How to find out user needs? Which method to choose?
These questions find an innovative answer in an article from Ilka Willand (of Destatis, the German Statistical Office) published in number 31 of IAOS’ Statistical Journal
Beyond traditional customer surveys: The reputation analysis
Authors: Willand, Ilka
Journal: Statistical Journal of the IAOS, vol. 31, no. 2, 2015
Here a short version with pieces taken from this article:
‘An important strategic goal of Destatis is to continuously collect information about the customer satisfaction and the perception of important stakeholders and target groups. We conduct frequent customer surveys since 2007. But not all important stakeholders and target groups are necessarily registered customers. To learn more about their demands a reputation analysis was conducted in 2013 in cooperation with a market researcher. To determine a manageable frame for the study, we focused on three target groups: Respondents (households and enterprises), fast multipliers (online and data journalists) and young multipliers (young academics). The analysis was mainly based on the “Kano-Model”, a methodological approach, which is often used in quality management and product development. In the following article the survey design and the main results will be presented.’
Basic needs and Delighters
‘The most important category is the basic needs. Basic needs are taken for granted and they are typically unspoken. If they are fulﬁlled, they do not increase satisfaction. If they are not fulﬁlled, they will cause dissatisfaction.
Delighters are unexpected features that make customers happy. They do not necessarily cause dissatisfaction when not fulﬁlled, because they are not expected.’
Three Target Groups in Focus
‘To determine a manageable frame we focused on three target groups who became increasingly important for the work of the Federal Statistical Ofﬁce in the past years:
a) Respondents (households, enterprises)
b) Fast multipliers (online and datajournalists)
c) Young multipliers (young graduates and PhD students of social and economic sciences).
‘Target groups were asked for their basic needs and delighters concerning data search, data use and the reporting process.
On a scale from 0 (very bad) to 7 (very good) the reputation values are 5.3 for the fast and the young multipliers, 4.7 for the households and 4.6 for the enterprises.’
‘Most important basic needs and delighters: Especially for the responding enterprises it is a basic need important to get survey results after the survey is completed. A telephone service is a basic need especially for the bigger companies and the households to support the reporting process.
It is a delighter for enterprises to respond only online. This is currently being implemented in Germany, regardless of the results of the survey.’
Most important basic needs and delighters: Fast multipliers expect more than databases and datasets. For almost every second a telephone-support is a basic need. This is quite interesting because there are many internal discussions at Destatis to give up that service for the journalists. Also they expect to ﬁnd data they are looking for as fast as possible and for free on the internet. After an average of 14 minutes of searching on the Destatis website they will contact the information service if they are not able to ﬁnd what they are looking for. To satisfy their basic need to ﬁnd data as quick as possible we have to improve the search engine.
Most of our data is already available for free. Interactive charts would delight most of the journalists. Application programming interfaces (APIs) to grab huge amounts of primary data are the delighter especially for the data journalists.’
Most important basic needs and delighters: There are intersections between the young and the fast multipliers. Young multipliers also want data as fast as possible and for free on the internet. Most of the PhD students expect detailed methodological descriptions related to the datasets. What are the delighters? Surprisingly one half of the young academics mentioned examples on how to read tables and charts as a delighter. Similar to the fast multipliers we have overestimated their statistical knowledge in the past. Already more than one third of them see the opportunity to search for data via smartphone or tablet as a delighter. That means we have to offer more appropriate publication formats in the future.’
Results at a Glance
Ilka Willand got the award at IMAODBC 2013 for presenting this reputation study. See he slides at https://blogstats.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/imaodbc-2013-and-the-winner-is/