ARDEM has been working with a leading survey research and evaluation firm that looks into the information requirements of the public sector and has been serving local government agencies for over 20 years. The research center provides state and national level agencies with advanced insights (collected via surveys) that help them enact impactful policies and programs, and was looking for an outsourcing company that could assist them in survey processing.
When the client first approached us, they were looking for a partner who could help them extract and process data from survey forms including citizen/community and employee surveys.
This client mails out surveys to multiple cities and communities across the US to gather the public opinion of residents in different communities. Once collected, this information is then used by local government managers and elected officials for strategic planning, program and capital investment, budgeting, performance monitoring, improving service delivery, etc.
They required someone who could help collect and collate data from multi–page surveys enabling the agency to track further analytics and map-out the larger trends for government agencies and the public sector.
Defining the Scope of Work for Government Survey Processing
The first order of business for our team was to gauge a true understanding of the client’s immediate needs and future goals. Extracting data from surveys can be quite a challenging task on its own as data has to be extracted from individual surveys and matched to the client’s list of respondents after which information from each data field is collected and organized for further analysis.
The task can become even more challenging in case of physical surveys and handwritten data. Any solution that aims to overcome the challenges of collating information from mass surveys needs to account for high-volumes, the challenges of tracking down lost or missing information and deciphering unclear images/scans.
This is where our experience and expertise came in handy. ARDEM has processed public opinion surveys, patient satisfaction surveys and other market research surveys for clients across the country. We manage the data entry and scanning process as well as offer extensive support services for printing, data collection and tabulation, and also handle mix-modal data collection, i.e., paper as well as online data entry from surveys.
Continue reading to find out how we put our experience to the test and customized a highly-successful solution for our client.
Overcoming the Current Challenges of Survey Processing
The organization conducts mass surveys including benchmark surveys and custom research surveys that yield reliable and ready to enact results for various public sector agencies.
The primary challenges that we had to contend with were as follows:
- The client sends out detailed surveys that are typically between six to eight pages long with both multiple-choice and open-ended questions available.
- These surveys are sent to residents in waves in order to try and get as many possible respondents as possible.
- Additionally, these surveys are also sent out to multiple communities each month.
- With hundreds to thousands of surveys being sent out each month, this research firm needed help receiving, keeping track of, and accurately extracting all the data from each survey.
Additional challenges are presented by the fact that quite a few of these surveys contain handwritten data needs to be deciphered with great care and accuracy:
- Open-ended questions can be as short as a few words or people can write a few paragraphs’ worth of data to provide feedback on how effectively they feel their local government is at responding to the community’s needs.
- While OCR data capture can extract and process data at an accelerated speed, it cannot accurately extract 100% of handwritten data; thereby; effort-based processing is required to correctly decipher and enter handwritten information from these forms.
In addition to these challenges, the client needed extra backend support for executing its survey campaigns:
- The surveys had to be digitized and returned to the client
- All surveys need to be opened, sorted, and converted into standard digital formats.
- The digitized images need to be crisp and legible for both processing and for the client’s reference.
Keeping all of the above factors in mind, our team set out to formulate a successful solution that would make it easier for our client to collect and report data from their extensive campaigns timely and accurately.
Here’s How ARDEM was able to Build a Long-Lasting Partnership with the Client:
ARDEM built a complete end-to-end survey processing solution that was tailored to assist the client with collecting, processing and assessing thousands of survey forms on a regular basis.
Once the client mails out the surveys to different cities in the US, all survey responses are then mailed back to ARDEM’s dedicated PO Box for sorting, digitizing, and extraction of data.
Our Solution for Survey Processing
- ARDEM has set up a dedicated PO Box so that all surveys can be sent directly to ARDEM for tracking and processing.
- Once surveys are received, they are sorted by community and wave for accurate tracking and reporting.
- Surveys are then scanned and digitized, after which they undergo checks for quality.
- Data is then extracted from each data point using the dual-key entry for higher accuracy of handwritten data.
- Additional quality assurance processes are conducted prior to final delivery.
- The output file is created and images are delivered alongside the flat file.
- Weekly counts of all surveys received are sent to the client for advanced reporting.
- These counts are recorded by each community and wave.
- Finally, the delivered data is used by our client to evaluate the public’s satisfaction level with their local public sector agencies.
ARDEM believes in providing services that have a deep impact in boosting our client’s operational efficiency, helping them achieve their immediate goals and assisting them to achieve their desired growth arc in the long run.
Our outsourcing survey processing services help you to reduce administrative costs, decrease cycle time, and significantly boost production while delegating the most tedious and challenging aspects of survey data collection to your trusted remote team.
As far our partnership with this particular client is concerned, ARDEM is entering our 13th year of partnership and we have completed over 180,000,000 million keystrokes for them.
“We have worked with ARDEM for [over] 10 years. They provide excellent customer service and accurate data entry.”
Our additional efficiencies for this long-term partner further include:
- Managing both the receipt of surveys, digitization of surveys, data entry and reporting.
- Management of quality and accuracy for both handwritten data and imaging of surveys
- Ensuring fast turnarounds and open communication to build a continued lasting partnership with a happy partner for 13 years.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you streamline survey processing or any other internal operations, get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation today!