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    Going DIY Ourselves: Using our Own Automated Tools to Boost Efficiency

    Jim Fredrickson, Chief Operations Officer

    At Toluna, we have made it a priority to empower our clients to streamline the market research process. As referenced in the 2015 GRIT report, 77% of market research professionals say that they need to transform their business to stay competitive.  Further, 33% of respondents felt that data collection can be streamlined.  We have developed a full suite of DIY tools that enable our clients to create and field surveys and manage their own communities themselves, which provides time and cost advantages. This is one way traditional market research agencies are adding value to their business processes. Our client’s staff now have more time in their day to focus on bringing important insights to their own clients, and delivering that insight more quickly and cost-effectively.

    But we take our commitment to automation one step further: We use these same products to automate internal processes, reducing costs and freeing up our people to focus on customer service, leading to long-term client relationships.

    And the fact that we have built this kind of efficiency into our infrastructure means that many market research firms are able to use our infrastructure and our years of experience and learnings to power their own online panels, data collection platforms, data reporting tools and project management systems.

    A Step Beyond Improving Business Processes

    Internally, we have worked to boost efficiency by improving business processes, thus streamlining operations. But once business processes have been optimized, the next step is to turn to automation to make real strides in the drive toward reducing costs and gaining still more efficiency. Toward that end, we are using some of our own products to automate and streamline internal processes.

    We DIY Ourselves

    One product that has proven useful in that effort is QuickSurveys, which we developed to allow clients to conduct research on a DIY basis, quickly and for a fraction of the cost of a custom survey. QuickSurveys is easy-to-use, and interfaces with our community website, Toluna.com.  Responses to surveys are generated in real-time. Internally, we are using the product to screen for client surveys, in a fraction of the time this task used to take.

    Another solution that has proven invaluable internally is our Toluna.com infrastructure. Using the underlying technology, we are able to build specialized communities for clients with very specific needs. In a process that used to take weeks, we can build in a day a community with unique branding, incentives and forms of engagement.

    Learning From Clients in an Ongoing Process

    As we continue to apply automation to internal processes, we have found that progress is a two-way street. While we have helped clients improve and streamline their research process, we also continue to learn from their progress. This give-and-take relationship can only continue to improve processes both for our clients and inside Toluna.

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