indicated a cap for any cells (such as 20), once that number of completes from that cell has been reached, ComQuest will automatically turn off the cell (remove the check mark from the box).  Therefore, it's important you check at the start of each week to make sure there is a check mark in all cells that you wish to recruit from.


HandIf you have Quota Defaults set up correctly, you can simply click on the Reset To Defaults button, and all the demo, gender, station and ethnicity defaults will be restored for you on the Quotas screen.


Similarly, make sure there are check marks in the appropriate Ethnic groups, and the station call letters for each listening box in your screener.  Just like the demo cells, ComQuest will automatically turn off any Ethnic or station boxes, once the quota you have targeted has been reached (if you put a cap of 0 in any attribute, the check mark will never be turned off; 0 indicates that you don't wish to place a maximum cap value on that attribute.) If you don't want to ask Ethnicity, make sure there's a check mark in the Don't Ask Ethnicity box, and all other Ethnic options will be disregarded (the Ethnicity option is hidden on the interviewer screen in Make Calls).


2. Add New Songs.  From the Main Menu, select Data Management, then Song Test List (or click on the two blue musical notes icon from the main screen icon10).


Before you can place any new songs in your test list, they must first be added to your library. Determine which, if any, of these will be changing.  It's easiest if you work from a printed list of last week's test songs.  Cross out those you don't wish to test this week, and write in the songs that will replace those.


Click the mouse on the first song you wish to change.  A browse list of all the song titles in your library will be displayed.  At the top of this screen, you'll see the position number of the song you are changing.  If you wish to put another title in this position, simply scroll up or down until the highlight bar is over the desired title.  (In any of the screens with browse areas, you may either use the up/down keys on the keyboard to scroll, or if you want to move down in the list, use the VCR buttons at the bottom of the browse, or the scroll bar to the right of the browse.)


If the song you wish to place is new (it's never been tested before), and it's not yet in the Song Library, you must first add it to the library, before you can place it.  Click on the Add Song button, and enter the Title and Artist information for this song.  The song number displayed on the screen when you add it is an ID or serial number for the title and artist you are about to enter.  It does not relate in any way to where that song will be placed in your test list.  The song ID numbers will continue to increment as you add songs to your library.  ComQuest is able to hold up to 10,000 different songs, so capacity should be no problem for most stations. The Optional Locator field can be used to store the CD/CUT information, if you will be exporting data to PowerGold or another music scheduling/spreadsheet program.


Song Match might display one or more similar song titles or artists to the one you are attempting to add.  If the song you wish to add is already in your Song Library, simply cancel out of adding it, and select the existing song in the library before completing the next step.


When the highlight bar is over the song you wish to put into this position of the test, click on the Place button.  That song will now appear in the position on the Song Test List.  The song will be displayed with a yellow background, if the actual hook has not yet been recorded on your system.  This is normal when placing new songs in a test list, and is just a precautionary reminder that you have just added a song to the test for which a hook does not exist.  Click the mouse on the next song position you wish to change, and repeat the previous step above.


Continue until all new titles are placed on the Song Grid.  When done, you should Print Songs so you'll have a new list to work from next week.  Three stars (***) will appear next to any hook that hasn't yet been recorded on the system. This is to remind you to record these hooks, before interviewers begin making calls for the week.


HandIf a song is placed on the test list, but the song hook has not yet been recorded, it is merely skipped over by the system during song testing.


3. Update Questions - If any of the Questions you'll be asking on the system are changing this week, you must complete a similar process as you did with the Songs.  Select Data Management, then Update Questions from the Main Menu. (This relates to changing the Interactive questions that are asked of respondents once they've been transferred to the Fileserver.  To change perceptual questions, refer to Perceptual Questions in the index.)


First, click on the New Question button if there are any questions you will be testing that have not yet been added to the system.  You can type in up to 70 characters of text to represent the question you're adding.  While the actual question will undoubtedly be longer than this, all you are entering at this time is the general nature of the question, and all possible answers the respondent may choose from.  For example, if you're asking a question about which station the respondent prefers to listen to in the morning, you might enter as the question: "Favorite Morning Show".  After entering the question, be sure to add all possible answers the respondent may choose from as well.


