Insightrix staff members recently had the opportunity to share their experiences with MBA students at the Edwards School of Business. Over the course of the class, which focused on marketing, several Insightrix staff spoke on a variety of topics. Staff members presented on their areas of expertise and experience, and the topics addressed included corporate culture, new product development, differentiation, market segmentation, pricing strategy, branding, website usability, search engine optimization, and competitor analysis. The MBA students at the Edwards School of Business, who come from a range of businesses and backgrounds, were very engaged with all of the speakers and had excellent questions. Many students noted that they appreciated the practical application of the course material and real-life examples....

Fans from across the province and the country are getting ready for the 101st Grey Cup, and Insightrix is ready to cheer on the Green and White as they take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Mosaic Stadium this Sunday. Many of us will be watching the game, from the stands or at home, and everyone will be rooting for the Roughriders. Even Oscar is getting ready for the big game and found himself some ’Rider gear. Go ’Riders Go!...

What a great conference! Having attended the Canadian Institutional Research and Planning Association conference for the past few years, I knew that I was in for a great time meeting friendly people and attending engaging sessions – and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The food was fantastic, the venue was beautiful and, best of all, the sessions were packed with inspirational ideas and case studies from Canada’s best universities and colleges. For me, four themes stuck out at the conference: Quality Measurement Ensuring the quality of data collected remains an important issue for all researchers, and especially those at colleges and universities. Research best practices are changing to take into account important cultural shifts such as the increased use of mobile devices among students, the shift in the mixture of international and domestic students, and the changing dynamics of Canada’s economy. Not only are there important shifts in the demographics of students, but the increased thirst for more information within organizations is creating pressure for institutional researchers to ensure that data can be collected quickly and accurately. There were some great sessions on how to manage research initiatives from various departments to make sure that students are not being over-surveyed, some practical tips on methodology so that institutions could accurately compare their results to important benchmarks, and a whole lot of discussion regarding how institutions can make sure the data they are collecting is as accurate as possible. Doing More with Less With institutional research departments under pressure to do more with fewer resources, many sessions offered valuable case studies and suggestions for how IR could be made more efficient. This included improving the efficiency of the data collection processes, making the most of publically available data, multi-year planning strategies, time and money-saving techniques, and using the data IR departments have to monitor important metrics such as satisfaction and retention. Overall, it seemed that institutions were proactive in their approach to efficiency and it was paying off. There were many great insights from researchers in this area. Collaboration vs. Competition While in the past, many of the sessions at CIRPA conferences have focused on collaborative efforts between schools, this year there were a few sessions with a slightly competitive feel. Some discussed competitive intelligence while others discussed benchmarking their results against their peers to develop recruitment strategies. Meanwhile keynote Ken Coates urged institutions to work together to work on the access and image problem with regards to Aboriginal Canadians. His address was an inspirational call to action for institutions to collaborate on something that would be of general benefit. Clearly there are opportunities for institutions to work together to improve the performance in the sector overall. However, with fewer resources, competition between institutions is only increasing. I am interested to see how this trend evolves in the next few years. Internal Communication As a researcher, it’s difficult to be successful not only at measurement but also successful at implementation. I heard from several institutional research departments who were struggling with exactly the same thing that we struggle with as corporate researchers: how to distill all that great information down to a few actionable points that can be strategically implemented. I also saw some really great solutions at various institutions, tackling things such as positioning the Institutional Research Department within the organization, disseminating the results publically in the form of a blog, tips on data visualization, and increased functionality of research results such as the ability to search. Overall, the conference contained a lot of great insights. My favourite take-away? “DRF” – short for “Dean-Readable Format” – touches on all four key themes here: the challenge for the IR department is to efficiently collect accurate data and distill it to a small number of actionable insights that can be communicated and strategically implemented within the organization. Author: Briana Brownell...

This Halloween at Insightrix, the office had some unusual visitors, including Jack Skellington, Steve Zissou, some of the Mad Men cast members, a coven of witches, Willie from Duck Dynasty, a painter, and a few cats. The staff voted for the best costume, and everyone enjoyed some Halloween treats. Have a safe and happy Halloween!...

Lang McGilp, Senior Research Executive with Insightrix Research, spoke at the North Saskatoon Business Association Club Connect meeting on October 25th, 2013 about the accuracy of political polling. His presentation covered some of the challenges facing pollsters in Saskatchewan or Canada in general and methods of mitigating such challenges. ...

