In 2008, a major research firm working with state governments and the public sector to issue surveys needed help extracting data. Focusing on a single large-scale project involving New York City residents, the company had nearly 25,000 completed surveys, each between six and eight pages long.
“While we conduct surveys online, the vast majority are handwritten and collected by mail,” says the company’s Senior Survey Associate.
The process of combing through each of the surveys, digitizing and sorting through the data simply wasn’t going to be possible for this project – as well as future projects of this scope – with in-house resources. The company decided they would need to outsource its survey processing, which in turn, led it to ARDEM.
ARDEM as the Final Piece of the Data Entry Puzzle
The solution ARDEM proposed was a comprehensive one and fit what the company was looking for to a T: Instead of just extracting data, the company would outsource its entire mail receipt and scanning operation to ARDEM. All surveys would be sent directly to an ARDEM-operated P.O. Box, opened and sorted before the data was scanned. Once scanned and run through ARDEM’s proprietary quality assurance processes, the data would then be delivered to the research firms via a large data flat file, accompanied by an image of every survey for extra source accuracy and data verification.
“Having a firm like ARDEM that can handle all of the mail – opening surveys, going through them, IDing them – in addition to the data entry piece, has allowed us to have less administrative staff and more project-management staff,” the company’s SSA commented. “We’re not doing busywork in-house.”
Fast Turnaround and Responsive Customer Service
The company continues to have a strong, positive working relationship with ARDEM. It is ARDEM’s unparalleled ability to manage many different projects concurrently and adapt to changing deadlines with quick turnaround times that make it an indispensable partner. The Senior Survey Associate describes ARDEM’s customer service as extremely responsive and attentive, and always available when they needed it.
ARDEM also provides weekly counts of surveys collected, sorted by survey type, and reports this information to the research firm at set intervals. This information is used to help plan production deadlines, making it imperative that ARDEM processes and delivers data on time – a challenge that ARDEM always meets.
“We would definitely recommend ARDEM without hesitation to someone in our industry,” the Senior Survey Associate adds. “They have very responsive customer service, they’re fast and they get us what we need.”