Blauw Research is an independent full-service research company based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, with offices in Nuremberg, Germany and London, UK. Founded in 1993, Blauw has grown to be one of the leading research companies in the Netherlands. It attributes this success to a focus not on striving to be the biggest but at being the best in class.
A major energy supplier in the Netherlands was reviewing its research suppliers and was considering hiring Blauw. One of the energy company’s aims was to improve the way it communicated research reports about its advertising campaigns. For each campaign, there were at least six reports in a range of formats, from dashboards to PowerPoint slides and Acrobat PDFs.
As there were multiple sources of information, it took brand managers many hours to get an overview of the whole campaign and write their presentations for senior management. Blauw felt that with the help of Dapresy Pro it could help this company to find ways to manage its internal reporting more efficiently and in a more integrated way.
The Solution Provided
Blauw realised that the technology within Dapresy Pro would enable its prospective client to re-engineer the way its managers worked. This is because it supported all the varied types of reports the company was accustomed to. It also provided ways to consolidate all of their information, through a single, integrated reporting environment, or ‘portal’. Blauw started to experiment with Dapresy Pro and it was soon apparent that the software could be transformational for the energy supplier. This, along with the many other improvements on offer, helped to secure this new contract for Blauw.
The energy supplier runs at least six advertising campaigns per year and for each one Blauw conducts a series of research studies, resulting in at least six reports per campaign, making a grand total of 36 or more reports per year. In preparing their presentations for senior management, in the past brand and product managers would often need to refer to several dashboards and several more Acrobat or PowerPoint files or other charts and tables, to get all they needed for their slides. To make it harder still, each report they had to refer to had its own layouts and access methods.
Blauw is now putting all of the reports online, within one Dapresy Pro portal. Using a library analogy that its users readily understand, Blauw creates a ‘book’ for each campaign on Dapresy Pro, with each ‘chapter’ giving the results of each study. The first page of the book presents a convenient overview of the results from all the studies in that book. The survey report was due four months after Murray’s training, and he set a target to launch the new interactive dashboard on the website and publish the conventional reports in parallel. Due to the complexity of the reporting, some requirements went beyond standard functionality in Dapresy Pro, but these were provided by incorporating some custom charts created by Dapresy specialists in the Dapresy Chart Builder.
Sandra Bosma, Business Cell Manager, Media and Sponsoring, at Blauw Research describes the transformation: "It’s so much more organised now. Before, it was hard to get the big picture. Now that we have all the reports on one platform, it is far easier for our client to understand the success factors in their campaign."
Sandra continues: "Because Dapresy Pro outputs directly to PowerPoint, it is far easier and far faster for our client to create presentations for the board of directors. Also, we are able to create all the charts in the client’s corporate colours, so they do not have to waste hours doing this in PowerPoint."
Wout Thuis, Blauw’s Innovation Officer explains: "With Dapresy Pro, our customer is saving at least ten working hours creating the PowerPoint slides for each campaign. Every month, they send the KPIs to the board of directors and Dapresy Pro is also saving three to four hours per month on this task. With at least six campaigns, that is an annual saving of at least 100 hours!"
"You could use that time saving to take a two-week holiday!" jokes Wout.
Apart from the time saved, and the sheer convenience that Dapresy Pro has brought to its client, Sandra and Wout also speak of other beneficial improvements the change has brought. One is that end users can now ‘slice and dice’ their reports, allowing them to delve more deeply into the data than they could before. Another is the ability to use Dapresy Pro dashboards directly when presenting data, as an alternative to PowerPoint.
Wout concludes: "One of the best things about Dapresy Pro is that it is not just for big trackers. You can use it for ad hoc and longitudinal studies too. It also really makes use of the possibilities the online world offers."
Using Dapresy Pro as part of their offering helped Blauw to win the energy supplier as a new client.
The energy supplier is very satisfied with the changes that Blauw and Dapresy Pro has brought:
At least 100 hours of work saved each year on PowerPoint production.
A miscellany of different reporting streams, formats and access routes have been unified into one integrated, interactive data portal.
A simple library analogy as been adopted, organising campaigns and reporting streams into books and chapters, makes it easy to find and access the information required.
It is now far easier for Blauw’s client to get an overview of its own survey results.
Report users can dig deeper into the reports, due to the slice-and-dice capabilities provided.
Easier to create presentations either in PowerPoint or presenting directly from Dapresy Pro.
// Case Study: InSites Consulting
About InSites Consulting
InSites Consulting is an award-winning marketing research and consulting agency that
specialises in online research. It was founded in 1997 and since then has earned a
reputation for innovation in this fast developing field. The company has grown by
more than 35% in each of the last ten years and now has five offices in Europe and
the USA, with a team of 125 experts, including academics, marketers and researchers.
InSites Consulting is used to designing online dashboards and data portals, but in
this particular case faced the challenge of meeting exceptionally precise look and
feel criteria set out by its client, a major manufacturer and supplier of
ingredients for the bakery, confectionery, ice-cream and catering industries.
