Survey Research & Data Analytics

Center for Urban and Public Affairs' (CUPA) Research Laboratory offers interview (telephone and face-to-face) and self-administered (mail, on-site and internet) survey options. Surveys can be conducted in a mixed-mode too; for example, mail and telephone. 

In recent years, CUPA has conducted short-turnaround polls and assessed public opinion (i.e., citizen satisfaction surveys) on a wide variety of issues including tax levies, housing, parking, land use, transportation, and water. CUPA also generates critical primary data on workforce demand, energy industries and public health. A very brief summary of our survey capacity follows.

Telephone Surveys: CUPA uses computer-aided telephone interviewing (CATI) software to survey populations in a neighborhood, city, county, state or nationwide. We use WinCATI to manage a random sample and our software allows us to customize the flow of the questions or to randomize responses to sensitive questions.

Mail Surveys: CUPA offers state-of-the-art printing services, which utilizes the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) and improves the quality of ZIP, +4®, carrier route, and delivery point verification. In addition to mailing services, questionnaires can be customized to fit your needs and process data using optical mark read forms (NCS Pearson or Scantron) or traditional data entry.

Internet Surveys: We program questionnaires to create a user-friendly instrument that also handles diverse and complex questions. We can customize questionnaire designs to achieve greater accuracy.

On-site Surveys: Sometimes clients need data from populations, e.g. youth, which can be best surveyed at a particular site. CUPA has experience surveying professional groups and youth in schools.

Face-to-Face Surveys: Leadership prefers face-to-face surveys.  CUPA frequently collects data from boards, elected officials and regional leaders through face-to-face surveys.   

Data Collection

There is a massive amount of data that can be gathered from public agencies (local, state and federal), universities and consultants.  In particular, clients can often be served best by identifying "best practices" that can be discovered by extensive electronic data searches. CUPA is supported by six graduate and four undergraduate research assistants who "dig" into the vast store of data found in OhioLINK and on the internet. Staff also utilize their personal networks to collect data that cannot be found on the grid.

Data is just one element of CUPA's services. We frame our services as "data analytics," "process development and implementation," such as strategic planning and consensus building; and "policy and program evaluation."

Data Analytics: Data analytics is the value added CUPA provides. The data can describe problems, populations, operations, or voter/citizen/business perceptions. The data can lead to new policy or the feasibility of creating programs or investing in specific solutions. 

Within the last five years, CUPA has developed models for decision making and will continue to develop models in the future. For example, we have developed a model for multi-county economic development that also invests in workforce development.

Strategic Planning & Focus Groups

Strategic Planning and Consensus Building: Services here vary widely including traditional strategic plans that involve environment scans, significant engagement and implementation, action plans, performance management plans, program and policy development, and helping stand-up new organizations.

CUPA also facilitates engagement processes that address issues dividing communities (e.g. community members and police). Our clients for both strategic planning and consensus building include small to large nonprofits, statewide organizations, local governments, and educational institutions. For example, CUPA has worked with Ohio’s public health associations to revise policy and improve health standards within public health districts and across the state.

Policy and Program Evaluation: Policy and program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about the effectiveness and efficiency of projects, policies and programs.  Our stakeholders want to know if the programs they are funding, implementing, voting for, or receiving are actually having the intended effect (and at what cost).

CUPA has served as the evaluator for grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Ohio Board of Regents among others.

Economic Impact & Geo-Spatial Analysis

To enable CUPA to provide technical assistance in a variety of settings, CUPA utilizes specialized software and databases. CUPA has access to the confidential Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) database, also known as ES202. The data for the QCEW come from Unemployment Insurance files collected by states.  Other database and related resources include Hoover’s Selectory, InfoUSA Powerfinder, SPSS, EMSI, and IMPLAN. CUPA also utilizes and supports University usage of ESRI’s geographic information system - ArcGIS.