Delivering Smarter Surveys
Unlike our competitors that take a more journalistic survey approach, at ESI ThoughtLab our PhD economists ensure the quantitative rigor and analytical acuity of our survey work. Specifically, our statisticians:
- Build statistically valid samples to enable projectable results and deeper segmentation analysis specific to companies, government organizations, consumers, and investors. Gather secondary data to support and enrich our survey analysis.
- Draw on an unparalleled worldwide research panel of executives across industries and management functions; government agencies at the national, regional and local level; and consumers/investors with varying demographic, income, and psychographic profiles.
- Validate the survey tool and results by applying quality testing and statistical techniques. To improve response rates and quality, we translate the survey into local languages. Our survey tool is includes an online reporting facility that allows our team and clients to track results in real time.
- Rely on computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) to guarantee more targeted, higher quality responses and greater sample controls by monitoring the actual respondents and their organizations.
- Develop diagnostic survey tools that enable deeper segmentation and analysis of data for spotting correlations, generating more specific performance data, building digital maturity frameworks, and facilitating forecasting and model development.
- Analyze survey results and other pertinent secondary data using advanced statistical methods, such as regression, cluster, variance, correlation, and factor analysis.
- Transform data output into customer-facing analytical tools, including benchmarking tools, performance impact models, and interactive databases and data visualizations.
This level of quantitative excellence requires a systematic and rigorous survey approach. After the survey is in the field for several weeks, our specialists analyze the interim results with the project team. This allows us to interpret early findings, develop segmentations and correlations, and review the emerging storyline and its alignment with our hypothesis. Once the survey is fully fielded, we prepare full cross tabulations of the data, which can automatically be turned into data visualizations through Tableau and other software packages.
Our methodology for benchmarking performance
By developing a diagnostic survey tool aligned with a performance benchmarking framework, our economists can create valuable analytical insights and tools for executives. Our economists have created models that assess the benefits from going cashless in cities, the impact of the future of work on business performance, and the ROI on digital investment for financial institutions. We build our models on maturity frameworks for performance excellence that relate to the discipline under review. We have used this approach for a range of topics, from digital transformation, supply chain management, customer centricity, cybersecurity, and smart cities.
Say we are asked to analyze the impact of digital transformation on performance. To understand how digital transformation has affected companies across industries, our economists first identify where these firms fall on the “digital maturity” spectrum. To do this, we start by creating a digital maturity framework based on key pillars of success; e.g. transformation process, people and culture, technology adoption, customer centricity, and back-end efficiencies. Drawing on the responses to a series of questions under each pillar of success, we can develop a scoring method that allows us to determine a company’s maturity stage. We will classify firms into three digital groups: “laggards,” “transitioning,” and “leaders.” By comparing each firm’s responses, we can identify what distinguishes leaders and provide an evidence-based roadmap to becoming a digital leader.
We then build on this analysis by quantifying the ROI of firms as they move along the maturity curve. By including questions in the survey that explore the impact of digital innovation on a firm’s performance, such as revenue, costs, and productivity, we can compare and correlate the corporate results at different points along the digital maturity continuum. This enables us to measure the ROI on digital transformation and identify the approaches that offer the highest payback. We are also able to calculate the penalty (in terms of commercial results) that firms pay by moving too slowly.
The results of this analysis can be incorporated into an online benchmarking tool. The tool walks respondents through the same questions that were used to classify survey respondents, determine what type of firm they represent, and then estimate the impact for that firm of moving along the curve. This provides companies with insightful and valuable information about how they compare with their peers and the potential benefits of improving their digital maturity.