The team at InSites assumed it unlikely that an off-the-shelf software tool would be
flexible enough to meet the exacting needs of this client. But, if standard software
could be used for this project, cost could be reduced and a better financial outcome
achieved, while still meeting the client's requirements to the quality standards they expected.
The Solution Provided
InSites already had experience with Dapresy Pro and felt that due to some recent
enhancements to the product, in particular StoryTeller, that Dapresy Pro now offered
the flexibility that the team was seeking for this demanding project.
"We had a lot of internal discussions about whether we should build a dashboard from
scratch with .NET or try doing the project with Dapresy Pro," explains Matthias Dusselier,
Research Manager Technology & Services at InSites Consulting.
"We were worried that because this client had such precise needs and would ask to change
small details, for example move a chart one pixel to the left, that Dapresy Pro might
not be flexible enough. But, we had no need to worry. We were able to do almost everything
that the customer wanted with Dapresy Pro."
Matthias says that although Dapresy Pro's standard features cover most of what most customers
need, this particular client had many unusual requests – for example a 'print' button on
each screen. Matthias explains: "For this, we could grab our own code from the Internet
and add our own print button. It was just a small detail, but it was thanks to the open
source nature of StoryTeller that we could do this and delight our customer."
InSites' customer worked closely with Matthias and the team, specifying in great detail the
charts they wanted, and constantly refining them. Matthias explains that normally they are
able to do virtually everything in Dapresy Pro without any help from Dapresy, but on this
project, the customer had such specific needs, that they did need to call Dapresy's Support
team, who were able to answer their questions in full and offer a solution for the
"We managed to deliver the results to the client in half the working hours than we would
have taken if we had developed the dashboard in .NET," says Matthias.
InSites' client is now using the dashboard very prominently on its website.
Its customers, who are food manufacturers around the world, use the dashboard to
gain insights into what consumers are looking for in food products now and in the
future. This knowledge and understanding helps the food producers shape what they
manufacture. "Our customer really needed an online dashboard, rather than something
static like a .pdf or a .ppt, because they wanted their customers, to have the
details available everywhere and anytime, to be able to fine-tune the results
towards their own specific needs. So, for example, they can look at the responses
about bakery products for the UK, for women over 60. It would have been far too
expensive to create a report for each target group," adds Matthias.
Matthias explains that working with Dapresy was a deliberate choice.
"We felt that Dapresy has an innovative culture and attitude that is similar
to ours. At InSites, one of our values is openness and Dapresy is like this too,
so there is a good match between our two companies. We also like the fact that
Dapresy is a young and new company, the product is constantly being developed,
and we feel that our suggestions for improvement are welcomed."
Using Dapresy Pro has achieved the following:
Development time for creating an online dashboard was reduced by
approximately 50%, with InSites
Despite very exacting requirements, the clients needs were all
fully met using a combination of standard features within Dapresy Pro
and some customisations that the team was easily able to add for themselves.
Proof of concept for a leaner dashboard deployment model that can now be
applied to other custom dashboard projects.
// Case Study: Passenger Focus
About Passenger Focus
Passenger Focus is an independent public body set up by the UK Government to represent the interests of rail, bus, coach, and tram passengers. One way this influential organisation keeps itself aware of passengers’ views is through large-scale passenger surveys on rail and bus. The reports that Passenger Focus publishes often receive extensive coverage in the media.
Passenger Focus wanted to make much more of its survey data publicly available than would be practical in static reports. Many people are interested in its survey results, from rail and bus operators, to government, academics, special interest groups and the general public. Passenger Focus wanted to find an interactive reporting tool that it could build into its website so that anyone could use it to create their own charts, simply, instantly, without needing to be an 'expert user'.
The solution also had to be highly cost effective for this publicly-funded body. The organisation’s own survey analysts needed to be able to design and publish the interactive reports and add in new waves of data when these became available. With so many potential users, licence costs also needed to be affordable.
The Solution Provided
Passenger Focus reviewed a number of potential interactive dashboard reporting systems and selected Dapresy Pro. Murray Leader, Research Adviser at Passenger Focus explains: "There were a few key reasons for choosing Dapresy Pro: first the role of the central administrator, or project manager did not require any special programming skills, just someone with intermediate proficiency in Excel or SPSS, meaning I could manage it myself; second, Dapresy Pro had a good range of functions like research report generation and it can be used as a query tool; and third, it looked well thought through from a market research perspective. A lot of the things one would need, like applying weighting or being able to set minimum reporting sizes, were built in."
After an initial day of training on site, followed by remote training and support from Dapresy, Murray embarked on developing an interactive reporting dashboard for the Bus Passenger Survey. This annual Bus survey asks passengers about their experiences regarding a specific journey. Survey forms are given to passengers on a representative sample of bus routes in the areas covered. In the Autumn 2011 survey, 21,500 responses were received.