HandBe sure to enter all answers for each close-ended question; especially text for answer 1.


If a question does not have any text entered in the field for Answer 1, it is assumed to be an open-ended question, and will only be displayed in the lookup list of questions when you click on the open-ended (Question 9) slot on the Update Questions screen.


Click on any Questions you wish to change, and, as you did when placing songs on the test list, scroll up or down and locate the appropriate question you wish to place in this position.  When the highlight bar is on the desired question, click the mouse cursor on the Place button, and that question will now appear in the selected position of your test.


Repeat the above steps for any additional Questions that must be changed.


4. Record Song Hooks - After all the data changes have been made in ComQuest, it's time to change the audio of any Songs or Questions on the Fileserver.


Recording New Hooks And Prompts


Launch Cool Edit on the Fileserver. Do this by clicking on the microphone icon on the main ComQuest toolbar.icon15


In Cool Edit, click the File menu, then New, and accept the default settings. (8,000 cycle, 8-bit or 16-bit mono A/mu-Law wave format)


Click the red record button on the bottom of Cool Edit when you are ready to record.  To stop recording, click the stop button.


We recommend Normalizing the levels of all song hooks and prompts to 85%, for consistent, loud and clear playback over the phone line.


Record all song hooks in 8-bit mono A/m-u-Law format, and save using the file name as indicated on the printed Song Test list (such as 103.wav, 243.wav, etc.).


HandThe file name of each hook is indicated to the far right of each song title/artist on the printed Song Test List.  It will be a number followed by .wav; such as: 104.WAV or 57.WAV  DO NOT SAVE THE SONG AS THE POSITION IT IS LOCATED ON YOUR TEST.


5. Preview the Songs.  When you are done recording new songs, you should dial into the system and preview the song test list.


HandWhile you can preview the songs through your computer's speakers within the ComQuest program, the only way you can be sure the hooks were recorded in the correct format is by dialing into the Fileserver.


This is because Windows will basically play back any format of wave files, but the Interactive card requires a specific format (8,000 cycle, 8-bit or 16-bit mono A/m-u-Law format), for playback to respondents on the phone.


First, be sure the Song Survey program is loaded on the Fileserver, by double-clicking on its icon. SSIcon


Then, call the system at __________________________.  It will ring once and answer (you won't hear anything else).  When it answers, within 8 seconds, punch in:



CALLOUT# (2255688#)


You will then be prompted for a "Passcode".  Punch in:


MENU (6368)


on the touch tone pad, and you'll be taken to the ComQuest menu.


Make one of the following selections from the menu:


                       1. Change Songs

                       2. Change Questions

                       3. Preview Songs

                       4. Play Back Open-Ended Question Responses

                       5. Hear A Prompt

                       6. Record A Prompt

                       #  Hang Up


Hand The record functions referred to in the following examples only apply if you are recording audio through the Rhetorex IVR card.


Most stations will be using the sound card and Cool Edit to record songs, questions and voice prompts and should disregard the interactive recording instructions that follow.


Here is an overview of what each menu option offers:


1. Change Songs


You can step through all song hooks that are currently in your test list.  Each song hook is slated, and after hearing it, you will be given the option to record a new hook for this position (push "1"), hear the hook again (push "2") or go on to the next song (push any other button on the touch tone pad).


The first week, when you are adding all the hooks for the first time, you will want to step through the songs in sequential order.  In subsequent weeks, when you are changing only a handful of songs in the test list, it is easier to "jump" to the desired song you wish to hear/change.  To jump to another song position, listen to the hook that is currently playing.  When you are given the option list ("1 to record, 2 to hear again..."), press the * button on the phone, and you may then enter the song position you wish to jump to (for example, to jump to song 12, press "1 2 #" to go to that song).  You may jump forward or backward.  You may also alternate between jumping and listening in sequential order.  For example, once you get to song 12, if you also wish to change song 13, you will be taken there immediately after you've changed song 12, and you press any key to continue.


When recording, the system will read back to you the song number you're about to change, followed by a cue tone.  This tone indicates the system is now recording.  It will continue to record until you press any key on the telephone touch pad to stop recording.  Then, it will play back the song hook for you to hear.  If you don't like the way the hook recorded for some reason, you may re-record it at this time, or go back at any other time and load the hook into the system again.


