The Department of Education, Training and the Arts is building a clever, skilled and creative Queensland.
The purpose is to engage Queenslanders in life long education and training and to build a strong arts and cultural sector which enriches the lives of Queenslanders.
Education - Education Queensland delivers high quality education to more than 70 percent of all Queensland school students at prep, primary and secondary levels.
Training - Queensland's entry point to jobs, careers and training, apprenticeships and traineeships, and employment and training government assistance.
Arts Queensland is an enthusiastic supporter of Queensland's dynamic arts sector by developing cultural policy and funding ongoing initiatives, supporting industry organisations, festivals, groups and individual artists.
The Survey Unit of the Performance Monitoring and Reporting Branch often conducted surveys on a variety of subject matters with the schools. These include surveys on local and foreign student feedback, staff improvement feedback, training evaluation feedback, new-intake registration feedback and industry surveys. Enrolment collection is one of the biggest surveys undertaken by the department yearly. The collection involves all 1,300 school principals reporting enrolments for their school within a 4 hour period. Based on the results, $3 billion worth of staffing resources are allocated within a day of the collection.
DETA did not have a common process or tools to conduct these surveys. Some were done manually on paper with responses recorded later on a spreadsheet. Other surveys were conducted through email, while some utilized customized in-house programs where questions had to be re-programmed for each different survey questionnaire. All results and responses of the surveys were stored in network folders or individual PC files.
The department needed a systematic approach to conducting surveys that would also empower users to manage the survey themselves and to release IT personnel for other jobs. They wanted a proven ready-made solution with minimum customization to suit the needs of the various faculties, and have the information centrally stored in a database for easy access by all users.
The Department decided to acquire an enterprise survey solution system to meet all survey requirements of the users. The Department did an intensive evaluation of many survey providers and selected Vovici Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) solution due to five core factors - ease of use for creation of surveys, advance survey design features, wide range of reporting elements, ability to build respondents’ communities and solicit responses from specific respondent groups and excellent support/training.
With Vovici EFM solution, users who have Internet access can use their browser to easily create surveys and automatically publish them on the Internet. Responses from the online surveys are automatically collected in the secure database server. Real-time reports such as frequency analysis, correlation analysis, gap analysis, and summary of means can be generated on the fly to create insightful reports in minutes. Reports can also be shared out to authorized users or exported to Microsoft Words, PowerPoint or Adobe PDF format. All these capabilities help the Department save time and resources on compiling the responses, allowing them more time to concentrate their efforts on analyzing the survey results.
“Vovici solution has met our requirements and our users are happy with the software. EFM Community provides our users the ability to quickly and easily create questionnaires, post surveys, solicit responses from our community members or outside groups, collect responses, analyze results, and distribute findings easily” said Mr Adrian Seabrook, Manager of Survey Unit. “The support team has been responsive to our needs and we hope to keep up the good working relationship.”
Vovici’s Enterprise Feedback Management solutions represent 25 years of industry leadership, and our software is the established leader in providing a comprehensive view of customer, partner and employee feedback. The combination of Vovici’s software-as-a-service model and the most open feedback platform of any feedback tool on the market make it easy to integrate feedback processes directly into systems and applications. We deliver the enterprise-class requirements demanded by the world’s largest organizations in a secure, reliable, and efficient hosted environment.
Hughes Network Systems is the world’s leading provider of broadband satellite network services for businesses, consumers, and governments. Hughes has shipped more than 1.5 million systems in over 100 countries and reported nearly $1 billion in annual revenue for in 2007. Headquartered outside Washington, DC in Germantown, Maryland, Hughes maintains sales and support offices worldwide and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hughes Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:HUGH).
Hughes is continuing to grow and succeed in this highly competitive market because the company is committed to delivering the highest level of customer service to all its customers—whether they are Fortune 500 companies, a small business owner or your average American family. In order to continually provide outstanding products and services, it is critical for the company to have accurate and up-to-date customer satisfaction information. More importantly, any new customer data collected needs to seamlessly integrate with other business systems and databases that store existing customer information. In this way, the various departments in the company are all able to access a holistic view of a customer’s history.
Since the late 1990’s, Hughes has tried a variety of survey tools, each having its own advantages and disadvantages. None provided a complete solution that met the full spectrum of Hughes’ needs—including a home-grown custom application developed in-house in 1999. The problem was none of these solutions were scalable or flexible enough to handle the wide range and heavy volume of survey needs. Hughes even outsourced the survey projects to third-party research firms, which proved to be too costly to maintain over the long-term.
Hughes initially became a Vovici customer in 2000, and the first implementation immediately reduced the time it took to design and launch surveys. However, dramatic benefits emerged when Hughes upgraded to Vovici’s EFM Community solution in 2005, which provided real-time feedback from surveys; integration with existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and financial applications; security and confidentiality; and an open platform that enabled custom coding to accommodate Hughes’ unique requirements. Centralising survey efforts also helped ensure all surveys adhered to consistent quality and customers were not being contacted by multiple areas of the company.