The survey report was due four months after Murray’s training, and he set a target to launch the new interactive dashboard on the website and publish the conventional reports in parallel. Due to the complexity of the reporting, some requirements went beyond standard functionality in Dapresy Pro, but these were provided by incorporating some custom charts created by Dapresy specialists in the Dapresy Chart Builder.
Murray reports his experience of Dapresy as 'very positive'. Although not everything was achieved through the standard StoryTeller module, he remarks: "whenever we realised the standard approach couldn't quite do what I needed, Dapresy was able to customise it for me using the Dapresy Chart Builder. In this regard, and generally, their commitment to customer service was fantastic."
With the first project now live for six weeks, Murray has been able to direct his external stakeholders to the interactive dashboard. "It now allows them to get survey analysis without coming to me with a prescription for analysis, which in the past often meant follow-up requests too. Now they can follow up where the data takes them for themselves. It's far easier for them and for us," he comments.
With the first project now live for six weeks, Murray has noticed that the requests for ad hoc reports from external stakeholders has diminished, while they also appear to be using the interactive dashboard successfully. "Given the fact that this is a much larger survey, the queries we have received have been quite limited," he comments.
Looking to the future, Murray says: "We are looking at Dapresy as a key tool in getting more of our research out to our audiences in a simpler, open, online way."
Provided the customer's stakeholders and the public with easy-to-use interactive access to the Bus Passenger Survey data.
A successful step forward in making more of the Passenger Focus research available interactively online.
Reduced queries for ad hoc analysis, despite an increase in the size and complexity of the survey.
End users created over a hundred charts in the six weeks since launch, without assistance or training.
// Case Study: SEB
SEB is a leading Nordic bank and financial services company. It operates in 20 countries and has 17,000 employees. SEB offers a range of services from personal to corporate and investment banking, and is strongly committed to building long-lasting relationships with its customers.
Good customer relationships are so central to SEB’s business strategy that it has developed a rolling customer experience survey to track the quality of around 100,000 interactions with its customers each year.
The Customer Experience team at SEB was finding it was too slow and time-consuming to distribute PowerPoint reports around a network of 165 bank branches every month. It was also not possible to provide branches with all the very detailed insights they needed to achieve the greatest positive impact on their own customer relationships.
SEB needed a new tool that would provide more actionable insights to their employees much faster, in a way branch staff could respond to, while avoiding the monthly effort of producing and distributing reports.
The Solution Provided
SEB approached Dapresy, who suggested automating the production of the reports and making them available on an online dashboard, delivered in Dapresy Pro. The result is a highly automated solution, which integrates Dapresy Pro with a widely-used Web survey platform. Survey invitations are issued to selected customers within 24 to 72 hours of their interaction with the bank. At the end of each month, SEB forwards the latest data to Dapresy, where it is checked and any monthly adjustments are made; then it is released into the dashboards.
Sören Lundgren, Head of Service Management at SEB says: "It is now a highly automated system. It is very cost effective. Speeding up the distribution of the reports has made a huge difference."
In many companies, market research results do not go beyond the CEO and senior managers. "We are different," says Sören. "The way I see it, the branch managers are the most important people, so we make sure that they can easily explore the survey results. In fact, we encourage all our employees to stay in touch with the survey results on the dashboard."
Dapresy Pro has therefore helped to build another layer of relationships at SEB – this time with its survey data. The dashboard goes into far more detail about each of SEBs 165 branches than was ever possible with manually created PowerPoint reports. When a branch manager logs in, he or she sees an overview of his/her branch’s performance over the last month, a comparison of their branch with neighbouring branches and beyond this, a portal to many in-depth reports relating to that one branch.
"The people who work in the branches can very quickly see how their work impacts on the results,” Sören observes. "The branches do act upon what they see on the dashboard. Due to this, it now takes us only a short time to turn the performance of a branch from bad to acceptable. It takes many banks two to three years. We can change things very quickly." Just how effective this approach has been can be seen in a benchmarking study by Efma* among 100 banks in 34 countries, in which SEB is the top performer in customer experience.
Dapresy continually helps SEB to enhance their dashboard and make it easier to use. "It is very, very easy to work with Dapresy. They always try to accomplish what we want and usually they succeed."
One recent improvement has been to add a talking persona or avatar to the portal to guide SEB staff through its use. That avatar is based on Sören and uses his voice. "I knew that it had worked because normally when we make some small changes, I get ten phone calls a day to ask for help. But after we did this, it was only two or three in the whole week."
Since working with Dapresy, SEB has achieved these outcomes:
Monthly reports available two to three weeks earlier, at the start of the following month instead of in the third week.
Two weeks of intensive work creating reports are now reduced to a few hours in one day.
Universal access to survey results across the SEB estate of 165 branches.
Greater awareness among all employees that their positive (or negative) efforts will be reflected in the results they see next month.
By delivering immediate feedback, SEB has achieved major performance improvements at branches within a short timeframe rather than two to three years previously
Creation of a company-wide customer insight information source which is more detailed and more searchable than static PowerPoint reports.
*Efma is a banking industry association that promotes innovation and best practice in retail finance. Its website is at efma.com.