Be careful not to run the music level too hot, or it will overload the AGC on the board, and the system will hang up on you.  The automatic gain control actually boosts the play back volume of the song to the respondent, so it's better if you record the songs at a slightly lower level, rather than at a level which creates high volume peaks or distortion.


HandThe playback level of the Interactive card can be changed from within the ComQuest program.  You can either increase or decrease the playback volume for respondents on the phone.


However, a better suggestion is to record all song hooks and prompts at the proper level, so that they can all be played back at the default level. Normalizing all song hooks and voice prompts to 85% will assure you that respondents are all hearing every element of your song test at the same volume level.


2. Change Questions


ComQuest will ask you to "Enter Question Number".  Press in the Question number (99XX, etc).  This is also known as the Question ID Number, a sequential number that was assigned at the time you added the Question to the library.  At the tone, roll the question; when done, press any key.  When done, press # to return to the main menu, then # again to hang up.


3. Preview Songs


After changing all song hooks for the week, it's a good idea to listen back to all the hooks you've recorded, and make sure the proper song is in the correct position.  When you select Preview Songs from the menu, you will be asked to select a tier.  If  you are only testing one tier of song hooks, press 1.  Otherwise, enter the tier (1-5) of songs you wish to preview.  While previewing song hooks, each hook will be slated (preceded by the position number) in this week's test.  Once you are sure the correct hook is in that position, you can press any button on your touch tone phone to advance to the next song.


HandThis is a crucial step. We recommend that each week you preview each song in each slot, while following along on the printed Song Test List.


One undesirable consequence of not previewing songs, is that if the wrong audio is linked to the wrong title/artist, you will see results for that "song" on reports which are meaningless and unusable.


You can also preview the Song Test List, from within the ComQuest program.  Simply click the Preview button on the Song Test List screen, and make sure each song hook matches the title/artist displayed for that clip.  However, as Windows will playback virtually any format of sound file, to be sure you have recorded the song clips properly, you will want to dial-in to the system as recommended above, to hear the song hooks as respondents will actually hear them on their phone.


4. Play Back Open-Ended Question Responses


If you're asking an open-ended question at the end of your song hooks, the respondents' answers will be recorded on the hard drive.  To get these spoken responses, you call the system and select 4 from the menu; Play Back Open-Ended Question Responses.


When you call to retrieve Open-Ended Question Responses, have tape or DAT ready to record.  Upon selecting this option, ComQuest will first play back the question you're currently asking, followed by all responses.  After each response is played, it is automatically purged from the system, so each time you retrieve open-ended responses, you only get new ones that you haven't yet heard.


After the last response has played, you'll be back at the main menu.  Press "#" to hang-up, or make another selection.  You can also leave the room and let the tape roll; at the end of the last response, it will go back to the menu and then hang-up automatically if there is no further instruction from you.


5. Hear A Prompt


This option lets you review any prompts that are on your system.  You access the prompts using their four-digit prompt number, such as 7000, 7203, etc.  (For a list of prompts, see the appendix at the back of the ComQuest User's Guide.)  This option allows you to hear a prompt, without accidentally recording over it.


HandAlthough prompts are actually stored with a named file name, such as Questiondirections.wav, you can access them using the touch tone buttons on your phone, by using their associated 4-digit prompt number.


6. Record A Prompt


Choosing this option from the ComQuest menu allows you to listen to, and record a prompt, if you desire.  Similar to hearing a prompt (above), you enter the four-digit prompt number.  After the prompt plays, you have the option of hearing the prompt again, recording a new prompt, or returning to the main menu.




Pressing the pound button (#) takes you back to the previous menu.  If you are already at the main menu, pressing # will terminate the call (you'll hear "Goodbye", and then be disconnected.)


HandWhen you are connected to Song Survey through the back-door, you will not see an entry on the Song Survey screen.


Unlike when a respondent is on Song Survey taking a music test, when you dial-in to Preview Songs or record a prompt, etc. (using the back-door code and pass code), you will not see anything in the lower half of the Song Survey screen.


See also

Cool Edit

Song Test List

Recording Songs/Questions

Voice Prompts

Adding New Songs

Research Cycles