I was asked to write the first post, and of course had no idea where to begin. Should I talk about trends in market research? New initiatives in our company? New research techniques we are presently using or investigating? In the end, I decided to talk about what makes our company special. Oh sure, you can read our corporate information throughout our website and get a sense of why we are unique, but in this post I will give you the real goods: behind the scenes at Insightrix Research. What makes our company special is easy: it’s the people. Sure we have staff who have come to work dressed like Lady Gaga, bring trays of fruit pizza, religiously feed the company fish, bring fruit for our interviewers, and perhaps share a samosa or two, but it is much more than this. It is about respect for each other and commitment to the company and our clients. I am sure all companies say this, but I know we have this in both our Canadian and Australian office. On a recent trip to our Australian office, I was impressed with the staff, their sense of ownership, and the level of care they have for clients and our company. They take great pride in carrying out their work and feel responsible and accountable for the outcomes. They make sure client expectations are exceeded and they share an ownership in the company that is truly remarkable. The same can be said for our Canadian office. Our staff members routinely go above and beyond to ensure client expectations are met and assist fellow staff members in carrying out their work. This is what makes our company special. Over the course of the next few months, we will be highlighting some of these great employees so you can get to know them better. In addition to giving you some background about the people here at Insightrix, I would also like to introduce you to our newest member of the team: Oscar. Oscar travels with our staff to different locations including personal and business trips. At Insightrix, we are international not only in our company locations but also in terms of our staff. Oscar likes to hide in suitcases and catch a ride to various locations. I encourage you to read about life at Insightrix to learn more about what we are doing as well as follow Oscar’s travels around the world! ~Corrin  ...

Some of you may recall participating in a survey a couple of weeks back regarding the public-private-partnership sewage treatment plant in Regina. This was an independent study Insightrix conducted on its own: no client paid for this research. The results from the study showed that 55% of you were in favour of the Public-Private-Partnership (P3) approach and 45% of you were in favour of the traditional Design, Bid and Build (DBB) approach. This lines up very closely with the final results from the referendum: 57% voted for the P3 and 43% for the DBB. Insightrix Research would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in this specific survey and to also thank everyone for participating in our studies. This is an example of how your participation enables us to provide accurate, reliable information for our clients. You can read more about the results of our survey on voter intention regarding the wastewater treatment plant in Regina. Visit our SaskWatch Panel here....

A new independent online poll conducted by Insightrix Research suggests that residents are divided on whether or not the new Regina Sewage Treatment plant should follow a traditional Design, Bid and Build (DBB) approach or a Public-Private-Partnership (P3) approach. Awareness of and Following the Debate Awareness of the debate regarding the development of a new sewage treatment plant is widespread. Nearly all Regina residents surveyed (96%) report they are aware of the debate taking place regarding whether or not the City of Regina should use a DBB or P3 approach to building the new sewage treatment plant. Further, 94% are aware that a referendum is being held on September 25th where Regina residents can vote on the issue. Additionally, eight in ten (81%) residents aware of the issue say they are actively following the discussion (22% very closely, 59% somewhat closely) while the remainder (19%) are either not following the issue at all (8%) or are only listening to what their friends or family tell them as the debate unfolds (11%). Support for P3 vs. DBB Respondents were presented with the following brief description of the two approaches: The City of Regina Council unanimously approved using a public-private-partnership (P3) for the sewage treatment plant because it believes this to be the best option for the city. They report that a P3 costs less than other options, is less risky and is much more likely to be built on time and on budget. However, there are some who do not support the idea of a P3 approach because they feel it does not provide accountability to citizens, it will cost more than the traditional Design, Bid and Build (DBB) approach, privatization is risky, and Regina’s entire water system should be kept public. After hearing this description, respondents were asked to state which approach they personally support. Four in ten (40%) Regina residents say they support a P3 approach while three in ten (30%) support a traditional DBB approach. More than one quarter (27%) are unsure and another 3% are indifferent on the issue. A P3 approach is more strongly supported by males (46% vs. 35% among females) and support for this approach tends to rise with household income. Among those who plan to vote in the upcoming referendum (66% of respondents), 45% are in favour of a P3 approach while 37% prefer a DBB method. Nearly two in ten of those who plan to vote (18%) are unsure as to which approach they support. Research Details A total of 400 randomly selected SaskWatch Research™ panel members who live in Regina participated in the online research study from September 11th to 15th, 2013. Quotas were set by age, gender and region to match the general population of the city. As the research is conducted online, it is considered to be a non-probability proportion sample and therefore, margins of error are not applicable. About SaskWatch Research™ Insightrix started developing the SaskWatch Research™ online market research panel in October 2007, using high-quality techniques including telephone recruitment and referrals from existing panel members. Presently, there are over 14,000 active panel members representing all regions of the province, and distributions of the general population. The panel membership closely matches the 2011 Census based on age, gender, household composition, household income and education. For more information, please visit: http://saskwatch.ca. About Insightrix Founded in 2001, Insightrix Research Inc. is a full-service market research firm that helps clients develop, administer and manage data collection and information strategies. From its office in Saskatoon, Insightrix offers a comprehensive range of research services. For further information contact Lang McGilp, Senior Research Executive Insightrix Research Inc. Tel: 306.657.5640 Ext. 229 Cell: 306.290.9599 Fax: 306.384.5655 Email: lang.mcgilp@insightrix.com Web: www.insightrix.com...