QnA-Our Technology (FACTS) | OSC World


Below is a collection of frequently asked questions, in their respective categories.
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Our Technology (Facts)
Q.
What type of data files can be outputted?
A.
ASCII, EBCDIC, IBM 360 Binary, IBM 1130 Binary, PC Binary, Quantum ASCII, Delimited (comma, pipe, etc.), XML, Other Custom formats built upon request.
Q.
What are your standards for capturing check marks? What will your system accept and reject? Are color, paper type, spacing, and type of pen or pencil used to complete a survey an issue?
A.
Any color paper can be scanned though dark colors should not be used, as they tend to inhibit the scanners ability to “see” respondent marks. There are virtually no restrictions on paper size, spacing or writing utensil as we’ve incorporated dozens of selectable options to handle these issues.

The FACTS software has multiple algorithms that make it extremely flexible in handling different marking patterns. Each page of a survey is searched for new marks and a model of the “average” mark on each page is built. This model accounts for density, intersections, segmentations and a few other characteristics. Each individual mark on the page is then compared to the model to determine a level of confidence. High confidence marks are automatically output as real. Lower confidence marks such as erasures and crossouts are prompted to an operator for validation.
Q.
Do you have the capability to code simple other/brand type responses during data capture? Can you build and maintain category specific dictionaries?
A.
FACTS has an embedded coding module. Responses may be coded from a client-supplied list or the list can be constructed during the processing of surveys. Each open-ended response can have a different “dictionary” of associated codes. Our coding module is one of the most sophisticated in the world and is used for medical, automotive and many other projects.
Q.
Can certain critical entries be verified? If so, is that an extra cost?
A.
Yes, verification is available on any field. Our service bureau pricing includes a 20% verification of manually entered data. A higher rate of verification on key fields is easily achieved with cost depending on the specific field and the number of characters being verified.
Q.
What experience do you have dealing with Custom Market Research work?
A.
Optimum Solutions provides state of the art imaging and data extraction solutions. We provide solutions via our in-house service bureau to a broad assortment of clients in the market research field, consumer products, automobiles/trucks, banks, retail stores, apparel and many others. In addition we license FACTS to many of the largest market research companies and data entry houses in the U.S. and abroad. If you’re fielding a paper study, it’s likely that we’ve processed something similar for another client.
Q.
What is the turn around time from final delivery of documents to receipt of final data file?
A.
OSC insists on delivering an initial set of test data for every job, that must receive client approval before a job goes into full production. Test data is typically available 5 days after receipt of blank forms, final column allocations, and test forms or first live deliverables (if live deliverables are to be used as test forms).

Once test data approval is given, OSC can delivery weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly data deliveries as per an agreed to schedule. OSC can also deliver daily data at an additional cost. The volume for processing daily deliverables is dependent upon form size and data entry/verification requirements and must be discussed and agreed upon by OSC at time of final proposal.

Data delivery has a standard 5-day turnaround time after the last shipment is received. If faster turnaround time is required, it must be discussed and agreed upon by OSC prior to final shipment or cut-off date.
Q.
How is data entry accomplished?
A.
FACTS is an automated system. But the output of all fields can never be fully automated. So FACTS has a number of unique modules to aid in the entry of unreadable data. Entry and Verification modules are available to manually process unreadable marks and other closed end items. Our OpenEnd module provides a coding and transcription interface for verbatim. Our Badforms module provides an interface for entry of unscannable documents.

To provide lower costs, we at times send image snippets offshore for low cost entry. An integrated import/export facility allows us to easily integrate the other shore entry back into FACTS. We use secure FTP sites to transmit data. If you prefer only to use our domestic facility please inform us at the time of bidding.
Q.
What happens to the documents when the job is complete?
A.
Active jobs are stored in our service bureau library. Once a job is completed it can be boxed, logged, and stored in our long-term storage area, shipped back to client, or destroyed as per client specifications.
Q.
What other services are available from OSC?
A.
Receipt tracking is available. Tabulations are also available. Other custom handling can be provided at some additional cost. We are happy to discuss your requirements and provide you with a wide range of processing features and options.