Working with Time Zones

Working with Time Zones

Summary This article explains how to use the time zone features of CCA 5.3.4 and above
Applies to askiafield
Written for field managers
Keywords time zone; CCA ; askiavoice ; CATI ; 5.3.4

Starting from version 5.3.4 of CCA, timezones are taken into account by the CCA. This brings many advantages, especially when working across multiple timezones.

  • All timestamps were using the CCA clock. They are now saved in UTC time, and then converted to the client (Supervisor or CATI) time. The result is that all Supervisors will now automatically see all timestamps of CCA in their local time.
  • Agent shifts are now taking the respondent local time into account. This prevents from dialling internationally at unappropriate hours. As an example, if the first morning shift starts at 9AM in Europe, respondents that are in America won't be called until later (9AM their time), rather than at the beginning of the shift, which is 3AM in America.
  • Interview timing information is now saved in UTC time as well in both CATI and CAWI surveys. The timezone of the respondent is also automatically saved, thus allowing the CCA to convert appointment times into the respondent local time
  • All timestamps now automatically adapt to summer time and daylight savings, even in particular regions that have an unusual daylight saving policy such as Arizona

While the HTML technology allows Webprod to automatically detect all respondents timezones, Supervisors need to provide a couple of extra information in order for CATI respondents to be assigned a timezone correctly.

General considerations

If your CCA server, your dialler and your respondents are all on the same time zone for a specific survey, there is no need for you to configure it at all.

Syntax : 

CCA recognises time zones which are defined in the standard IANA format. You can check the full list here or attached here.

Here are a few syntax examples : 



Time zones are tied to the respondents via the Sample List. In the Numbers properties of the sample list, you will find 3 ways to tie a Time zone to a respondent. These appear ordered by priority. 

  1. If a Time Zone field is defined in your sample list and selected in this menu, respondents will be assigned this time zone.
  2. If a Time Zone field is not defined, or is defined but is blank for a specific respondent, this respondent will be assigned a time zone according to a matching set of your choice.
  3. If none of these options allow some respondents in your sample list to get a time zone, then it will use the Timezone by default of your choice.


 First option : Time zone field in the sample list.

Whether you are using a .lst file or a SQL table with your contact sample details, both storage types can hold an extra field where the Time zone is added with the right syntax.

In my case, I have uploaded this .lst file, which contains the time zone information in a field called TZ. Just select it from the dropdown list.


Second option : Timezone matching from phone number

Since telephone numbers are zoned, in many cases you can assign a timezone to a telephone number just by knowing its first digits. As an example, 0033 prefixed numbers refer to France, which is on UTC+2. 0044 (UK) numbers are in UTC+1.

Create a Matching set

This is basically a table that associates a number with a region. To create your own, Click "Timezone matching" then "Add" from Supervisor


One "Time zone matching definition" carries multiple sets of prefixes/numbers. 

In the "Prefix" column, type in the area code digits, and in the "Time Zone", its associated time zone name, as follows.

It is advised to separate your matching sets depending on the specificities of the area codes you are using and the shape of your sample list.
As an example, when dialling across North America, where the first 3 digits are tied to a small area, let's take 336. It refers to the Piedmont Triad area. But if you dial in Europe, 336 numbers are French cellphones in general.
In this scenario, you should create a USA matching set where 336 refers to the Piedmont Triad timezone (ETC) and a Europe matching set where 336 is UTC+2.

Once you have your matching sets ready, simply add them to the sample list by clicking the green "+" button 


Now, CCA will check the sample's first phone number digits. If this matches with one of the "matching sets" that have been defined, the correct time zone will be assigned to the respondent.
You can arrange the matching sets with the blue arrow buttons. The matching sets on top will be prioritized over the ones at the bottom.


Third option : Using a default time zone

Simply type in the time zone to use for respondents that weren't assigned one already.

Click "OK" when you are done.


You can now check what Time zone has been assigned to each contact via the "Find/Edit contacts" option of your sample list. The "Time zone" field should contain the full name of the time zone, plus its ID.




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