Case Studies

British Sociological Association Membership Census

The British Sociological Association asked me to support them with their online membership census in the run-up to the survey’s launch. The project was a predominantly quantitative, online survey with some open questions for detailed responses. For my consultation I helped the BSA to:

  • Ensure their questions were focused and would provide answers that would directly support their five year business plan.
  • Re-order the questions slightly so their questionnaire had an overall structure and flowed smoothly.
  • Ensure they met their obligations under the data protection act by ensuring private data was obtained and stored securely.
  • Maximise the response rate by improving the usability of the survey and sending out a reminder.

The British Sociological Association used the information gathered from the survey to:

  • Decide how best to advocate sociology, based on their members’ insight.
  • Determine how best to contact and keep in touch with their members.
  • Make sure the benefits of membership they offered reflected what their members actually wanted.

Phil’s help with our membership survey was invaluable. He made sure we got the survey out and that it would properly support our five year business plan. He was our critical friend, making sure we got the most out of our survey.

Judith Mudd, Chief Executive of the British Sociological Association

Ribble Steam Railway Website Usability

Ribble Steam Railway wanted to attract new visitors to their museum, especially families with young children. To help them manage this they wanted to redesign their website to appeal to young families.

I tested their website with respondents from their target audience – parents or grandparents with young children – to find out:

  • What information they needed to plan their visit.
  • How easy it was for them to find this information.

Ribble Steam Railway used this information to make specific improvements to their website to help them attract new visitors, including:

  • Simplifying their website navigation.
  • Making key information more prominent, like opening days and admission prices.
  • Removing unnecessary information, and making labels clearer.

I found your approach when we met very positive and professional, as was the report you submitted.

Robin Green, Curator of Ribble Steam Railway

Friends of Rhyddings Park Funding Application

Friends of Rhyddings Park wanted to gather information about:

  • Who uses the park.
  • Who doesn’t.
  • What barriers there are that prevent people using it.
  • They also wanted to find out what effect installing a new multi-use games area (a court with markings for various ball games) in the park has had on users of the park and residents living nearby.

This information is being used to support a bid for funding to develop the park and attract new users.

As a preliminary piece of research I suggested establishing just how many people use the park and what activities they use. I felt that his research was time-sensitive and should be carried out during the summer holidays before children and young people returned to school, giving an accurate account of park users during this time. I was able to quickly turn around this aspect of the research within a matter of days for the Friends of Rhyddings Park.

Phil highlighted to us the importance of getting the timing of our research correct, so helped us to get the most out of our research budget. We were very satisfied with his ideas and his work, and will be using him again.

Gayle Knight, Secretary of Friends of Rhyddings Park

Phil provided a very quick and responsive market research service. His findings were presented in a clear, structured way which explained the methodology and any limitations that should be taken account of in drawing conclusions. I found his response to the brief to be professional, extremely positive and very helpful and I would be happy to recommend his services.

Peter Jordan, Director, Groundwork Pennine Lancashire

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