Quality data collection depends not only on excellent staff, but also on excellent technology.
The IT department at PDS manages all technological aspects of the operation. The technology we use is constantly maintained and monitored to ensure that everyone from interviewer to CEO has the tools they need to get their jobs done.
Data collection centers on the Quancept server running SCO Linux and Quancept 7.9. The interviewers' computers interface with this server through an installation of Red Hat Linux that was custom-built to PDS hardware and software specifications. To minimize the possibility of data loss, the data drives are backed up each night to tape.
The data processing and research staff operates on a network centered on Windows 2003 servers. The shift leaders, coordinators, research assistants, and directors are all equipped with the latest Windows XP Professional operating system, as well as Microsoft's Office 2003 suite of software. We have two servers that manage several different applications centrally, and also house our network drives. All files and machines are scanned in real time using Symantec's Anti-Virus software, and mail gets to where it needs to go by way of our Exchange server.
Data loss is always a concern, and PDS takes all necessary precautions to ensure that it remains only a concern and never a reality. All staff are trained to handle Quancept carefully and responsibly to ensure that all data and sample remain intact. The IT department makes daily backups of all projects on the Quancept server and all other data drives to minimize the impact of any emergency or unforeseen situation that may cause data loss.