"We are expanding our use of Vovici everyday at Hughes. We literally have hundreds of surveys going out daily,” said Anida Carpenter, Customer Research and Business Intelligence manager at Hughes Network Systems. “We’re leveraging the centralised and automated feedback controls that Vovici provides to support multiple, departmental initiatives as an integrated strategic component of our success. It allows us to react faster to our customers because we have near real-time problem identification, which results in timely product and service response."
Among its many uses of EFM Community, Hughes collects information from customers at nearly every touch point. One of the key areas of measurement is the installation and fulfilment chain. Third-party auditors are employed to check on the quality of the installation at the client site to ensure all equipment associated with the satellite internet is properly installed and functioning. Capturing this information and tying it to the customer’s file allows Hughes to have a 360-degree view of the customer’s experience.
Also, new products are put to the test by customers who provide feedback through surveys. Because Hughes’ products are highly technical, and certain components of the product can only be tested after it has been installed at the client’s site, these “beta testers” provide a final opportunity for the engineering team to perfect new products before releasing them to the general public.
Hughes gained a tremendous business advantage by centralising its survey efforts in-house with Vovici’s EFM Community solution. The company improved customer satisfaction by 35-40% since 1999, and since 2001 has saved $218,000 annually by bringing survey projects in-house. Among other operational benefits, call centres around the world automatically receive daily downloads of various customer survey results, which means customer service agents, no matter where they happen to be—India, East Coast, West Coast, etc.—always have the latest, most up-to-date information available.
Hughes is able to maintain its leadership position and continue to build loyalty among their client base because they are able to communicate so effectively through the use of interactive feedback surveys.
BDO Seidman is a Chicago based accounting firm with 37 offices in the United States and 626 practice offices in 110 different countries across the world. One of the reasons for its success has been its ability to give regional and local offices enough autonomy and independence to capitalise on local market opportunities, as well as the ability to foster strong regional and local leadership.
With a decentralised approach to business operation comes the added responsibility of providing a strong infrastructure of support for regional and local management teams and effective communication between national headquarters and its affiliate offices. However, the company did not have a centralised or consistent approach for gathering feedback from its nearly 2,800 employees across the US At times, BDO human resources personnel in various regional offices conducted surveys on an ad hoc basis to gather information from employees in their region; however, because there was no centralised process or structure for launching surveys, the quality of the surveys were varied and the survey results were equally unreliable for the purposes of forming national HR policies.
"What we really wanted to do was to take the pulse of the entire firm and get an accurate understanding of how employees felt about core issues that affect their experience as a BDO member,” said Sandi Guy, National Director of Human Resources, BDO Seidman, LLP. “We would then be able to confidently implement firm-wide changes and improvements that truly met the needs of the specific regions and at the same time complement the firm’s national vision and strategy."
In 2007, BDO decided that a single survey solution was needed to conduct a firm-wide survey, which would be managed and maintained by the national HR director. Vovici's EFM Feedback solution was selected and deployed for the national survey to measure six key areas of performance by the company:
The company-wide survey was successfully launched and the results were analysed quickly, however, it became necessary to change the way the data was structured and analysed in order to help meet the new direction of the national HR team.
“When we hit a challenge with the first survey project, Vovici’s Research Services team jumped right in and they did a fantastic job. They blew me away. Under a very tight deadline, they worked non-stop to get me an end product that met our needs. It was very impressive,” said Ms. Guy.
The results of the nationwide survey showed BDO’s leadership where their strengths were as a company and also provided specific areas where they needed improvement. For example, the survey revealed that nationwide employees desired greater clarity in how compensation and promotion decisions were made. At the same time, the survey also revealed that certain regions scored higher than others when it came to communication with employees on these same matters. “Now we know how to focus our efforts so specific local offices that have greater communication needs will get the support they need when they need it,” said Ms. Guy.
Additionally, BDO has centralised all its survey activities on Vovici, giving Ms. Guy’s HR team the ability to control the quality, frequency, and scope of all surveys being conducted. More importantly, with a centralised process on EFM Feedback, Ms. Guy can compare results, spot trends, and have total trust in the reliability of the survey data.
"We may not always like what the answers are, but we have confidence in the reliability of the data because we’ve partnered with the experts," said Ms. Guy
Building respondant panels from online communities
Building respondent panels from online communities represents an invaluable source of feedback from customers, employees, partners and other stakeholders. Such panels can provide companies and government agencies with deliberate, consistent and regular feedback that can have a dramatic effect on shaping policy and influencing business decisions.
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So you want to build an online community
Advise on the practical steps of who to include, and how to go about it, and policies for running the community.
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Six steps to successful surveys
Since the first Web-based survey was conducted in 1994, the use of online surveys has steadily increased as a means of collecting valuable information from important stakeholder communities of employees, customers, partners, and prospects. Companies are quickly realizing the value in engaging these stakeholders in a regular and consistent dialogue to gather real information that can dramatically and positively affect business.
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