Meet "Realtime Research". And, "The Human Network".
Realtime Research is a way for people to get paid for helping organisations to do research on products and services — in fact, if you'd like to have your say pop on over to www.rtr.com.au and sign up now.
Behind RTR is a company called The Human Network who are the folks that run these programmes for all sorts of different organisations, bringing together specially formulated groups of people to have fun and put forward their opinions, and of course score a bit of spare cash.
How do you keep track of everything and how do you pull together the right research sessions to match the client’s requirements?
Well you probably need a database and some pretty good tools to help filter and collate the right people. And so it was that we built membeRTRacker a FileMaker based business application that makes the whole job manageable and elegant.
But that’s only half the story. How do you then go about contacting all the individuals and booking in the focus groups, then on the day making sure everyone turns up, managing last minute changes, keeping track of how long people attend for, and ensuring everyone gets paid?
That’s a whole bunch of logistical problems, but of course you can always grab a spreadsheet and start managing lists in spreadsheets right? Well sort of, but spreadsheets are really not designed for this type of work. They’re free form and lack data integrity. It’s the wrong tool for the job!
The spreadsheet approach works if you know what you’re doing but RTR wanted to be able to have just about anyone, such as temporary staff, come in and run an event because they occur all over the country so it’s not always feasible for an RTR staff member to be there. And they wanted to enable the client to connect in and see what was happening with their focus groups, or manage the event themselves even.
Clearly the database engine we’d built underlying membeRTRacker already has all the base information we need, so why not build another application on top of that? In fact two really…
Something back office for managing all those individuals that have been selected:
✓ Grouping them into sessions
✓ Tools to email and SMS them all
✓ Capture their confirmation
✓ Fine-tune and make changes
And for the folks out there running the session, how about an iPad app that lets you:
✓ Mark people off as they arrive
✓ Checkoff ID and Waivers
✓ Tracks their time in and out
✓ Lets you chat to the back office folks if changes are needed
And so it was that a suite of tools was born called RealTime Apps, which helps RTR get on and do Real Time Research…
Making the 'Front Desk' an iPad app was a brilliant idea — for one thing it's a nice portal device that doesn't need plugging in and setting up like a laptop might. Nor do they cost nearly as much.
But perhaps the biggest advantage of the iPad is something more subtle — they are friendlier: to the user — remember how RTR want to be able to have 'any one' run a session, without any special training?
And friendlier to the attendees who're not confronted by the back of screen, but rather they can see the screen, and they can see the branding and what a smart switched on company they're dealing with.
In a nutshell, the iPad is more Convenient, is easier to use and creates a better user experience for all.
So how did we get to this wonderful nirvana?
Peter Collett, founder and leader of THN/RTR led the way with a vision and drive for continuous improvement: take that vision and apply some Digital Fusion expertise in the form of one of our rock star developers, Daniel Wood, plus the platform of FileMaker and our Nutshell framework, and you’ve got a magic formula that yields spectacular results in a relatively economic fashion.
As with all our client’s it’s all about the relationship: trust, vision and understanding. And our ability to deliver. The benefits speak for themselves:
✓ There’s now a complete end-to-end workflow
✓ Everyone is on the same page – less spreadsheets floating around
✓ It’s automated and streamlined
✓ Systems are tight and yet easy to follow - any one can do it
And if you boil that down to business outcomes:
✓ Better service both to customers and the participants
✓ More efficiency
✓ High degree of accuracy and less errors
✓ Better use of precious human resources
✓ Improvements in bottom line profitability
✓ And the ability to scale it up much more easily.
Which makes everyone Very Happy.